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(STATS) -- Though it has highly anticipated trip to Fargo looming on Oct. 1, Illinois State certainly cant afford to look ahead entering a matchup with an Indiana State team led by one of the MVFCs hottest quarterbacks.After a rare home loss dropped them from fifth to ninth in the STATS FCS Top 25, the Redbirds hit the road hoping to bounce back Saturday when they try to slow Isaac Harker and the Sycamores in the conference opener for both clubs.Illinois State (2-1) was riding high following a 9-7 victory at Northwestern on Sept. 10 before making some crucial miscues at the wrong times in last Saturdays 24-21 loss to rival Eastern Illinois. The Redbirds committed three turnovers before a furious late rally fell short as they lost for only the second time in their last 22 contests in Normal.It was a very eye-opening experience for our players, because really to be honest with you, we played hard -- particularly defensively, Illinois State coach Brock Spack said. We moved the ball. We had (443) total yards of offense -- almost 200 more than they did, but there are a couple statistics that are very telling. One is three turnovers.Spacks squad, which has earned a share of the last two MVFC titles with North Dakota State, will have a titanic showdown against the top-ranked Bison on Oct. 1. First, the Redbirds will have to figure out a way to contain Harker, the MVFC offensive player of the week. He leads an Indiana State offense that has put up at least 27 points in all three contests.Harker ranks second in the MVFC with 284.7 passing yards per game after completing 22 of 36 attempts for 302 yards and three touchdowns in the Sycamores 27-24 come-from-behind win over Southeast Missouri last weekend. The sophomore was 11 of 16 for 126 yards and two scores in the fourth quarter and hit Miles Thompson for the go-ahead TD with 10.8 seconds remaining.We found a lot of positives about Isaac in how he handles stress and pressure, Indiana State coach Mike Sanford said. Our team has a ton of confidence in him and thats going to be big moving forward.Robert Tonyan, a 6-foot-6 receiver, poses the biggest matchup problem for the Redbirds. He finished with seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown against SEMO, giving him a conference-best 22 receptions for 272 yards and four scores overall. Tonyan finished with nine catches for 117 yards and three TDs in a 27-24 loss at Illinois State last October.The Redbirds, however, have been the MVFCs best defensive team early on, ranking first in sacks (10), total defense (223.3 yards allowed per game) and opponent passer rating (88.3). They havent been nearly as sharp offensively, totaling just 30 points since a 50-13 win over Valparaiso in the opener.Jake Kolbe has thrown for 562 yards in the two games, but he threw a big interception against the Panthers to raise his total to four. Anthony Warrum (16 catches, 252 yards) and Spencer Schnell (19 receptions, 150 yards) have been the top targets in the passing game.Theyll try to find the holes in a defense that ranks eighth in the 10-team league with 253.3 passing yards allowed per game.Our defense improved (last week), but its still not where I expect it to be as the season progresses, Sanford said. We have quite a few young players in the secondary.The Sycamores (2-1), who couldnt hold on to a 24-9 halftime lead over the Redbirds last season, have had all kinds of trouble in this series, dropping 16 of the past 18 meetings.---=MORE FBS TESTS=So far, eight FCS programs have defeated FBS teams this season. Thirteenth-ranked Western Illinois (2-0) and Missouri State (2-0) hope to join that list in their nonconference finales this weekend.The Leathernecks will try to build on their strong start when they take on former rival Northern Illinois for the first time since 2009. The Huskies look to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1999, while Western aims to snap a 15-game skid versus FBS opponents.Missouri State, which went 1-10 last season, seeks its first 3-0 start since 2004 as it travels to Kansas State on Saturday night. The Bears, though, have lost 30 straight versus FBS foes dating to a 31-24 win over UNLV in 1990. The Wildcats (1-1) have won three all-time meetings -- all in Manhattan -- by a combined 160-43, including a 51-9 rout in the most recent matchup in 2012. Wholesale Rays Jerseys Authentic . Coach Tom Thibodeau says the former MVP will probably start travelling with the team in the next few weeks. Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the season by the Bulls. Authentic Adeiny Hechavarria Jersey . The 29-year-old Baines has established himself as one of the top attacking full backs in the country and was the subject of two bids from United during the last off-season. 