The Western Illinois Leathernecks will host the Illinois State Redbirds in Missouri Valley Football Conference play on Saturday.
The game (2 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but you can watch it live right here on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of dozens of college football games and other live sports every week, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Western Illinois vs Illinois State live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Western Illinois vs Illinois State Preview
Illinois State improved to 1-1 in the MVFC and 4-2 overall last week, besting the Southern Illinois Salukis 21-7 on the road.
The Redbirds assembled a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on the game’s opening possession, including a 20-yard run from senior running back James Robinson and a 34-yard connection between junior quarterback Brady Davis and freshman wideout Kacper Rutkiewicz.
“It was good to come out with very explosive plays at the beginning of the game,” Robinson said after the victory, according to The Pantagraph. “We started fast and let up the middle of the game. I glad we finished hard.”
Davis completed 13 of 19 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 19 yards and a score.
Robinson carried 31 times for 150 yards and a touchdown. He leads all MVFC players in touchdowns (9), rushing yards (676), and points (54).
“Nothing really changes with James. You’ve got to get him the ball,” ISU head coach Brock Spack said, per The Pantagraph. “I just heard we’re 17-5 when he scores a touchdown. We’ve got to get him touchdowns more often.”
The back has dominated the Salukis in his career, rushing for 555 yards across four meetings.
“The only one I could remember was last year (202 yards in an ISU win),” Robinson said of his performances against SIU, per The Pantagraph. “It’s just a team effort thing. Watch the game and you’ll see the offensive line did a really good job. They opened up holes for me and I got through them.”
The Leathernecks, 0-2 in conference play and 0-6 overall, appeared to be en route to their first win of the season last week, leading the Indiana State Sycamores 10-0 on the road at halftime. Western Illinois didn’t score again, however, and fell 20-10.
The Sycamores outgained Western Illinois 316-214, and the Leathernecks converted on third down just once in 15 tries.
“There is no question, we left way too much out there,” Western Illinois head coach Jared Elliott said, according to GoLeathernecks.com. “We were a completely different team in the second half than what we were in the first. In the first half, we played the type of football that we want. We still left several opportunities out there on offense, but the defense played the way we expect. The second half was just flat out not good enough in every phase. You have got to be able to finish when you have a slight lead, and you have to capitalize. We didn’t do that today.”
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