Aug 31, 2013
Illinois 42, Southern Illinois 34
Memorial Stadium | Champaign, Ill. | Attendance: 42,175
- Both teams ran the exact amount of plays (67) and the Salukis even held the ball for nearly a minute and a half longer than Illinois did.
- Senior quarterback Kory Faulkner avoided turning the ball over through the air for the ninth time in 19 career starts. This was the first time Faulkner has thrown three touchdown passes and no INTs in the same game.
- The Saluki offensive line did their job of keeping Faulkner upright splendidly on Saturday by not allowing a single sack. The last time the Salukis made it through four quarters without anyone getting to the quarterback was last September against SEMO (9/15/12).
- John Lantz recorded his first career touchdown reception toward the end of the fourth quarter after hauling in a Kory Faulkner bomb on the left sideline. Lantz -- who finished with 99 receiving yards -- nearly had his first 100-yard game and two touchdown game of his career as well, after an official review in the first quarter took away a touchdown and one yard off his total as they put the ball back on the one-yard line.
- Backup full back Rik Hicks recorded his third career TD (all receiving), two of which have now come against FBS schools (Ole Miss, 2011).
- This is the second-straight season that the first Saluki score of the year came courtesy of running back Mika'il McCall.
- MyCole Pruitt's 66-yard reception in the third quarter was a career long by 24 yards.
- Five of Southern's six final drives ended in either a touchdown (three times) or a field goal (twice).
- In head coach Dale Lennon's six games against FBS opponents, three have been within two possessions. This is the closest margin of defeat (eight) since 2009 when Southern nearly took down Marshall, losing 31-28.
- Sans some early mishaps in the passing game, the Saluki defense picked up right where they left off in 2012. Dating back to last season, this is the third consecutive game SIU has held an opponent under 50 rushing yards, the third consecutive game SIU has recorded at least five sacks, the seventh consecutive game Southern has forced a turnover and the 27th consecutive game with at least one sack by a Saluki defender -- the 40th game in the last 41.
- For some perspective, here is what the Saluki defense overcame in the first three quarters of the game: three passing plays over 50 yards (all of which are the longest SIU has allowed since NDSU in 2012), the first time an opposing team has attempted a two-point conversion since 2011 (Missouri State) and the first successful conversion since 2009 (Youngstown State), and the most ever passing yards in a half in Illini history for Nathan Scheelhaase (340).
- Illinois finished with 49 rushing yards, but at one point in the third quarter they were at -22 before a string of positive runs that preceded a Josh Ferguson 34 yard run to put them into the black. In all, the Illini running game gained 108 yards on the ground but lost an unreal 59 yards -- 45 of those on Saluki sacks.
- Senior linebacker Bryan Presume recorded 10 total tackles -- the fourth time in his Saluki career he has posted double-digit tackle totals.
- Linebacker Tyler Williamson has been a turnover machine in his short time with Southern. On Saturday he forced a fumble in the fourth quarter -- the eighth time in his young Saluki career Williamson has either created or caused a turnover (four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and one blocked field goal). His four career forced fumbles ranks tied for sixth all-time at SIU.
- Although his appearances meant the end of a Saluki drive, punter Austin Pucylowski did his part in the Saluki comeback attempt, nailing six punts for 279 yards (46.5 average), pinning two inside the 20 and one booting one that travelled 64 yards -- one yard off his career high.
- Kick returner LaSteven McKinney broke one big on Saturday for 60 yards, the longest kick return of his career and the longest by a Saluki since Steve Strother returned one 91 yards to the house in 2011 at home against SEMO.
- Transfer Thomas Kinney nailed his first and second career field goals as a Saluki from 20 and 41 yards out.
- Catches: Josh Sullivan (2-for-15)
- TD Receptions: John Lantz (1)
- Field Goals: Thomas Kinney (two, 20 and 41 yards)
- Starts: Corey Boemer (LT), Jake Notario (LG), Josh Sullivan (WR), Kitray Solomon (DE), Raysean Golden (NT), Adam Brandt (DE), Dinnus Harding (ILB)
- D.J. Cameron: third career INT
- Kory Faulkner: 19th career touchdown pass (moves up to 11th all-time at SIU)
- Kory Faulkner: 3,662 career yards passing (10th all-time, 88 yards shy of ninth)
- MyCole Pruitt: 97th career reception (now 11th all-time at SIU, second all-time for a tight end)
- MyCole Pruitt: Eighth career TD reception (tied for 14th all-time at SIU)
- Tyler Williamson: Fourth career forced fumble (tied for sixth all-time at SIU)
- The announced attendance of 42,175 was the seventh-biggest crowd Southern has ever played in front of at home or on the road and the fourth-biggest SIU game at Memorial Stadium. Southern has only played Illinois four times in its history, dating back to 1985.