Salukis will host Northern Iowa for homecoming on Saturday

    Sophomore MyCole Pruitt has 73 career receptions.

    Sophomore MyCole Pruitt has 73 career receptions.
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    Oct. 8, 2012

    SIU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | UNI Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    What: Northern Iowa (1-4, 0-2) at Southern Illinois (3-3, 2-1)
    Where: Saluki Stadium; Carbondale, Ill.
    When: 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012
    Radio: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky
    Video Stream: Salukis All-Access

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois 10
    Northern Iowa 17
    October 22, 2011
    Cedar Falls, Iowa
    Football comes up short at Northern Iowa, 17-10
    Northern Iowa stopped Southern Illinois on four-straight plays at the UNI 28 with 1:24 remaining in the game and held on for a 17-10 victory.

    Saluki Sports Network // Radio Network Affiliates
    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.

    - Kory Faulkner threw for 384 yards against Southeast Missouri State earlier this year, 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 earlier this season. Nick Hill threw for an SIU-record 436 yards against Northern Iowa in 2007.

    Faulkner has three career 250-yard passing games, one away from tying him with five others for fifth-most in school history.

    Faulkner is fifth in the MVFC in passing yards with 189.5 yards/game. He threw for 872 yards in his first three games of the year for an average of 290.6 per game and has thrown for 265 total yards in his last three games.

    - Mika'il McCall is tied for third in the conference in scoring, averaging 8.0 points per game. McCall has scored eight touchdowns, seven of which came in the first three weeks of the season.

    - McCall is ninth in the conference in rushing (63.3 yards/game), and Steve Strother is 10th in the conference in all-purpose yards with 98.2 per game.

    - McCall and Strother have combined for 158 carries and 704 rushing yards rushing (117.3 yards/game). That is an average of 4.5 yards per attempt.

    - Strother is the 33rd player in SIU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. Strother now has 1,222 career rushing yards.

    - Strother is ninth on the school's all-time list with 2,899 all-purpose yards in his career. Only five players in school history have reached 3,000 all-purpose yards in a career.

    - MyCole Pruitt led the team with four receptions for 55 yards against Illinois State. Pruitt has recorded at least four receptions in 10 of the last 12 games and 11 of the last 14, dating back to last season.

    - Pruitt moved into the top 20 on the SIU career receptions list last Saturday. He now has 73 career catches, tied with Johnny Roots for 19th all-time. Three catches against UNI would move him into a tie for 16th.

    - Pruitt is third in the conference with 30 receptions and ninth in the conference in receiving yards (55.0 yards/game). He has led the team in recpetions in nine of the last 14 games, dating back to last season.

    - Pruitt didn't record a reception against Missouri State, the only time in his 17-game career he didn't record at least one catch.

    - David Lewis and Mika'il McCall are the only SIU players with at least one reception in each game this season.

    -Tyler Williamson was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Illinois State. He led the team with seven tackles and recorded a sack and his first career interception. He had 2.0 tackles for loss in the game

    - Southern has allowed fewer than 305 yards of total offense in nine of its last 20 games, dating back to the end of the 2010 season. Southern held Southeast Missouri State, Indiana State and Illinois State to 186, 255 and 257 yards, respectively, in 2012.

    - Illinois State had only thrown three interceptions and allowed three sacks in five games before facing the Salukis. Southern sacked ISU three times and intercepted it four times last Saturday.

    Southern Illinois held Illinois State to 0-for-12 on third-down conversions on Saturday, vaulting SIU into third-place nationally in third-down conversion defense (26.37 percent).

    In the last 20 games, only five SIU opponents have compiled more than 400 yards of total offense.

    SIU is in the top 20 nationally in sacks (14th, 2.83/game), tackles for loss (20th, 7.17/game) and rushing defense (18th, 113.17/game). 

    The Saluki defense has at least one sack in 21 consecutive games and 34 of the last 35 games. In those 35 games, Southern has avoided being sacked six times.

