Following a bye week, Illinois State (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) will welcome back alumni and fans to campus for the 100th Homecoming celebration this weekend, when the Redbirds host No. 3 ranked North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0 MVFC) at Hancock Stadium.
Heading into the game against Missouri State, talented redshirt freshman Jabari Khepera had just six receptions dating back to last spring in eight games played. Against No. 16 Missouri State, Khepera nearly tied that mark with five receptions and set career-highs with 107 yards receiving against the Bears in a breakout performance.
The Texas native caught his first career touchdown, a 75-yard bomb from fellow freshman quarterback Jackson Waring, and averaged 21.4 yards per reception in the contest. He now ranks second on the team in receiving and is averaging 13.9 yards per grab on the year.
In just his second career start, Jackson Waring came out strong in the first half of the Redbirds' game against Missouri State. Facing stout fronts shutting down the running game, Waring took the top off the defense with long completions of 30, 24, 59, 23, 75 and 17 yards. He also threw the first three touchdowns of his young career, including the 75-yard strike to Khepera midway through the second quarter. He would finish the game with a career-high 318 yards passing and is now completing 61.3 percent of his passes on the year.
Game time is 2 pm Saturday in Normal.