James Robinson ran for two touchdowns and Illinois State shut out St. Xavier University of the NAIA 46-0 on Saturday night in a season opener.
Robinson had 39 yards on eight carries for the Redbirds. Jordan Birch led the ground game with 52 yards and a score and Markel Smith and Nick Kielbasa each ran for a touchdown. Quarterback Brady Davis threw for 79 yards and a score.
Robinson scored on the Redbirds' first play, a 13-yard run after St. Xavier failed to convert on fourth down deep in its own territory on the game's opening drive. Later, Ty DeForest intercepted St. Xavier quarterback Alex Martinez and took it 43 yards, setting up a 15-yard scoring pass from Davis to Tylor Petkovich two plays later, and the Redbirds led 14-0 with 2:13 left in the first quarter.
Martinez led four quarterbacks for St. Xavier, throwing for 39 yards and a pair of interceptions. The Cougars were held to a total of -20 yards.