NORMAL — Illinois State senior left guard Gabe Megginson did not practice Wednesday and is likely to miss his second straight game Saturday when the Redbirds meet Eastern Illinois for a 2 p.m. start at O’Brien Field in Charleston. 

“Gabe has a back issue. He’s having spasms,” ISU coach Brock Spack said. “We’ve got to make sure we get him feeling better. We’re trying to manage his pain and see if we can get him going again.” 

A transfer from Illinois, Megginson started all 11 games last season and this season’s first contest, a 24-10 loss at Northern Illinois. He began having discomfort late last week and did not play last Saturday in a 42-14 win over Morehead State. 

Junior Trey Georgie started at Megginson’s guard spot and is working with the first team offense this week in practice. 

“We had to make a battlefield adjustment quickly Friday,” said Spack. “Trey played pretty well. He did some good things. He’s a big guy, a good athlete and smart. He has some toughness about him.”

The start was the first for Georgie, a 6-foot-5, 295-pounder from Lawrence, Kan.

"Next man up. It's unfortunate what happened to Gabe. As a two, you have to be ready to go in whenever you're called," Georgie said. "I feel like I did OK, just OK. I still have fundamentals to clean up."

Georgie went from the second team right guard to the starter at left guard when it was determined Megginson would not be available.

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"I didn't take any reps with the ones (starters) during the week," he said. "Gabe is still recovering so I have this whole week to prepare."

Lombardi receptions: Until recently, redshirt freshman receiver Joey Lombardi was a walk-on. 

But late in training camp, Lombardi was put on scholarship. Against Morehead State, he was the only Redbird with more than one reception with two catches for 15 yards.

"That was just surreal. I didn't realize it was coming. All that work is paying off," Lombardi said of receiving a partial scholarship. "It's awesome. I love being out there. But I've still got more to do. I'm just trying to get better every day and trying to make the (receiver) rotation."

“Joey is a great kid. He’s earned his way,” Spack said. “I really enjoy watching him. He’s a great effort kid and he gets open.” 

Isbell interception: Redshirt freshman safety Clayton Isbell hauled in his first interception against Morehead State. Isbell has been ISU’s fifth defensive back in passing situations. 

“He’s a really talented guy,” Spack said. “It’s good to see him make a play like that. It bodes well for the future.”

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Contact Randy Reinhardt at (309) 820-3403. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_Reinhardt


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