Brady Davis passed for one touchdown and ran for another and the Illinois State defense held on downs twice in the fourth quarter in a 21-7 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday.
After trailing 14-0 at halftime, Southern Illinois scored on a 74-yard run by Romeir Elliott early in the third quarter. Levi Mitchell recovered an on-side kick after that score but the Salukis were forced to punt. Illinois State responded with an 11-play, 95-yard drive culminating in a 6-yard TD run by Davis.
With FCS No. 13 Illinois State (4-2, 1-1 Missouri Valley) still leading 21-7, the Salukis drove deep into Redbirds territory twice in the fourth quarter. The first drive was stalled by two chop-block penalties and the second drive ended on a 4th-down sack at the 16-yard line with about a minute remaining.
The Redbirds' James Robinson gained 150 yards on 31 carries and moved into third place on the school's career rushing list.
Robinson scored on a 2-yard run and Davis threw to Austin Nagel for a 2-yard touchdown for Illinois State's 14-0 halftime lead.
Southern Illinois (2-4, 0-2) leads the series between in-state rivals 41-38-3 but Illinois State has won five of the last six meetings.
SIU has lost eight in a row against ranked FCS opponents.