Football heads to Miami (OH) on Saturday

    Mika'il McCall scored three touchdowns in his Saluki debut last Saturday.

    Mika'il McCall scored three touchdowns in his Saluki debut last Saturday.
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    SIU Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Miami (OH) Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    QUICK FACTS
    What: Southern Illinois at Miami (OH)
    Where: Oxford, Ohio; Yager Stadium (24,286)
    When: Noon CT
    TV: ESPN3.com with Michael Reghi (play-by-play) and Rocky Boiman
    Radio: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky

    Saluki Sports Network
    WVZA-FM, 105.1 - Carbondale (Flagship)
    WMOK-AM, 920 AM - Metropolis, Ill.
    WRXX-FM, 95.3 FM - Centralia, Ill.
    WRUL-FM, 97.3 FM - Carmi, Ill.
    WEBQ-FM, 102.3 FM - Harrisburg, Ill.
    KYRX-FM, 97.3 FM - Cape Girardeau, Mo.
    WHCO-AM, 1230 AM - Sparta, Ill.
    KATZ-AM 1600 - St. Louis, Mo.
    WVMC-AM 1360/FM-99.1 - Mt. Carmel, Ill.

    QUICK HITTERS
    - Eze Obiora earned National Defensive Lineman Performer of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards this week. Obiora picked up the honor after posting three sacks against Eastern Illinois.

    - Mika'il McCall had 146 total yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving, last week agaisnt Eastern Illinois. He scored a six-yard touchdown on his third carry as a Saluki.

    - SIU recovered four fumbles against Eastern Illinois. The last time SIU recovered four fumbles in a game was in 2008 against Northern Iowa.

    - Southern beat FBS opponents in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007 against Indiana and Northern Illinois, respectively.

    - Southern is in its 100th year of football and 97th year fielding a team. SIU didn't field a team in 1918, 1920 and 1943 because of the respective world wars.

    OFFENSIVE NOTES
    - For the second year in a row a running back transfer from Iowa scored three touchdowns in his first game playing for SIU. Mika'il McCall did it last Thursday against Eastern Illinois, and Jewel Hampton did it in the 2011 season opener.

    - Kory Faulkner attempted a career high 58 passes last week against Eastern Illinois. That is two shy of the school record set by Scott Gabbert, who threw the ball 60 times in a game against Northern Illinois in 1989. Faulkner also completed a career high 31 passes, fourth most in school history.

    - Mika'il McCall's 74-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the game against Eastern matched the longest play from scrimmage SIU had in 2011 when Steve Strother had a 74-yard run at Ole Miss. The touchdown pass to McCall was also the longest pass of Kory Faulkner's career.

    - Although SIU only ran for a net of 77 yards in the season opener, running backs Mika'il McCall and Steve Strother combined for exactly 100 yards on 23 carries.

    - Last week was the fourth time in Kory Faulkner's career that he completed a pass to at least seven different receivers. His career high is eight, which he accomplished on Oct. 29, 2011 against Illinois State.

    - Mika'il McCall led SIU in rushing yards (56) and receiving yards (90) last week. The last SIU player to lead the team in both rushing and receiving yards in a single game was Jewel Hampton. Hampton did it against Eastern Illinois in 2011 when he had 110 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards.

    - Kory Faulkner threw for 293 yards in the season opener. That was the second highest total of his career. He threw for 334 yards against Illinois State on Oct. 29, 2011.

    DEFENSIVE NOTES
    - Eze Obiora's three sacks against Eastern Illinois were the most by an SIU player since Jayson DiManche recorded three sacks against Western Illinois in 2010.

    - Dating back to the end of last year, Southern Illinois has forced at least three turnovers in four consecutive games and five of the last six.

    - SIU's five sacks were the most sacks in a game for SIU since it sacked Western Illinois five times in both 2010 and 2011. In the Lennon era, Southern has now recorded at least five sacks in five games.

    - The Saluki defense has at least one sack in 16 consecutive games and 29 of the last 30 games.

    - The Salukis held Eastern to less than 100 yards rushing for the second straight game. The Panthers rushed for 79 yards in 2011 and 89 in 2012.

    - Jayson DiManche recorded 2.0 tackles for loss against Eastern Illinois, giving him 25.0 career tackles for loss, 12th in school history. He is only 3.0 TFLs away from breaking into the top-10.

    - Bryan Presume started the first game of his career and responded with a career-high 10 tackles and two forced fumbles. Only Boo Rodgers recorded 10 or more tackles in a game last year.

    - Presume needs just one more forced fumble to join 12 others in SIU history who have recorded three forced fumbles in a season. Ron Geels holds the school record with six forced in 1977. No one else has forced more than four.

    - SIU recovered four fumbles against Eastern Illinois. The last time SIU recovered four fumbles in a game was in 2008 against Northern Iowa.

    - Six starters return on the defensive side of the ball. Preseason All-Conference selections Kenneth Boatright (DE) and Kayon Swanson (DT) lead the group.

    - Swanson and Boatright were the top two tacklers in 2011. Terrell Wilson and Joe Okon also return in 2012, meaning SIU returns its top four tacklers from a year ago.