    Eze Obiora (t-18), Jayson DiManche (t-39) and Kenneth Boatright (t-39) are all in the top 40 nationally in sacks. Conference foe South Dakota State is the only other team in the nation with three players among the top 40 nationally in sacks.

    Jayson DiManche has 30.0 career tackles for loss, tying him for eighth in school history. Another half-tackle for loss would move him into seventh place and a full tackle for loss would move him into sixth place.

    Kenneth Boatright, Eze Obiora and Jayson DiManche are all in the top 10 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in both sacks and tackles for loss. Southern is the only team in the conference with three players in the top 10 in both categories.

    SIU held Illinois State to 257 yards of total offense, more than 100 yards fewer than ISU's previous season low.

    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) in the season opener, the Saluki defense has surrendered 10 total explosive plays in the last five games. None of SIU's five most recent opponents has manged more than four explosive plays on offense. 

    Eze Obiora earned National Defensive Lineman of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards after his Week 1 performance. Obiora picked up the honor after posting three sacks against Eastern Illinois.

    - Since giving up 79 points in the first two weeks of the season, the Saluki defense has only allowed a total of 44 points in the last four games.

    - Emmanuel Souarin's pick-six in week 4 against Missouri State was SIU's first interception of the season and its first defensive touchdown since Mike McElroy returned an interception for a touchdown at Indiana State in 2011.

    - Steve Strother is currently third in school history in kick return average, averaging 25.1 yards per return. Larry Warner averaged 26.93 yards per return in 2008 and 2009. 

    LaSteven McKinney is averaging 8.3 yards per punt return, which is second in the conference. He is 13th nationally in punt returns among specialists with at least 10 returns in 2012.

    LaSteven McKinney has 398 career punt return yards, sixth most in school history. He needs 37 yards to match Ed Wallner for fifth place and 60 yards to match Gerald Wilson for fourth place. 

    Austin Pucylowski is in his third year as the SIU punter. Pucylowski is averaging 41.6 yards per punt, which is fourth in the conference and 27th nationally. He is second in the conference with 11 punts pinned inside the 20. 

    Only 24 of Pucylowski's 94 punts since the start of the 2011 season have been returned. 

    Southern has only allowed nine punt return yards this season on eight attempted returns. The Salukis are ninth nationally in net punting (39.3). 

    The Illinois State game was SIU's first game of the season without a missed field goal attempt. Austin Johnson was 1-for-1 with a 33-yarder. Johnson has made two of his last three field goal attempts after missing his first three of the season.

    Chris Adams only had nine touchbacks on 55 kickoffs last year, but he already has eight in 2012.

    SIU moved to 7-6 at Saluki Stadium after a 24-3 loss to Indiana State on Sept. 29. Southern is 1-1 at home in 2012.

    Northern Iowa is 1-4 and coming off a bye. The Panthers dropped out of the top 25 in both The Sports Network and the Coaches' Poll this week.

    - Redshirt freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen leads the UNI offense. He averages 257.0 yard per game and is tied with Illinois State's Matt Brown for the conference lead with 11 touchdown passes compared to only three interceptions.

    UNI is fifth in the MVFC in total offense (371.0 yards/game) and seventh in total defense (365.6 yards/game). The Panthers are ninth in the conference in passing defense (212.4 yards/game).

    The home team is 14-1 in the SIU-UNI series since 1997. The only road win for either team in that time was SIU's win at the UNI-Dome in 2009.

    - Southern trails the all-time series, 16-14, but leads the series, 11-4, in Carbondale. The home team is 23-7 in the all-time series.

    SIU received 45 points in this week's Sports Network Poll.

    SIU has won three of its last four games, something the Salukis had not accomplished since their 11-game winning streak in 2009.

    - After this week SIU's next three opponents are ranked in The Sports Network's top-25. Southern faced six straight ranked teams at the end of the 2005 season. SIU went 4-2 in that stretch.

    Head Coach Dale Lennon recorded his 32nd career victory at Southern Illinois against Illinois State, surpassing Abe Martin for the fourth-most in school history. Lennon now needs 22 more wins to match Rey Dempsey (54 wins) for third-place on the school's all-time list.

    - 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.