Indiana State 2014 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Indiana State Sycamores
Missouri Valley


This is an Indiana State squad that will not be intimidated by anybody. Few teams at this level have played a tougher schedule. The non-conference slate included Indiana, Tennessee Tech, Ball State and Liberty. When Tennessee Tech is the easy game, you know it is tough. But the Sycamores made it through the first four games with a 3-1 record. And then the next three games were against, arguably, the top three teams in the toughest conference in the country, Northern Iowa, Illinois State and North Dakota State. And then there were games against Southern Illinois, South Dakota State and Youngstown State. Somehow Indiana State ended up 7-5 through that brutal slate.

2014 Record: 7-5, 4-4
Coach: Mike Sanford

Big Wins: 9/13 at Ball State (27-20), 10/4 Liberty (38-19)
Bad Losses: 10/11 Illinois State (18-20), 11/8 South Dakota State (17-32)

Indiana State can hang around with more talented teams because of turnovers. They rank in the top ten in turnovers gained and turnovers lost and tops in the FCS in turnover margin. Mark Sewall, Travis Starks and Dejuan Lang are all ball hawks in the secondary. But it is linebacker Connor Underwood who deserves much of the credit. He has tallied 12.0 sacks on the year and never allows the opposing quarterback much time to make a decision. He will force some fumbles too and that boosts up the turnover margin even more. Fellow linebackers Kendall Walker and Jameer Thurman are big hitters too. On the offensive end, quarterback Mike Perish is amazingly efficient. He has thrown just eight interceptions this season and that is on 444 passing attempts. Any team in the nation would have a great turnover margin with a quarterback like Perish leading the way. But Perish is more than just efficient, he is quite productive too. On the year he has thrown for 2,957 yards and 17 touchdowns.

But outside of the passing offense, this team is just mediocre. The ground game does a fine job of holding onto the ball, but Buck Logan and LeMonte Booker do not get much going on the ground. The team ranks 111th in the FCS in rushing offense. The defense does not fair too much better. They ranked seventh in the MVFC in rushing defense and fourth in pass defense. But giving up yards is not a huge problem as long as the turnover battle is won.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Buck Logan, RB, 743 yards
Passing: Mike Perish, QB, 2,957 yards
Receiving: Gary Owens, WR, 746 yards
Tackles: Kendall Walker, LB, 107
Sacks: Connor Underwood, LB, 12.0
Interceptions: Travis Starks, DB, 4

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 103.5 (111th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 260.4 (25, 1)
Total Offense: 363.8 (75, 7)
Scoring Offense: 25.8 (67, 7)
Rushing Defense: 163.7 (52, 7)
Pass Defense: 199.5 (45, 4)
Total Defense: 363.2 (42, 5)
Scoring Defense: 23.1 (35, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.45 (1, 1)
Sacks: 2.36 (39, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 3.00 (98, 9)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
1998    First Round    Lost to Northwestern State
1983    First Round    Defeated Eastern Illinois
1983    Quarterfinals    Lost to Southern Illinois

*all team stats through 11/15


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