MVFC Summer Preview: Indiana State

2015 Indiana State Sycamores
Head Coach: Mike Sanford, 3rd season (9-17)
2014 Record: 8-6 (4-4), Tied for 5th MVFC

Looking for another team? Check out the rest of our MVFC Summer Previews.

Team Statistics (League Rank)
Scoring Offense: 25.3 (7th)
Scoring Defense: 24.2 (5th)
Total Offense: 358.4 (8th)
Rushing Offense: 88.6 (10th)
Passing Offense: 269.8 (1st)
Total Defense: 375.9 (T-4th)
Rushing Defense: 172.2 (7th)
Passing Defense: 203.6 (4th)

Sept. 5 – Butler, 3:05 pm
Sept. 12 – at Purdue, 12 pm
Sept. 19 – Southeast Missouri State, 3:05 pm
Oct. 3 – at Missouri State, TBA
Oct. 10 – at South Dakota State, 7 pm
Oct. 17 – Southern Illinois, 3:05 pm
Oct. 24 – North Dakota State, 1:05 pm
Oct. 31 – at Illinois State, 1 pm
Nov. 7 – at Northern Iowa, 7 pm
Nov. 14 – Western Illinois, 1:05 pm
Nov. 21 – Youngstown State, 1:05 pm

Post-Season History
FCS Championships: None
FCS Playoff Appearances: 3
Playoff Record: 2-3
Last Trip: 2014

Preview: Indiana State began the 2014 season strong with wins over Ball State (27-20) and Northern Iowa (20-19). The Sycamores edged Missouri State (20-18) and Youngstown State (27-24) in overtime to advance to the FCS playoffs last year. There, Indiana State defeated Eastern Kentucky (36-16) before falling to Chattanooga (35-14). All in all, it was a major accomplishment for Coach Sanford and his staff to take a team which finished the 2013 season with a 1-11 mark to a group which closed out last year with an 8-6 record…Backup quarterback Matt Adam (Camino Capistrano, CA) completed 21 of 43 (48.8%) passes in 4 outings last year for 201 yards (2 TDs) as a freshman. LeMonte Booker (Orland Park, IL) returns to the backfield after a productive sophomore campaign which saw #32 compile 367 rushing yards (5.7 ypc) and 3 scores on the ground. The passing attack will welcome back Gary Owens (Mesquite, TX), Robert Tonyan, Jr. (McHenry, IL) and Jamar Brown (Indianapolis, IN). Owens, a senior, caught a team-leading 69 passes for 815 yards (5 TDs). Tonyan led the Sycamores with a 13.8 yard per reception average (54 catches, 747 yards). Brown caught 29 balls for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns…The backend of the defense appears to be about as strong as any unit in the league with Travis Starks (Chicago, IL), DeJuan Lang (Cincinnati, OH), Mark Sewall (Western Springs, IL) all returning in the secondary and Connor Underwood (Washington, IL), Jameer Thurman (Chicago, IL), and Kendall Walker (Cincinnati, OH) back at linebacker. Starks intercepted opposing passers 4 times (for 85 yards) and finished with 77 tackles. Lang had 3 picks of his own and 35 defensive stops. Sewall snared 114 ball carries (68 solo) and intercepted 4 passes. Underwood led the team with 13 ½ sacks and 25 tackles for a loss. Thurman recovered 2 fumbles while being involved in 82 tackles. Walker led the Sycamores with 123 tackles. Junior Conlan Cassidy (New Hope, PA) will be back in the fold along the defensive line this fall. Cassidy was involved in 76 tackles (26 unassisted) and 3 quarterback sacks.

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