Kory Faulkner threw for 139 yards with a touchdown through the air and one on the ground.
Aug. 18, 2012
By Scott Gierman
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Both the offense and the defense looked more in sync and showed improvement in SIU's second fall scrimmage of the year.
After allowing multiple completions of over 50 yards in the first scrimmage, the defense tightened up in this week’s contest. The defense shined in the red zone, allowing just three touchdowns. Southern kicked four field goals in the game and also had two field goals blocked.
“I’d have to give the nod to the defense in the red zone,” Coach Dale Lennon said. “We had to settle for a few more field goals than what I was looking for so defensively, I was happy with how they made it difficult for the offense.”
The offense ran a balanced attack with 39 pass attempts and 39 rushing attempts. Quarterback Kory Faulkner took the majority of the snaps and ran the tempo offense with success. He found a nice rhythm on a 75-yard drive during which he completed five consecutive passes and found MyCole Pruit on a corner route for a six-yard touchdown pass.
“We didn’t really have a three and out in the tempo,” Faulkner said, “and it seems like every time we’d get into it, we hit a big play, and then we were right into it again.”
Faulkner finished 14-of-21 for 139 yards and threw the only touchdown pass of the scrimmage. At one point he completed seven passes in a row. He also deceived the entire defense with a perfectly executed fake handoff up the middle and bootlegged right into the end zone untouched for a one-yard score.
David Lewis was Faulkner’s favorite target. He hauled in a team best six catches for 93 yards including a pair of 24-yard receptions.
The defense smothered the running game for much of the morning, holding the offense to just over three yards per attempt. Running backs Steve Strother, Mika’il McCall and Mulku Kalokoh received equal time carrying the ball. They combined for 104 yards on 30 carries.
“I thought our running game was probably average at best,” Lennon said. “We have a tough defense to run against, and that’s always tough to evaluate. I thought our defense did a very good job defending the run, and they made it very difficult for us to establish a consistent run game.”
Strother led the team with 41 yards on 11 rushes. He had the longest run of the day, finding a hole on the right side for a 17-yard gain. He also caught three passes for 12 yards.
McCall ran for 38 yards on 10 carries, and bulldozed his way to a one-yard touchdown run up the middle.
However, the defense didn’t force any turnovers after picking off three passes in the first scrimmage. That was a key for the offense heading into the day.
“One of the biggest things we worked on during the week was not turning the ball over,” Faulkner said. “We didn’t have any fumbles or picks today so that’s something to grow on.”
Lennon was pleased with what he saw in Saturday’s scrimmage but pointed out there is still work to be done in the 12 days remaining before opening the season on the road against Eastern Illinois on Aug. 30.
“Overall it was good give and take,” Lennon said. “Both sides had their moments. For the most part, we’ve identified where we are as a football team. We’ve identified some players we think can play for us. This next week is going to be focused on putting it all together.”