TERRE HAUTE —
Murphy’s Law was enforced with extreme prejudice against Indiana State’s football team at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Whatever could go wrong for ISU in the Homecoming contest against Youngstown State did. Nothing was spared.
ISU’s offense and defense broke at the worst times ... even the Memorial Stadium elevator broke. Mother Nature heaped on her own brand of misery with thunderstorms that caused the game to be delayed twice for a total of 80 minutes.
The interruption merely prolonged the Sycamores’ torment. Youngstown State defeated ISU 35-24 in the Sycamores’ Missouri Valley Football Conference opener.
“In any game, especially in a defeat, there’s things you can learn. We have to learn from this. We said after last week, we had to get better at the little things, but it wasn’t good enough,” ISU coach Mike Sanford said.
ISU (1-4, 0-1) lost its fourth game in five tries and still doesn’t have a Division I victory this season.
ISU’s offense moved the ball at times, but hurt itself with turnovers and didn’t execute in key situations. ISU failed to score inside the 20 three times in the first half and it didn’t help matters when running back Shakir Bell limped out of action after ISU’s second series.
According to Sanford, Bell suffered a toe injury and had a leg bruise. Wide receiver Tanner Riley was also injured. Sanford wasn’t sure of the extent of Riley’s injury.
The loss of Bell meant ISU had to rely on its passing attack, but quarterback Mike Perish was not consistently accurate. The junior completed 30 of 56 attempts for 392 yards and three touchdowns, but had several misses downfield.
“We outgained them [ISU had a 478-360 edge in total offense], but turnover margin is more important than yards gained,” Perish said.
ISU had two turnovers, but one was a pick-six interception and the other stopped an ISU drive deep in Penguins’ territory.
ISU’s defense didn’t have consistent stopping power. Penguins running backs Martin Ruiz and Jody Webb averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Ruiz scored three touchdowns.
“We gave up big plays that got us down quick,” ISU defensive end Connor Underwood. “We have to have gap discipline. People have to know their responsibility and play it the right way.”
It didn’t help that ISU’s already-depleted defense lost more personnel. Cornerback Alex Stowers and Kendall Walker both suffered concussions last week. ISU thought both might play, but neither of them were able to.
“We’re a beat-up football team,” Sanford said. “We have to get some guys healthy. We have to get some guys back.”
It could have been different for the Sycamores, but first half missed opportunities got the Sycamores behind the 8-ball.
ISU had a textbook spread offense drive to start the game as it penetrated to the YSU 6. But the red zone woes that plagued the Sycamores at Tennessee Tech a week ago reared their ugly head again. YSU held ISU to a 23-yard Tanner Fritschle field goal as ISU led 3-0.
It was the high point for the Sycamores ... and they only had 19 seconds to enjoy it. YSU’s Andre Stubbs returned the ensuing kick 52 yards into ISU territory. One play later, Ruiz found a hole on the left side and went untouched 44 yards to put the Penguins up 7-3.
ISU got into the red zone again on its next drive, but came up completely empty when Fritschle’s 33-yard field goal attempt caromed off the left upright.
ISU seemed to have the onus to regain control after a 61-yard Riley punt return set the Sycamores up at the YSU 14. But three plays later, disaster struck. On 3rd-and-20, Perish forced a pass on the right sidleine and it was picked off by YSU’s Jameel Smith at the YSU 5.
Smith had a clear path to near midfield. He waited for blockers, pivoted around ISU’s tacklers, cut to the sideline, and had a convoy of Penguins escort him the remaining distance for a 95-yard interception return to make it 14-3.
“We have to be better in the red zone. We can’t give up interceptions for touchdowns,” Sanford said.
To that point, ISU had been in the red zone three times ... and scored just three points and had given away six more.
“[The failure to score] on those first three drives kind of put us behind,” Perish said. “We can’t do that. I take a lot of the blame. Our offensive line blocked, our receivers did their job and our backs ran well. We had a solid game, but missed some chances.”
The Penguins (5-1, 2-0) took command midway through the second quarter. Aided by 25 yards in ISU penalties, YSU went 77 yards in seven plays, a drive finished off by an easy 13-yard touchdown run by Ruiz. YSU led 21-3.
ISU enjoyed a ray of sunshine with 3:31 left in the half. A 10-play, 77-yard drive was finished off by a 27-yard Perish-to-Sampson Levingston touchdown.
Levingston has 11 catches for the Sycamores this season with six having gone for touchdowns, including three on Saturday.
“I don’t know what it is,” Levingston said. “I had five touchdowns during my senior season and never had more than one in a game. The coaches trust me in the red zone and I want them to continue to.”
The Levingston touchdown was a brief respite for ISU. YSU used a blend of Ruiz and quick back Webb to march 80 yards in 12 plays. A 6-yard Ruiz run made it 28-10 with 9:37 left in the third quarter.
The misery continued unabated. The press box elevator broke just before halftime and some of the game clock crew was caught out. YSU had to burn a timeout when the play clock wasn’t stopped after a play from scrimmage shortly after halftime. Later, the game clock ran for approximately 25 seconds during an ISU possession after an incomplete Sycamore pass.
Mother Nature piled on later in the third quarter. With 3:02 left, a 75-minute lightning delay prolonged the agony.
YSU put it away with 8:51 to go when Christian Bryan caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from YSU quarterback Kurt Hess.
ISU scored an unusual touchdown with 7:48 left. Perish found Kyani Harris deep who ran to the YSU 10. Harris lateraled to Chris O’Leary, who got to the 5-yard line when he lateraled to Levingston, who scored a touchdown. It was a highlight reel play in an otherwise forgettable day.
Levingston scored against with 1:51 on a 17-yard touchdown catch. Because college rules mean the lateral counted as a touchdown reception, but not a catch, Levingston had a bizarre stat line: two catches for 56 yards and three touchdown receptions.
ISU plays four of its next five games on the road. A trip to South Dakota begins the trek next Saturday. The Coyotes earned their first-ever MVFC victory on Saturday with a 17-14 triumph over Missouri State.
“We have to refuse to lose. We can’t go on anymore like this. We have to win a conference game on the road,” Sanford said.
Rainy day of misery for Sycamores
TERRE HAUTE —
Murphy’s Law was enforced with extreme prejudice against Indiana State’s football team at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Abrams leads Illini over IU in Big Ten tournament
Now, Indiana waits.
To see if the NIT wants the Hoosiers for an at-large berth.
To see if Noah Vonleh will head to the NBA after one season in Bloomington.
No. 24 Ohio State holds off Purdue 63-61
Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter appreciated his team’s effort Thursday.
He still didn’t like the numbers on the box score — or the scoreboard.
Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross combined to score nine points in a late 12-4 run that gave No. 24 Ohio State control and the Buckeyes held on for a 63-61 win — only after Terone Johnson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer came up short in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
History in making?: Indiana, Purdue need to reverse recent trends to keep offseason hopes alive
The state’s two Big Ten schools could begin the offseason as soon as tonight, depending on how they fare in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
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