>>ISU Lineback LB Rolls In National Accolades
Just a day after being named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Illinois State junior middle linebacker Pat Meehan was selected as a national player of the week by The Sports Network and College Sporting News on Monday.
The national honors are the first for Meehan in his three-year career at Illinois State.
The Frankfort, Illinois, native was also named a College Sporting News All-Star.
Meehan was all over the field and led the way for the Redbird defense in its 34-15 defeat of No. 24-ranked Eastern Illinois Saturday in the Mid-America Classic. He led the team with 11 tackles against EIU and set career-bests with two sacks and four tackles-for-loss. Meehan also added a pass breakup and intercepted his first career pass, which he returned for 12 yards late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Redbirds and knock the Panthers out of the TSN Top-25 poll.
>>ISU Jumps Into FCS Top-25
Thanks to a 2-0 start to the season and a win over the No. 24 nationally-ranked Eastern Illinois Panthers on Saturday, the Illinois State football team has cracked the Top-25, debuting at No. 24 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday.
The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is administered by the Southern Conference.
The national ranking is the first for the Redbirds since early in the 2013 season. ISU just missed out on being voted into The Sports Network FCS Top 25 as well, falling just three spots outside the Top 25.
The Redbirds earned 47 points to nudge their way into the top 25 at No. 24, thanks to a strong 34-15 win over the Panthers on Saturday in the 103rd meeting of the Mid-America Classic. The loss brought the Panthers to 0-3 on the season and dropped them out of both of the national FCS polls.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference led all conferences with six teams in the FCS Coaches Poll top 25, which tied a league record. North Dakota State was yet again the No. 1 team in the FCS Coaches Poll. The Bison just nearly missed being a unanimous No. 1 selection for the second straight week, receiving 25 of the 26 first-place votes. South Dakota State remained in the top 10 in the No. 10 spot and Northern Iowa remained steady at No. 11. Southern Illinois (No. 13) and Youngstown State (No. 15) also moved up a spot each in the rankings this week.