The Sycamore football team will host Western Illinois on Saturday at 1 p.m. for Homecoming. ISU is looking to bounce back from a 38-0 loss against South Dakota.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Gunnar See made his first career start last week in the South Dakota game. Former starter and redshirt senior quarterback Ryan Boyle is out for the remainder of the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
Saturday will spot the 43rd time the two teams have met with the advantage going to the Leathernecks, 26-16.
Western Illinois had won five-straight games in the series, dating back to 2013 before Indiana State broke the record last season with a 15-13 victory in Macomb as kicker Jerry Nunez drilled a 27-yard field goal before the game clock hit zero.
The contest between the Leathernecks and the Sycamores is the 91st Homecoming football game to be played at Memorial Stadium. ISU is 48-40-2 in Homecoming defenses. The last time ISU played Western Illinois for Homecoming was in 2011, when the Sycamores defeated the Leathernecks, 46-24.
The Sycamores will look their talented linebacker duo of redshirt senior Jonas Griffith and senior Clayton Glasco to get back into the swing of things after getting shutout last game. Both players have a combined total of 99 tackles on the season — Griffith with 50 and Glasco with 49.
Glasco leads the team in tackles-for-loss with 9.5 tackles for 22 yards as well as leading in solo stops with 21. The duo also has three of the 10 sacks for the team and two of the five interceptions.
Griffith is currently 13th in all-time tackles in program history and he looks to get closer to a top 10 spot as he passed former linebacker Tony Albrinck last Saturday at South Dakota.
“We just have to play our game,” Griffith said. “I mean Coach (Curt) Mallory says it every week and everyday, ‘We are going to run the ball on offense and swarm to the ball on defense and on special we are going to finish forwards.’ Ultimately, if we do those three things every single week we’ll get good results.”
Thus far, the Sycamores have allowed their opponents to convert 23-of-64 on third-downs and 4-of-11 on fourth-down.
The Sycamores are looking to add more losses to the Leathernecks as they have been going through a tough outing this season. The Leathernecks have an overall team record of 0-5 going into this Homecoming bout.
Western Illinois is led by Head Coach Jared Elliot, who was the program’s assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator before being named to the top coaching spot in January 2018. Elliott has assisted WIU to 14 wins, highlighted by an 8-4 record in the 2017 campaign.
Regarding Western Illinois, Mallory said in a press release, “I think they’re well coached. When you watch them play they are very disciplined. On offense, I love their running backs. They’re physical, they run downhill. They will punch you in the month up front. This is a blue-collar team, I mean this is a tough, tough football team. Defensively, they have always been like that, I like their secondary, safeties especially, they come downhill and hit you. This is a hard-nose football team.”
The game will air on ESPN Plus as well as on the radio on WIBQ 97.9 FM Fans are able to pick up free programs as they enter the stadium all season long thank to the Tribune Star as well of a free T-shirt to the first 300 fans courtesy of Toyota of Terre Haute.