September 13, 2014

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) Lechein Neblett caught three passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, including a 61-yard second quarter strike from Tre Roberson, to lead Illinois State to a 34-15 win over Eastern Illinois in the annual Mid-America Classic on Saturday.

Marshaun Coprich had 21 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns for the Redbirds (2-0), whose defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions of Panthers quarterback Jalen Whitlow.

Nick Bruno kicked two field goals for the Panthers (0-3). Whitlow scored the only Eastern Illinois touchdown, a 14-yard run on the first drive of the third quarter, which cut the Redbirds lead to 21-13. Illinois State, however, would score the final 13 points.

The 0-3 start for Eastern Illinois is just its third such start since moving to Division I in 1981.

The game was the 103rd meeting between the two schools dating back to 1901.

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