South Dakota State with 25-20 win over Illinois State
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) Taryn Christion accounted for three touchdowns to lead the Jackrabbits to a 25-20 upset of second-ranked Illinois State on Saturday.
Christion threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns and added 65 yards rushing and another score.
Former starting quarterback Zach Lujan came on for an injured Christion late in the second quarter and promptly completed a 14-yard TD pass to Jake Wieneke to put SDSU on top for good.
Christion was 15-for-30 for 307 yards and Lujan was 1-for-3 for 14 yards.
SDSU (7-2, 4-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) held ISU running back Marshaun Coprich to 55 yards on the ground, ending his streak of 100-yard rushing games at seven.
''Our defense really stepped up,'' SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said.
ISU quarterback Tre Roberson threw for 327 yards and three touchdown passes to Anthony Warrum.
Warrum caught eight passes for 241 yards. His touchdowns covered 5, 70 and 14 yards.
''They're not a passing offense. They want to run the football,'' Stiegelmeier said. ''Warrum is a really great player. But when the defense took the run away from them and they had to rely on the pass, it was advantage Jackrabbits.''
Roberson rushed for 80 of the Redbirds' 135 yards.
A Lujan interception led to Illinois State's first score. Three plays later, Warrum fought off a defender to haul in Roberson's 5-yard TD pass with 9:23 left in the first quarter.
But Roberson was picked off late in the second quarter by Jesse Bobbit, leading to a three-play, 35-yard TD drive by the Jackrabbits.
Christion went around the right end and scored on a 10-yard run to tie it 7-7 with 3:38 left in the half.
With 18 seconds left in the half, Christion was injured and replaced by Lujan. On the first snap, Lujan lobbed a 14-yard TD pass to Wieneke for a 31-7 SDSU lead at the break.
''Talk about the definition of a winner,'' Stiegelmeier said of Lujan. ''Here's a guy who got bumped out of his playing time and he gets one shot and throws a perfect pass. I love him.''
The Jackrabbits added to their lead with 9:02 left in the third quarter on Christion's 14-yard TD pass to Brandon Andrews.
The Redbirds got within a touchdown when Warrum caught his second TD pass, racing 70 yards to make it 19-14 with 8:40 left in the third quarter.
But Christion threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Wieneke early in the fourth quarter to keep the Jackrabbits in front and they held on for the win.
''We beat a good football team, a really good football team,'' Stiegelmeier said. ''I'm proud of our guys.''