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Miller reached right to deflect Mikhail Grabovskis attempt with just over 2 minutes remaining in regulation, and then made two more saves in the shootout Sunday to give the Sabres a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals.Alan Quinlan has paid tribute to former Munster and Ireland team-mate Paul OConnell, whose determination to succeed led to the nickname Psycho. OConnell announced his retirement from all forms of rugby on Tuesday, bringing to an end a career that spanned more than 14 years at the top.A severe hamstring injured suffered against France during the World Cup marked his final international appearance for his country, but the second row had signed a two-year deal with Toulon that started at the beginning of the current season. Its an incredible legacy to be honest, just the impact hes had on the game - not just in Ireland but throughout the world. Hes known as an iconic figure and a really fantastic leader. Alan Quinlan on Paul OConnell However after failing to fully recover from the injury, OConnell was advised by doctors to call time on a playing career that was decorated with three Six Nations titles and a Grand Slam with Ireland, and five European and PRO12 trophies with Munster.OConnells success at the top was a direct result of his determination to succeed, according to Quinlan. OConnell announces retirement Paul OConnell announces retirement from rugby Hes a hard man and hes very driven, the former Munster and Ireland back-row told Sky Sports. Weve been close as friends and he was never afraid to tell someone if they werent pulling their weight or if they werent focused or concentrating enough for the team. Former Ireland and Lions captain Paul OConnell has announced his retirement from rugby We had plenty of rows and arguments over the years about lineouts and about different strategies. Youve got to be tough, youve got to be resilient, youve got to be very determined and aggressive to achieve what he has achieved. OConnell: Ive been very lucky Paul OConnell reflects on long and enjoyable career We called him Psycho, Ronan OGara and myself. He was so psycho and so driven to succeed, and anyone or anything that gets in his way, he just goes straight out over them. Thats the determination.Its a great drive and a desire thats got him an incredible amount of achievement. Paul OConnell celebrates scoring a try on hiis Ireland debut against Wales in 2002 OConnell and Quinlan played together for club and country for 10 years, and Quinlan says he is not surprised by the outpouring of respect for his his former team-mate, adding that his leadership qualities were obvious from an early age.ddddddddddddIts an incredible legacy to be honest, just the impact he has had on the game - not just in Ireland but throughout the world. Hes known as an iconic figure and a really fantastic leader. O'Connell: I've been very lucky Hes someone who has set a great example for young people. He has really natural leadership qualities and is a very selfless person. The team is very important to Paul OConnell.Hes not one for individual accolades, hes not one for the limelight, he just wants the team to do well.He just has this innate ability to drive people around him to play above themselves and achieve above their own standards. He gets the best out of people and its a real quality, not everyone has those kinds of qualities; to be able to push and drive and lead a group of people. The world of social media reacts to the news that Paul OConnell has retired His all-conquering personality on the field complemented a much more relaxed attitude off it, says Quinlan.He can put on the game face and does it really well, but hes great fun away from the field. Weve had great fun on tours and weve been on holidays together in groups.He loves a bit of fun, a bit of craic. Hes always up for a laugh and thats part of his personality as well, and thats what made him popular with players.He doesnt keep to himself, he likes to mix with people all the time, and hes intrigued by what everyone else does.Hes a great character, a really funny person who is very popular with anyone hes played with and against. OConnell makes his way down the tunnel with his son Paddy, 5, after his last home international match Quinlan and OConnell won two Heineken Cups with Munster in 2006 and 2008 and the former has expressed his desire to see the latter back at the province in a mentoring capacity.Id like to see him straight away go back in and get involved with Munster, he said.Hes someone who has so much to offer the game. Hes very intelligent and I know hes interested in business and trying to explore avenues around the business world as well, but hes just too good to be lost to rugby.He inspired people on the field when he was playing, and I think he can do the same in coaching or a managerial role. Also See: OConnell: Ive been very lucky OConnell announces retirement Farewell to a legend OConnell tributes Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Wholesale NFL T-shirts ' ' '