Oct. 20, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - No. 9 Southern Illinois University (7-1, 3-1) scored five rushing touchdowns and ran for 255 yards in a commanding 45-10 win over Missouri State (4-4, 1-3) earlier today in front of a family weekend crowd of 12,064 at McAndrew Stadium.
SIU controlled the game from start to finish to help Jerry Kill earn his 50th victory as Southern's head coach.
"We played tremendous physical football and had a good team effort in all aspects of the game," said Kill.
Kill, who improved to 50-31 in nearly seven seasons at SIU, is the third-winningest head coach in school history behind William McAndrew (83 wins, 1913-16, 1921-38) and Rey Dempsey (54 wins, 1976-83).
The Salukis scored 31 unanswered points en route to a 31-3 lead at the half.
SIU, which was outscored in the first quarter during each of its previous two games, pulled ahead, 10-0, when Deji Karim broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run and Kyle Dougherty connected on a 37-yard field goal.
The Salukis tacked on 21 more points in the second quarter.
MSU tried to fake a punt from its own 20-yardline on a 4th-and-10 on the next possession, but Nathan Stokes was tackled for no gain.
Randle took over the rest of the way running for 12 yards to the MSU-8 before scoring his second touchdown of the game with 2:35 left.
SIU polished off the 45-10 pasting with two other rushing TDs in the second half.
Randle scored again, this time from four yards out at the 8:25 mark of the third quarter, while Larry Warner ran 58 yards for a touchdown with 14:26 left in the game. Warner's run was the longest from scrimmage through eight games this season.
Warner led the Salukis' rushing attack with 87 yards and one TD on seven carries. Randle followed with 59 yards and three touchdowns on 17 attempts, while Richard White added 55 yards on 10 carries.
Passing wise, Hill completed 20-of-26 passes for 241 yards. Hill went his first game of the season without a passing touchdown.
Justin Allen made eight catches for 97 yards to lead all Saluki receivers.
Defensively, SIU merely dominated.
The Salukis registered a season-high five sacks, picked off two passes and held the Bears to a total of 84 rushing yards. SIU held MSU to -2 yards rushing on 17 carries in the first half alone.
MSU was under 300 yards (287) of total offense on the day.
Cody Kirby led the Bears' offense, completing 17 passes for 176 yards. Kirby was also sacked five times and threw two interceptions.
SIU will be idle next week before hitting the road to face Western Illinois on Nov. 3.
"We've played a lot of physical football games and it's good for our guys to get a rest," said Kill. "We'll get to work preparing for Western Illinois."
Game Notes: SIU beat MSU for the fifth-straight time...The Salukis extended their home winning streak to seven games...SIU is now 26-3 at home since 2003...Nick Hill moved to fifth all-time in passing yards at SIU...He now has 3,911 in his career...The Salukis increased their season-total to a league-leading 14 interceptions...SIU recorded at least two picks in a game for the fourth time this year.