Indiana State FCS Football 2012 Playoff Capsule

Indiana State Sycamores
Missouri Valley


Indiana State has just about everything they need to make a serious run to Frisco, Texas. Coach Trent Miles boasts one of the best defenses in the FCS and has a superstar running back to control the clock. That is how the Sycamores managed to knock off North Dakota State 17-14 and how they nearly won at Indiana back on the first Saturday of the season. That formula will work out very nicely during the playoffs too.

2012 Record: 7-4, 5-3
Coach: Trent Miles

Big Wins: 9/29 at Southern Illinois (24-3), 10/13 at North Dakota State (17-14)
Bad Losses: 9/22 South Dakota State (10-24), 11/3 Illinois State (10-17)

The defense allowed about 13 points per game, ranking second in all of FCS football to North Dakota State. The pass defense is amazingly productive. Not only do they not allow many yards through the air, there is also a pretty good chance that the Sycamores will pick off any pass the opposition attempts. Cornerbacks Calvin Burnett and Johnny Towalid are two of the best around and starting safeties Larry King and Donovan Layne are no strangers to swatting away, or picking off, passes. Those four make the big plays, but it is linebackers Aaron Archie and Jacolby Washington who make most of the tackles. Linebacker Connor Underwood and end Ben Obaseki are the most potent pass rushers, but this is not a team that will get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. That is hardly a problem for the Sycamores since the defense is very strong either way, but if they can get pressure with the front four, it can be nearly impossible to throw against Indiana State.

The offense usually does not have to do too much. Shakir Bell is a great running back who has a habit of rushing for over 1,500 yards every season. The 5-8 junior is much tougher than he looks. He can run between the tackles and is always a threat to breakaway. But occasionally this is a team that will have to throw the ball. With Bell in the backfield, the play action pass is always a dangerous option for the Sycamores, but quarterback Mike Perish can struggle in obvious passing situations. Perish is just a sophomore and is getting better with every game, but at some point the Sycamores will fall behind and will have no choice but to put the game on the arm of Perish.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Shakir Bell, RB, 1,475 yards
Passing: Mike Perish, QB, 1,615 yards
Receiving: Michael Mardis, TE, 408 yards
Tackles: Aaron Archie, LB, 126
Sacks: Connor Underwood, LB, 6.0
Interceptions: Johnny Towalid, CB, 5

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 168.60 (44th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 141.90 (108, 9)
Total Offense: 310.50 (99, 7)
Scoring Offense: 24.80 (68, 5)
Rushing Defense: 127.30 (25, 6)
Pass Defense: 159.30 (8, 2)
Total Defense: 286.60 (6, 2)
Scoring Defense: 13.00 (2, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.70 (16, 3)
Sacks: 1.60 (80, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.20 (67, 9)

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

*all team stats through 11/10


Playoff Central