Oct. 8, 2011
By John Lock
No. 4 North Dakota State 9, No. 17 Southern Illinois 3
Carbondale, Ill. // Saluki Stadium // Attendance: 9.059
The Saluki defense was up to the challenge against a tough North Dakota State offense. The Bison entered the game averaging 369 yards of total offense per game and more than 38 points per game, but SIU held NDSU to 210 yards of total offense and nine points.
Terrell Wilson picked off his second pass in three games against North Dakota State. Bison quarterback Brock Jenson had not thrown an interception yet this season until Wilson picked him off.
SIU is now 2-1 against top-five teams under head coach Dale Lennon. The Salukis won battles against Northern Iowa in 2008 and 2009. Southern didn't play a top 10 opponent last year, making NDSU the highest ranked team to play the Salukis since No. 6 William & Mary beat SIU in the second round of the 2009 playoffs.
Jewel Hampton earned his first career start against North Dakota State. Steve Strother started the first four games. Hampton played in 15 games while at Iowa, but he didn't start any. He was slated to be the starting running back at Iowa in 2009, but he injured his knee before the first game and missed the entire season. At SIU, after rushing for 106 yards in the first two games combined, Hampton has rushed for 385 yards in the past three games.
Hampton has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games, the first time a Saluki has accomplished the feat since Deji Karim rushed for over 100 yards in five straight contests in 2009. Hampton now has four career 100-yard games--one at Iowa and each of the past three games.
Including his yards at Iowa, Hampton now has more than 1,000 career yards. He entered the game needing 58 yards to reach the landmark, and he rushed for 120.
In the last nine seasons, SIU is 42-5 in regular season home games, including a 16-3 mark under head coach Dale Lennon (17-5 including playoff games). Lennon won 12 of his first 13 home games as coach of the Salukis, but is just 5-3 since, including a 1-1 mark this year.
Mike McElroy had five tackles, leaving him just two shy of 200 career tackles. Only 36 players in school history have recorded 200 career tackles.
NDSU had no first downs in the first half and finished with nine on the game. Since 2006, the only other time SIU has allowed fewer than 10 first downs in a game was against Indiana State in 2009 (6).
Jewel Hampton recorded a career high in carries for the second game in a row. His carries have increased in every game this season.
Cam Fuller has proved to be a big-play option in the receiving corps for SIU. Fuller has had a reception of at least 31 yards in each game this season. He had a 70-yard touchdown reception against SEMO, a 31-yard touchdown reception at Ole Miss, a 45-yard catch against Missouri State, a 47-yard catch at WIU and a 44-yard reception today.