The Illinois State football team is off to a strong start to begin the 2017 season, with a pair of commanding wins in the first month of play. In the Redbirds’ home opener, the squad shut out Butler, 45-0 under the lights in front of 10,840 fans Labor Day Weekend.

After a week two bye, Illinois State defeated Eastern Illinois, 44-13, in the 106th meeting of the Mid-America Classic to take home the trophy. The story of the season has been the Redbirds’ quartet of talented running backs – Markel Smith, Artiss Henderson, James Robinson, and Jordan Birch–who rushed for 320 yards against Butler. However, the Redbirds’ defense has grounded the team, holding their opponents to under 100 yards rushing and under 200 total yards in both games the season. After their final road game of September at Missouri State, the Redbirds return home Sept. 30 to host Indiana State at 6:30 p.m.