Nov. 19, 2011
Southern Illinois 35, No. 23 Indiana State 28
Terre Haute, Ind. // Memorial Stadium // Attendance: 4,519
Mike McElroy intercepted his third pass of the year in the fourth quarter. He returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
He then picked off his fourth pass of the season with under a minute left to give the team the win.
McElroy ended his career with four two-interception games.
McElroy's pick was his 14th and 15th of his career, surpassing Korey Lindsey and moving into sole possession of the third most career interceptions in school history.
McElroy's pick-six was the first defensive touchdown of the year for SIU and the first pick-six since Luke Thuston returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown against Northern Iowa last year.
Jewel Hampton became the 19th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Hampton finished the game with 178 yards on 35 carries, giving him 1,121 yards on the season.
Hampton's total marks the 12th time in 13 years that a Saluki back has rushed for 1,000 yards.
Three players in school history have rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Tom Koutsos rushed for more than 1,000 in three straight seasons between 1999 and 2001. Muhammad Abdulqaadir followed Koutsos with two more 1,000-yard seasons, and Arkee Whitlock followed Abdulqaadir with 1,000 yard seasons in 2005 and 2006. Hampton will try to join the club next year as a senior.
Hampton scored two touchdowns for the fourth straight game. They were Hampton's 16th and 17th rushing touchdown of the season, which pushes him ahead of Andre Herrera (1976) and Karlton Carpenter (1998), who both had 16 touchdowns, for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in a single season with 17.
Hampton scored in eight of the 11 games and now has 24 touchdowns in 26 career games, which includes 15 games at the University of Iowa.
Hampton had career highs for carries (35) and yards (178).
After posting a second-half shutout against Eastern Illinois, SIU didn't allow a point in the first half against Indiana State. The four-quarter stretch without allowing a point was the longest of the season. The Salukis didn't post four straight shutout quarters in 2010.
Kenneth Boatright had seven tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Boatright finished the season strong. After not recording a TFL in either of the first two games, Boatright had 13.5 in the final nine games and was held without a TFL in only one of the last nine games.
In the last three games of the season, Boatright piled up 7.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks.
Connor James recorded a career high 2.5 tackles for loss in the last game of his collegiate career.
Head coach Dale Lennon passed Carmen Piccone and is alone in sixth place in school history in career coaching wins. Lennon earned his 29th win. He is one win behind tying Dick Towers for fifth and two wins from tying Abe Martin for fourth.
Lennon moved to 9-6 against top-25 teams.
The Salukis have scored 30 or more points in four straight games.
After starting the year with four consecutive 200-yard rushing games, Southern went three straight games without rushing for more than 105 yards. Since then, SIU racked up three straight 200-yard rushing games to finish the season.
Southern Illinois leads the series with Indiana State, 26-23.
Steve Strother is second in school history with 746 kickoff return yards in 2011. Strother had six returns of 35 yards or more in 2011, and his kickoff return average (27.3 before the Indiana State game) leads the MVFC by more than 2.5 yards per return, which is even more impressive if you consider he hasn't broken a return longer than 56 yards. Every other Valley player in the top four in kickoff return average has at least a 78-yard return.
SIU lost the last six coin tosses of the season.
Kory Faulkner scored a rushing touchdown for the fourth consecutive game. It was Faulkner's third-straight game with two rushing touchdowns.
Faulkner now has seven rushing touchdowns on the season and five passing touchdowns.
Shakir Bell came into the game averaging 153.3 yards per game, more than 20 yards per game better than anyone else in the FCS. SIU held him 137 yards before he left the game with an injury with three minutes left in the game. SIU also held him under his yards per carry
Indiana State defensive lineman Ben Obaseki has been trouble for opposing offenses. Obaseki had racked up 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks before the SIU game. The Salukis held Obaseki to three total tackles, and he didn't record a tackle for loss or a sack.