    - SIU ranks in the top half of the MVFC in rushing defense (3rd), sacks (t-1st), net punting (1st), third-down conversion defense (5th), and fourth-down conversion defense (t-4th). However, SIU ranks last or second to last in scoring defense (9th), total defense (9th) and passing defense (10th).

    - Joe Okon and Jayson DiManche are on the CFPA Linebacker Watch List. Kenneth Boatright and Kayon Swanson both earned spots on the Defensive Line Watch List.

    - Okon and DiManche have started 22 games apiece for SIU, making them the most experienced starters on the team. Terrell Wilson has 15 consecutive starts, the most on the team.

    - Last year against SIU's FBS opponent, Ole Miss, Kayon Swanson recorded eight tackles, 3.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks, earning National Defensive Player of the Week honors and leading a defense that held the Rebels to 315 yards total offense.

    SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
    - Steve Strother is a preseason All-Conference selection after averaging 27.14 yards per kick return in 2011 with SIU. Eastern only kicked deep to Strother twice in seven kicks last week.

    - Strother is currently second in school history in kick return career average, averaging 26.5 yards per return. Larry Warner averaged 26.93 yards per return in 2008 and 09.

    - LaSteven McKinney was second in the conference in punt return average in 2011, averaging 7.6 yards per return. In his three returns in the season opener, McKinney averaged 8.0 yards per return.

    - Austin Pucylowski enters his third year as the SIU punter. Pucylowski averaged 47.5 yards on seven punts in the season opener. None of the seven were returned and three were pinned inside the 20. He also set a career high with  331 net punting yards in the game.

    - Only 16 of Pucylowski's 61 punts since 2011 have been returned.

    - Southern leads the Missouri Valley Football Conference and is fifth nationally in net punting (47.5).

    - True freshman Austin Johnson won the battle at kicker, head coach Dale Lennon announced in the week leading up to the season-opener. Johnson missed his only field goal attempt but was perfect on four extra point attempts against Eastern Illinois.

    FBS RECAPS (2004-PRESENT)
    - 2004 -- Northern Illinois 23, Southern Illinois 22: Joel Sambursky led a two-touchdown rally in the final 10 minutes to bring SIU to within one. After the second touchdown, Jerry Kill, now the head coach at Minnesota, elected to go for a two-point conversion, and the try failed.

    - 2005 -- Western Michigan 34, Southern Illinois 28: Sambursky again led a fourth-quarter comback for SIU. Trailing by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter, Sambursky engineered a touchdown drive. Following a Western Michigan field goal, the Salukis moved the ball into Western Michigan territory but couldn't score the game-winning touchdown.

    - 2006 -- Southern Illinois 35, Indiana 28: Southern Illinois became the first Gateway Conference (now the Missouri Valley Football Conference) school to beat a Big Ten opponent. Trailing by double figures in the second half, SIU rallied and scored four touchdowns in the second half.

    - 2007 -- Southern Illinois 34, Northern Illinois 31: Southern used another fourth-quarter comeback to get its second straight win over an FBS school. Trailing by 17 in the fourth, SIU got an interception return for a touchdown to spark the rally. With four minutes left, SIU took possession down 10 points. SIU scored a touchdown, recovered the onside kick and scored another touchdown with 17 seconds left to get the win.

    - 2008 -- Northwestern 33, Southern Illinois 7: SIU got an early 7-6 lead, but 10 penalties and only 263 yards of total offense were too much to overcome as the Wildcats scored 27 unanswered points to take the win.

    - 2009 -- Marshall 31, Southern Illinois 28: Southern Illinois faced a two-touchdown second-half deficit, and the fourth-quarter rally came up just short in the loss. SIU scored with less than two minutes to play to come within three, but the onside kick attempt failed and Marshall hung on to win.

    - 2010 -- Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3: Illinois held SIU to 46 yards rushing and didn't allow another Saluki comeback. Illinois outgained SIU 407-230.

    - 2011 -- Ole Miss 42, Southern Ilinois 24: Southern Illinois outgained Ole Miss by 105 yards -- the first time since annually playing an FBS school that SIU outgained an FBS school -- but couldn't overcome four costly interceptions. SIU fell behind 21-0 in the first five minutes of the game. After trailing 28-3 at one point, SIU cut it to 35-24. Steve Strother had 116 yards rushing for SIU.

    MISC. NOTES
    - The Salukis didn't receive any first-place votes in the preseason MVFC poll for the first time since 2006. 2012 marks on the second time in the last nine seasons that SIU did not receive a first place vote.

    - Southern Illinois was picked to finish seventh in the MVFC preseason poll. Since 2003, SIU has been picked to finish fifth or worse two times. Each of the previous two times (2003, 08), SIU went on to win a share of the MVFC title.

    - In 2011, SIU finished tied for seventh in the MVFC. Lennon has only finished as low as seventh two other times. The last time Lennon finished seventh, in 2002 with North Dakota, he guided his team to a national runner-up season the following year.

    - SIU has lost seven consecutive coin tosses.

    For complete game notes, open the SIU Game Notes PDF at the top of the page.


     

     

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