FCS Playoff Review: Illinois State 24, Central Arkansas 14
By CRAIG HALEY
The Score - Illinois State (10-4) beat No. 8 seed Central Arkansas (9-4) 24-14 in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Story Line - Senior running back James Robinson continued to have an incredible postseason, carrying the ball 37 times for 210 yards and two second-quarter touchdowns, including a 51-yarder. The Redbirds have won on the road in both of the first two rounds.
Game Ball - Robinson is raising his stature in the NFL Draft. With back-to-back 200-yard games, the workhorse has 507 yards on 78 carries in the postseason.
Key Stat - Illinois State won the turnover battle 4-0, which allowed the Redbirds to hold Central Arkansas to 256 offensive yards - 137 below its regular-season average.
The Takeaway - Robinson's heroic play has helped Illinois State overcome substantial injuries in the offensive skills positions (redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Jefferson has come on to start the two playoff games). But the defense has risen up as well, this time getting three sacks from defensive end Romeo McKnight.
Up Next - Illinois State advances to play at No. 1 seed North Dakota State (13-0) in a quarterfinal between Missouri Valley Football Conferences teams next weekend. The Bison are on an FCS-record 34-game winning streak and have beaten the Redbirds eight straight times, including 37-3 on Oct. 5.
Updated December 7, 2019