Eze Obiora is fifth in the nation in sacks.
Oct. 1, 2012
What: Southern Illinois at No. 9/11 Illinois State
Where: Hancock Stadium; Normal, Ill.
When: 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
Radio: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky
TV: Mediacom with Scott Warmann (play-by-play) and Danan Hughes
Saluki Sports Network // Radio Network Affiliates
- With 137 yards on Saturday against Indiana State, Kory Faulkner surpassed 2,500 yards for his career. He now has 2,549, which ranks 13th in school history. Faulkner has started the last 12 games behind center for the Salukis and needs 498 more yards to crack the top ten.
- Faulkner compiled 130 yards in total offense against Indiana State, moving him above the 2,500-yard mark for his career. Faulkner has 2,542 career total offensive yards.
- Kory Faulkner had a then-career day last year against Illinois State. He led the team in both passing (334 yards) and rushing (44 yards) and accounted for the then-fifth-most total offense yards in school history (378 yards).
- Faulkner surpassed those numbers when he threw for 384 yards against Southeast Missouri State earlier this season, the third-highest single-game passing total in school history. He also rushed for 15 yards. His 399 yards of total offense are the fourth most in a single game in school history. Faulkner now holds two of the top six single-game total offense marks in school history.
- Since 1999, a Saluki quarterback has thrown for more than 315 yards only three times. Kory Faulkner accounts for two of those occasions. Faulkner threw for 334 yards against Illinois State last year and 384 against SEMO last week. Nick Hill threw for an SIU-record 436 yards against Northern Iowa in 2007. Faulkner is third in the conference in passing in 2012 (212.8 yards/game).
- Faulkner has three career 250-yard passing games, one away from tying him with five others for fifth-most in school history.
- Mika'il McCall is tied for the third in the conference in scoring, averaging 8.4 points per game. McCall has scored seven touchdowns, all of which came in the first three weeks of the season. He is tied for 30th nationally in scoring and tied for 20th among position players.
- McCall is ninth in the conference in rushing (65.6 yards/game), and Steve Strother is 10th in the conference in all-purpose yards with 102.2 per game.
- Steve Strother became the 33rd player in SIU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. Strother now has 1,147 career rushing yards.
- MyCole Pruitt led the team with seven receptions for 65 yards against SEMO. Pruitt has recorded at least four receptions in nine of the last 11 games and 10 of the last 13, dating back to last season.
- Pruitt has led the team in recpetions in eight of the last 13 games, dating back to last season.
- Pruitt didn't record a reception against Missouri State, the only time in his 16-game career he didn't record at least one catch.
- Southern has gone 1-for-26 on third-down conversions in the last two weeks. Southern went 0-for-13 on third downs against Missouri State and still won, 14-6.
- Southern set a Saluki Stadium record with 565 yards of total offense against SEMO. SIU outgained SEMO 212 yards to four in the first quarter and 364 to 30 in the first half. Against SEMO, Southern Illinois racked up 272 yards of total offense and 21 points before the Redhawks obtained a single first down.
- Senior Eze Obiora has five sacks in the first five games of the season, which ranks him fifth nationally in sacks per game. Jayson DiManche is tied for 19th nationally with 4.0 sacks in five games.
- Southern has allowed fewer than 305 yards of total offense in eight of its last 19 games, dating back to the end of the 2010 season. Southern held Southeast Missouri State and Indiana State to 186 and 255 yards, respectively, in 2012.
- In the same 19 games, SIU has held 14 opponents to fewer than 400 yards of total offense.
- By allowing six points to Missouri State, Southern has now held an opponent to six or fewer points three times in head coach Dale Lennon's tenure.
- The Saluki defense has at least one sack in 20 consecutive games and 33 of the last 34 games, but Illinois State has only allowed three sacks in their five games this season. In those 34 games, Southern has avoided being sacked six times.
- Kenneth Boatright recorded 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Indiana State, vaulting him into the conference lead in TFLs. Boatright has 7.0 tackles for loss, which ties him for 28th nationally. Jayson DiManche is fourth in the conference in tackles for loss (6.5) and Eze Obiora is tied for fifth (5.5). Southern Illinois is the only MVFC team with three players among the top six in the conference in tackles for loss.
- Of the top 10 MVFC players in TFLs, six will be on Hancock Field on Saturday. Illinois State's Colton Underwood, Nate Palmer and Evan Frierson are all on the top-10 list for MVFC tackles for loss. Underwood leads the conference in sacks (5.5) and is tied with Boatright for the lead in tackles for loss (7.0).
