Oct. 16, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Kyle Minett ran 30 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Dakota State to a 31-10 victory over No. 15 Southern Illinois on Saturday at Saluki Stadium.
The Jackrabbits (2-4, 2-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) started the year out 0-4, but have now won back-to-back games and their win over SIU (3-4, 2-2 MVFC) ends its 13-game home winning streak in league play.
South Dakota State had 194 rushing yards in the game and the Salukis have now allowed 519 yards on the ground in their last two games.
"We got it handed to us and that's disappointing," Saluki head coach Dale Lennon said. "That's our job to get the team ready to play, and we just didn't have what we needed today."
Cole Brodie's 87-yard interception return for a touchdown on a Paul McIntosh pass at 6:54 of the second quarter was the play that sparked SDSU's route. The game was scoreless before that and it seemed to sink Southern Illinois, who failed to come up with a big play of its own all game.
"They took advantage of their opportunities and they made it hurt," Lennon said. "We just couldn't get that spark going to get any type of momentum. It was an uphill battle all day."
The Salukis only managed to find the end zone once on the day, late in the fourth quarter when Chris Dieker found Joe Allaria from 10 yards out. Allaria led both teams with 105 receiving yards on 10 catches, but overall SIU's offense struggled to put together successful drives.
South Dakota State held the Salukis to 24 points under its per game average. SIU did out-gain the Jacks, 333-297, but 132 of that came in the final 8:48 of the game when the Salukis were already down 31-3.
Joe Okon was a bright spot in Southern's defense, recording a career-high 13 tackles. Okon, finishing with three assisted and 10 solo tackles, is the second Saluki this season with 10 or more tackles in a game.
The first quarter went scoreless, but it appeared SIU was going to be the first to get on the board as it had reached the red zone midway through the second quarter. A holding penalty put the Salukis in a second-and-long, and McIntosh was then picked off by Brodie. He returned the interception 87-yards for a touchdown to give SDSU a 7-0 lead.
The Jackrabbits then went up 14-0 with 1:57 to go in the second quarter on a Thomas O'Brien six-yard pass to Aaron Rollin. It capped off an 11-play, 62-yard drive that spanned 3:28 on the clock.
McIntosh was able to get Southern on the scoreboard before halftime, as he drove the Salukis down 45-yards in 1:29 to set up Kyle Dougherty's 38-yard field goal right before halftime.
SDSU's lead went up to 21-3 late in the third quarter when Minett scored on a one-yard run on third-and-goal.
South Dakota State had a short kickoff after the touchdown and the Salukis failed to field the ball. That gave the Jacks the ball at the SIU 28-yard line, and three plays later, Minett rumbled 22 yards for his second rushing touchdown in 57 seconds.
Peter Reifenrath added a 35-yard field goal for the Jacks and SIU got its lone touchdown, a 10-yard Dieker to Allaria pass in the fourth quarter, to round out the game.