NORMAL, Ill. -- Collin Keoshian scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 91-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter as Illinois State christened its remodeled stadium by holding off Abilene Christian 31-17 Saturday night.
Defense was the difference as the Redbirds (1-2) kept the high-powered offense of the Wildcats (3-1) in check.
Abilene Christian entered the game averaging 65 points and 562 yards per contest. The Wildcats were limited to 288 yards.
Illinois State took a 17-10 lead late in the second quarter on a 19-yard pass from Blake Winkler to Camero Meredith and then got a 62-yard punt return on the last play of the half to push its lead to 14.
ACU then took advantage of a botched fourth-down gamble to pull within a touchdown on a John David Baker's second touchdown pass but after the teams traded punts the Redbirds responded with a drive that lasted almost 7 minutes.