Boone, NC (Sports Network) - The Illinois State football players must be
thrilled to be on the road during the FCS playoffs.
The Redbirds have yet to lose in six road games this season, and Saturday's
38-37 overtime victory at Appalachian State in the second round was their
Senior quarterback Matt Brown threw for five touchdowns and 322 yards, and the
Redbirds blocked an extra point to end overtime when Appalachian State was
trying to tie the game again.
Illinois State (9-3), in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, will play
the Wagner-Eastern Washington winner in the national quarterfinals next
Brown's 25-yard touchdown pass to James O'Shaughnessy in overtime gave
Illinois State a 38-31 lead. Appalachian State answered with Jamal Jackson's
4-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Peacock to make it 38-37. But Sam Martin's
extra point attempt was then blocked.
Brown, the Missouri Valley Football Conference's offensive player of the year,
completed 20-of-32 pass attempts. Having set seven school records and four
conference records this season, he went over 10,000 career passing yards,
increasing his total to 10,219.
Tyrone Walker caught 10 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. O'Shaughnessy
also caught two touchdowns.
Appalachian State forced overtime when Peacock's 10-yard touchdown pass to
Drew Bailey with 3:31 left tied the game at 31-31.
Jackson was 33-of-45 for 373 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
His favorite receiver, Sean Price, ended his outstanding redshirt freshman by
catching 13 passes for 167 yards. He broke the FCS freshman records for
receptions and receiving yards in a season with 71 and 1,196, respectively.
The loss ended Appalachian State's season with an 8-4 record. The Mountaineers
were making their eighth straight playoff appearance, but it was their third
straight defeat at home in the postseason.
It was the first meeting between the two programs.
The Sports Network