- Southern and Illinois State are tied for 18th nationally in tackles for loss. Each team has 36 TFLs in the first five games of the season.
- Southern only allowed SEMO one first down in the first half and 30 yards of total offense. SEMO ranked first in the OVC in rushing yards per game at 238.0 coming into Carbondale but mustered just 113 on 33 attempts against SIU.
- After giving up eight explosive plays to the EIU offense (20 or more yards), the Saluki defense has surrendered six total explosive plays in the last four games. None of SIU's four most recent opponents has manged more than two explosive plays on offense.
- Indiana State's longest pass play on Sept. 29 was nine yards. Southern has only allowed three pass plays of 20 or more yards since Week 1.
- Eze Obiora earned National Defensive Lineman of the Week honors from the College Football Coaches Association after his Week 1 performance. Obiora picked up the honor after posting three sacks against Eastern Illinois.
- Southern has forced nine turnovers on the season, which is tied for third best in the conference, despite forcing no turnovers against Indiana State.
- Emmanuel Souarin's pick-six was the first interception of the season for Southern Illinois. It was also SIU's first defensive touchdown since Mike McElroy returned an interception for a touchdown at Indiana State in 2011.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- Austin Pucylowski set a career high with 11 punts against Missouri State, the second-highest single-game total for a single punter in school history. Steve Mick attempted 12 punts against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1977.
- LaSteven McKinney is averaging 8.9 yards per punt return, which is second in the conference. He is eighth nationally in punt returns among specialists with at least 10 returns in 2012.
- Austin Pucylowski is in his third year as the SIU punter. Pucylowski is averaging 41.4 yards per punt, which is third in the conference and 29th nationally. He is second in the conference with 11 punts pinned inside the 20.
- Only 22 of Pucylowski's 85 punts since the start of the 2011 season have been returned.
- Southern has only allowed five punt return yards this season on seven attempted returns.
- Southern is 10th nationally in net punting (39.2).
- Austin Johnson made SIU's first field goal of the season with a 27-yarder in the first quarter of the Indiana State game. Southern was 0-for-5 on field goals in the first four weeks of the season.
- Chris Adams only had nine touchbacks in 55 kickoffs last year, but he already has eight in 2012.
SALUKIS ON THE ROAD
- Southern has won back-to-back MVFC road games. After beating Indiana State in the season finale last year, the Salukis opened conference play in 2012 with a 14-6 win at Missouri State. Southern last won back-to-back conference road games in the 2009 season.
ILLINOIS STATE REDBIRDS
- Illinois State sits atop the conference and is 5-0--one of 11 teams left in the FCS with an undefeated record. The Redbirds opened conference play with a 23-3 win over Western Illinois and beat MVFC Newcomer South Dakota last week, 34-31.
- Illinois State is led by senior quarterback Matt Brown, who leads the conference and is 10th nationally in passing (273.2 yards/game). Darrelynn Dunn is fourth in the conference in rushing (105.8). Dunn leads the conference in scoring with nine rushing touchdowns.
- Illinois State is second in the conference in total offense (455.2 yards/game) and third in total defense (305.4 yards/game).
- Southern Illinois and Illinois State have met 74 times since 1929, making the series SIU's second-longest series against a single opponent, only three game behind SIU's 77-game series with Southeast Missouri State.
- SIU had won four straight against Illinois State before last year's 38-30 loss in Carbondale. The Salukis have won two straight in Normal, Ill., and three of the last four at Illinois State.
- Southern leads the all-time series 38-33-3 but trails the series 16-18-2 in Normal.
- The Illinois State game marks the start of a four-week stretch for the Salukis. SIU plays the top four preseason teams in the conference in four consecutive weeks, with three of those games being road games.
- Three of SIU's next four games are on the road. SIU will travel to Illinois State, Youngstown State and North Dakota State. Those three teams have a combined 13-0 record and each beat its FBS opponent.
- SIU's next five opponents are ranked in The Sports Network top-25. Southern hasn't faced a five-game stretch of ranked teams since facing six straight ranked teams at the end of the 2005 season.
- Head coach Dale Lennon is tied with Abe Martin for fourth place in school history with 31 career wins. He's 23 wins away from catching the third-place coach on the list, Rey Dempsey.
- 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.
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