ISU playoff history
NOV. 28, 1998
NORTHWESTERN STATE 48, ILLLINOIS STATE 28
The Redbirds fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter of their playoff debut and could not creep closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Sam Zanders rushed for 135 yards and Kevin Glenn passed for 219, but ISU had not answer for a speedy Demons' team that piled up 650 yards of total offense.
NOV. 27, 1999
ILLINOIS STATE 56, COLGATE 13
Aveion Cason racked up 156 yards rushing and 196 all-purpose yards as the first playoff game at Hancock Stadium turned into a comfortable Redbird win. Jon Laurenti caught a touchdown pass from Dusty Burk, Kernard Killingsworth returned a blocked punt for a score and Cason rushed for two TDs as ISU piled up a 28-0 advantage entering halftime.
DEC. 4, 1999
ILLINOIS STATE 37, HOFSTRA 20
Burk outplayed heralded Dutchmen quarterback Giovanni Carmazzi as the Redbirds blitzed Hofstra with 21 second-quarter points. Burk completed 31 of 37 for 350 yards and three touchdowns, two to Steve Kostro. Darek Smith paced the ISU defense with 16 tackles.
DEC. 11, 1999
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 28, ILLINOIS STATE 17
Future Chicago Bear Adrian Peterson gouged the Redbirds for 183 yards rushing in the Eagles' potent option attack. Jake Strader's 50-yard field goal at the halftime buzzer brought the Redbirds within 21-10. ISU received 10 tackles from linebacker Galen Scott and nine each from cornerback Sam Young and lineman David Bull. The Redbirds rushed for just 69 yards compared to 363 for Georgia Southern, which would go on to win the national championship.
NOV. 25, 2006
ILLINOIS STATE 24, EASTERN ILLINOIS 13
A Redbird defense spearheaded by linebackers Niall Campbell and Cameron Siskowic held Eastern to 138 total yards in ISU's first playoff game under Coach Denver Johnson. Pierre Rembert rushed for 122 yards and the go-ahead touchdownb with 2:07 to play. Jesse Caesar's 45-yard interception return into the end zone sealed the Redbird triumph.
DEC. 2, 2006
YOUNGSTOWN STATE 28, ILLINOIS STATE 21
ISU was held to seven points over the opening three quarters and a late rally came up short. Rembert ran for 114 yards and Laurent Robinson hauled in seven passes from Luke Drone for 89 yards. Siskowic contributed 14 tackles as the Redbirds lost despite a 375-345 edge in total offense.
DEC. 1, 2012
ILLINOIS STATE 38, APPALACHIAN STATE 37, OT
The first playoff game in the era of current coach Brock Spack was a thriller. James O'Shaugnessy's 25-yard touchdown grab from Matt Brown gave ISU the lead in overtime. After the Mountaineers countered, Shelby Harris blocked the extra point ending the game and sending the Redbirds into a wild celebration. Brown tossed five TDs and threw for 322 yards with Tyrone Walker reeling in 10 passes for 176 yards.
DEC. 8, 2012
EASTERN WASHINGTON 51, ILLINOIS STATE 35
On the red turf of "The Inferno," ISU fell behind 38-17 in the fourth quarter before launching a dramatic rally. Brown's 13-yard scramble for a touchdown brought the Redbirds within 38-35 early in the fourth quarter before Eastern Washington broke ISU's back with a 76-yard scoring pass. Darrelynn Dunn rushed for 98 yards and Brown passed for 372. Linebacker Mike Zimmer led the defense with nine stops.
Compiled by Randy Reinhardt