News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

September 30, 2012

Sycamores defense dominates at Southern Illinois

Shakir Bell runs for 160 yards, 2 TD's in victory

CARBONDALE, ILL. — Indiana State’s football team had a whole different spin on Beauty and the Beast on Saturday in its Missouri Valley Football Conference game at Southern Illinois.

For the Sycamores, beauty was a beast. A beastly defense.

A dominant performance by ISU’s defense – SIU was 1 of 12 on third down conversions – helped ISU end its nine-game SIU losing streak as it prevailed 24-3 at Saluki Stadium.

SIU’s offense had no answers for a stout ISU defense. The Salukis punted seven times and had just one first down in the third quarter. ISU forced three turnovers as Calvin Burnett had two interceptions and Donovan Layne had one.

“It was a well-deserved great team win that the defense set the tempo for. We fed off each other,” ISU coach Trent Miles said.

“We’ve got something special going. There were no big mistakes. Last week, we had two plays that gave up 140 yards to their running back [South Dakota State’s Zach Zenner]. We knew if we didn’t allow the big plays we’d have the result we’d want,” said ISU defensive end Ben Obaseki, who had one of ISU’s three quarterback sacks.

ISU (3-2, 1-1) struggled to move the ball too, the Sycamores punted nine times, but ISU broke through in the final quarter to take control of the game.

ISU running back Shakir Bell rushed for 160 yards on 33 carries and two touchdowns. Quarterback Mike Perish completed 11 of 21 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.

It was the withering pressure the ISU defense put on the Salukis that gave Bell and company the chance to finally break through.

“We always have faith in our defense. We know we have to give them a break sometimes though. As an offense, we had a good game, but there’s a lot we could have done better. Our defense kept going out there and gave us chances,” Bell said.

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