Salukis square off with No. 15/16 Youngstown State on the road Saturday

    Freshman Austin Johnson kicked a game-winning field goal against UNI.

    Freshman Austin Johnson kicked a game-winning field goal against UNI.
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    Oct. 15, 2012

    What: Southern Illinois (4-3, 3-1) at Youngstown State (4-2, 1-2)
    Where: Stambaugh Stadium; Youngstown, Ohio
    When: 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
    Radio: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky
    Video: WSIU and ESPN3 with Chad Krispinsky (pbp) and Dave Sess (analyst)

    The Last Meeting
    Youngstown State (Homecoming)35
    Southern Illinois23
    October 15, 2011
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Big second half lifts Youngstown State to 35-23 win over Football
    Youngstown State exploded for 28 second-half points to rally for a 35-23 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday.

    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.

    Southern Illinois went on a 19-play, 8:55 scoring drive to kick the game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining against Northern Iowa. This was the longest drive of the season in terms of both plays and time consumed.

    -Steve Strother compiled 101 all-purpose yards against Northern Iowa, giving him exactly 3,000 for his career. Strother ranks seventh in school history in career all-purpose yards.

    -Kory Faulkner led the team in rushing with a career-best 73 yards. His 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter was his longest career rush and first rushing TD of the season.

    -Faulkner’s 80 percent completion percentage against Northern Iowa (16-20) was tied for the seventh-best single-game completion percentage in school history. He was an honorable mention for the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback of the Week.



    -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 in the game. 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.

    -LaSteven McKinney tied a career high against Northern Iowa with eight receptions. McKinney hadn’t recorded any receptions in either of the previous two weeks. He matched his eight receptions he had in the season opener against Eastern Illinois.

    -Strother is the 33rd player in SIU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. Strother now has 1,285 career rushing yards.

    -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 13 games and 11 of the last 15, dating back to last season.

    -Pruitt moved into the top 20 on the SIU career receptions list against Illinois State. He now has 75 career catches, placing him 18th in school history. The sophomore is just 24 catches away from moving into the top 10.

    -Pruitt didn’t record a reception against Missouri State, the only time in his 18-game career he didn’t record at least one catch. In 2012, Pruitt is the only Saluki with more than one touchdown reception; he has three.

    -David Lewis is the only SIU player with at least one reception in each game this season.  Lewis has recorded a reception in 10 straight games dating back to last season, the longest streak on the team.

    -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.

    -Illinois State (3) and Northern Iowa (4) had each allowed fewer than four sacks all season before facing Southern Illinois. The Salukis recorded three sacks against Illinois State and five sacks against Northern Iowa. 

    -Southern is tied for first in the conference and seventh in the nation in sacks (3.1 per game). Seniors Kenneth Boatright, Jayson DiManche, and Eze Obiora are in the top-10 in the conference in both sacks and tackles for loss. SIU is tied for 15th nationally in tackles for loss (7.29 per game).

    -Linebacker Bryan Presume returned a fumble 100 yards for a touchdown against Northern Iowa, the longest fumble return in school history. Only one other time in school history had Southern recorded a 100-yard play. The other occasion was JerMarsh Robinson's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Indiana State in 2000.

    -Presume earned National Linebacker of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards for his game, becoming the second SIU player to earn a weekly honor from the CFPA. Eze Obiora earned National Defensive Lineman of the Week honors from the CFPA after posting 3.0 sacks against Eastern Illinois.

    -After forcing seven turnovers in the last two weeks, SIU is tied for 14th nationally in turnovers gained with 16. The Salukis are tied for fifth in the country with 10 fumbles recovered.

    -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 21 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 in five games before facing SIU, and the Salukis picked off ISU quarterback Matt Brown four times.

    -Southern Illinois held Illinois State to 0-for-12 on third-down conversions on Oct. 6 and Northern Iowa to 4-13 last Saturday, vaulting SIU into fifth place nationally in third-down conversion defense (26.92 percent).

    -In the last 21 games, only six SIU opponents have compiled more than 400 yards of total offense.

    -The Saluki defense has at least one sack in 22 consecutive games and 35 of the last 36 games. In those 35 games, Southern has avoided being sacked six times.

    -Jayson DiManche has 31.0 career tackles for loss, tying him for sixth in school history. 

    -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.

    -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 moved into third place in school history with 1,404 career kick return yards. He is also currently third in school history in kick return average, averaging 24.6 yards per return. Larry Warner averaged 26.93 yards per return in 2008 and 2009. 

    -LaSteven McKinney is averaging 8.1 yards per punt return, which leads the conference. 

    -Only 24 of Pucylowski’s 99 punts since the start of the 2011 season have been returned. 

    -Southern has blocked a punt and returned the block for a touchdown in consecutive games. 

    -Southern has only allowed nine punt return yards this season on eight attempted returns. The Salukis are 11th nationally in net punting (38.6). 

    -Austin Johnson hit a game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining against Northern Iowa. After starting the season 0-for-3 on field goals, Johnson has hit four of his last five.

    -Chris Adams only had nine touchbacks on 55 kickoffs last year, but he already has 11 in 2012.

    -SIU is 2-2 on the road in 2012. After dropping the first two games of the season at Eastern Illinois and Miami (OH), the Salukis have won back-to-back road games to open MVFC play. SIU hadn’t won back-to-back MFVC road games since 2009.

    -Youngstown State is coming off back-to-back losses after climbing to as high as No. 3 in both national polls. The Guins couldn’t beat No. 1 North Dakota State a second straight year in the Fargo Dome, falling 48-7. The Illinois State Redbirds upset YSU last week in Normal, Ill.

    -Youngstown’s offense ranks in the top three in the conference in five offensive categories, including the second-best rushing attack in the conference with 207.8 yards per game. Jamaine Cook leads the rushing attack with 110.3 yards per game. Cook rushed for the most yards of any SIU opponent in 2011, gaining 185 yards to lead Youngstown to a 35-23 victory.

    -Kurt Hess leads a balanced passing attack. Hess averages 180.5 yards per game through the air, and seven different receivers average double-digit receiving yards per game.

    -After Southern Illinois tied the series at 10 wins apiece in 2009, the Penguins have won two straight to lead the series 12-10-1. YSU leads the series in games played in Youngstown, 7-4.

    -SIU received 45 points in last week’s Sports Network Poll. Despite beating Northern Iowa, 34-31, and Illinois State upsetting Youngstown State, the Salukis drew only six points in the most recent Sports Network Poll.

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

    -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. After a win over Northern Iowa, Lennon now needs 21 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.