Offense stalls as Football drops third in a row

    Steve Strother led SIU with a career-high 97 yards rushing

    Steve Strother led SIU with a career-high 97 yards rushing
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    Nov. 6, 2010

    By Jason Clay
    SIUSalukis.com

    Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    4th
    F
    SIU
    0
    3
    3
    0
    6
    NDSU
    10
    0
    3
    7
    20

    Steve Strother
    Team Stat Comparison
    SIU
    NDSU

    First Downs

    16

    12

    Net Rushing Yds

    167

    128

      Rush Att.

    37

    39

      Avg. Per Rush

    4.5

    3.3

      Rushing TDs

    0

    0

    Net Passing Yds

    175

    123

      Cmp-Att

    19-35

    9-16

      Int Thrown

    1

    0

      Avg. Per Cmp

    9.2

    13.7

      Passing TDs

    0

    1

    Total Offense

    342

    251

    Individual Stat Leaders
    Rushing

    SIU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    S. Strother

    13

    97

    0

    27

    NDSU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    D. McNorton

    22

    101

    0

    17

    Passing

    SIU

    C-A-I

    Yds

    TDs

    C. Dieker

    18-34-1

    154

    0

    NDSU

    C-A-I

    Yds

    TDs

    J. Mohler

    9-16-0

    123

    1

    Receiving

    SIU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    M. Guinn

    5

    83

    0

    34

    NDSU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    J. Howard

    5

    47

    0

    17

    FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota State blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and the Southern Illinois football team failed to find the end zone for the second time this season, as the Salukis fell 20-6 to the Bison on Saturday in the Fargodome.

    Southern Illinois (3-6, 2-4 Missouri Valley Football Conference) out-gained the Bison 342-251, but only mustered up two field goals as the Salukis dropped their third-straight game.

    North Dakota State (6-3, 3-3) forced SIU into four turnovers and kept the Dawgs out of the end zone when the Salukis had the ball inside the Bison 20-yard line three times.

    "We just haven't been able to put together a complete game where we are not hurting ourselves," head coach Dale Lennon said. "We have been the victim of giving up more turnovers than we receive."

    Field position was a main factor in the game. SIU's average starting field position was its own 22-yard line, but the Bison's average start was at their own 41. Four Bison drives began on SIU's side of the field.

    The Saluki defense held the Bison to just 2-of-12 on third downs and just one touchdown, but that one TD was a back-breaking 32-yard screen pass from Jose Mohler to Landon Smith on a third-and-4. It came early in the fourth quarter when it still was a one-score game.

    "Our defense gave a gutsy effort," Lennon said. "We put them in bad situations, especially in the second half, but they kept getting stops on third downs. We took a big step forward defensively today."

    Offensively, sophomore running back Steve Strother carried the ball 13 times for a career-high 97 yards - an average of 7.5 yards per run. He had four runs of over 14 yards on the day with a long of 27.

    Senior quarterback Chris Dieker was under heavy pressure throughout the game and was sacked four times. He finished the game completing 18-of-34 passes for 154 yards and had one interception. Dieker did move into fourth place for the most passing yards in a career at Southern.

    NDSU's pressure on Dieker resulted in three fumbles. SIU did force a pair of fumbles deep in Bison territory, but the Salukis couldn't get the ball to bounce their way and were unable to recover them. This is the third-straight game that Southern Illinois did not create a turnover.

    Senior receiver Matt Guinn had a career-high five catches for 83 yards and Joe Allaria also hauled in five passes.

    North Dakota State jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game. SIU gave up its second blocked punt returned for a touchdown this year and then Ryan Jastram made a 22 yard field goal at 4:29 of the first.

    Both teams turned the ball over in the red zone in the second quarter, SIU's on a interception and NDSU's on downs. Kyle Dougherty's 37-yard field goal 15 seconds before the half accounted for the only points in the quarter and it cut NDSU's lead down to 10-3 after 30 minutes of play.

    Dieker drove SIU 68 yards on the scoring drive and he hit Guinn on passes of 11 and 34 yards while Strother added a 17-yard run to help SIU get into field goal range.

    A failed attempt at an onside's kick to start the second half cost the Salukis three points. That gave the Bison the ball at the SIU 35-yard line, but the Saluki defense held tight and NDSU had to settle for a 30-yard Jastram field goal.

    Strother had runs of 27 and 14 yards on SIU's last drive of the third quarter, but the Salukis were unable to cross the goal line in their third trip into the red zone. Dougherty did hit a 22-yard field goal to cap off the nine-play, 63-yard drive.

    The Bison scored the first offensive touchdown of the game on the 32-yard screen pass. The play came on a third-and-4, which was the first third down the Bison converted in their last seven tries.

    Smith's touchdown gave the Bison a 20-6 lead with 10:42 to play. The Bison drive was set up by a Matthew Gratzek forced fumble on a sack at the Saluki 38-yard line.

    Continued pressure from the NDSU defense prevented the Saluki from mounting any comeback and the loss eliminates SIU from finishing the year with a winning record.

     

     

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