Salukis head to Fargo Saturday to face No. 3 North Dakota State

    Anthony Thompson returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown against Youngstown State, SIU's second straight game with a 100-yard defensive play.

    Anthony Thompson returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown against Youngstown State, SIU's second straight game with a 100-yard defensive play.
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    Oct. 22, 2012

    SIU Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader | NDSU Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    What: Southern Illinois (5-3, 4-1) at No. 3 North Dakota State (6-1, 3-1)
    Where: Fargo Dome; Fargo, N.D.
    When: 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 27
    Radio: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky
    TV: Fox College Sports (DirecTV Ch. 626/AT&T U-Verse C. 648) with Brian Shawn (play-by-play), Lee Timmerman and Kevin Feeney
    Stream: Saluki All-Access
    Live Stats:

    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 has not thrown an interception in his 71 pass attempts over the last three games. His last interception was on his final throw against Indiana State on Sept. 29. He has not thrown a pick in his last 91 road pass attempts, dating back to the Miami (Ohio) game on Sept. 8.

    - In his first 179 passes of the season, Faulkner threw eight picks, one per 22 attempts. The Salukis are 4-0 when Faulkner doesn't throw an interception and 1-3 when he does.

    - Faulkner needs 21 more yards to set a new career high for passing yards in a season. He enters the game with 1,457 passing yards in 2012. He threw for 1,477 yards in 2011.

    - Faulkner has 2,942 career passing yards. Only 10 players in school history have thrown for 3,000 career yards.

    The Last Meeting
    North Dakota State9
    Southern Illinois3
    October 8, 2011
    Carbondale, Ill.
    North Dakota State rallies to beat Football, 9-3
    North Dakota State didn't get a first down until five minutes were left in the third quarter, but it managed just enough offense to squeak out a 9-3 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday.

    - 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.

    - With six receptions for 93 yards against Youngstown State, sophomore tight end MyCole Pruitt became the 20th player in school history to record 1,000 career receiving yards. He now has 1,017 receiving yards for his career, which puts him at 19th on the all-time list.

    - Pruitt also moved into a tie for 15th place on the school's all-time list with 81 career receptions.

    - With a touchdown reception in each of the last two games, he now has a four on the season, one more than he did as a freshman in 2011. Pruitt's next touchdown reception will give him eight for his career, tying him for 14th place on SIU's career list.

    - David Lewis has recorded at least one catch in 11 consecutive games, dating back to last season. Lewis is the only SIU receiver with at least one catch in every game in 2012.

    - Steve Strother set a career high with six receptions in last week's game at Youngstown State. His previous single-game high was three receptions, which he accomplished seven times in his career.

    - Strother is the 34th player in school history to run for 1,000 yards in a career. He enters the game with 1,319 career rushing yards, good enough for 24th place on the school's all-time list.

    - Strother has 421 rushing yards this season, 46 yards shy of his career-best of 467, which he accomplished as a sophomore in 2010.

    - Strother has 3,063 all-purpose yards in his career. Strother ranks seventh in school history in career all-purpose yards.

    - Southern Illinois has scored with less than 1:10 remaining in the first half in four of its eight games, including each of the last three.

    - 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.

    - Mulku Kalokoh and Anthony Thompson earned Missouri Valley Football Conference Player of the Week honors for special teams and newcomer, respectively. Kalokoh blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown and returned four kickoffs for a total of 65 yards. Thompson recorded SIU's first-ever 100-yard interception return for a touchdown and recovered two fumbles.

    - Thompson earned National Defensive Back of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards for his game at Youngstown State. Defensive back Courtney Richmond, tight end MyCole Pruitt and linebacker Tyler Williamson all earned honorable mention nods from the CFPA for their respective positions.

    - Southern has recorded a 100-yard defensive play in each of the last two weeks. Bryan Presume returned a fumble 100 yards against Northern Iowa, and Anthony Thompson returned an interception 100 yards against Youngstown State. Southern Illinois is the only school in MVFC history to record 100-yard defensive plays in back-to-back weeks.

    - Before the Northern Iowa game, SIU had only one 100-yard play in its 936-game history--JerMarsh Robinson's 100-yard kickoff return in 2000. Southern has recorded a 100-yard play in each of the last two games.

    - Southern also scored on offense, defense and special teams for the second-straight week. Southern had never previously scored in all three phases in back-to-back weeks.

    - SIU scored three non-offensive touchdowns against Youngstown State, the first time the Salukis had done that since returning a fumble, interception and blocked punt against SEMO in 2005.

    - The Saluki defense is tied for first in the country with 13 fumble recoveries and tied for third nationally with 21 forced turnovers.

    - Against Youngstown State, SIU forced five turnovers. The Salukis hadn't forced five turnovers in a game since 2009. In the Dale Lennon and Bubba Schweigert era, Southern has forced five or more turnovers five times.

    - The Salukis have shut out their opponent in five of the last 12 halves of play, including a second-half shutout at Youngstown State and a 17-0 shutout win over Illinois State.

    - Fifteen players on the Saluki defense have recorded at least 20 tackles. Seven players have recorded an interception. Nine players have recorded a sack. Sixteen different players have recorded at least a half-tackle-for-loss. Ten different players have recovered a fumble, and 11 different players have forced a fumble.

    - Southern is tied for second in the conference in sacks (2.9 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 22nd nationally in tackles for loss (7.0 per game).

    - Bryan Presume earned National Linebacker of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards for his game against Northern Iowa, 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.

    - Presume leads the team with 53 tackles through eight games, already eclipsing SIU's 2011 tackles leader. Kayon Swanson led the team with 52 total tackles in 11 games last year.

    - 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

    - 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. Even after allowing Youngstown State to convert nine of 15 third downs, SIU is 14th nationally in third-down conversion defense (31.09 percent).

    - In the last 22 games, only six SIU opponents have compiled more than 400 yards of total offense.

    - The Saluki defense has at least one sack in 23 consecutive games and 36 of the last 37 games. In those 35 games, Southern has avoided being sacked six times.

    - Jayson DiManche has 32.0 career tackles for loss, tying him for fifth in school history. DiManche passed SIU great Bart Scott with a half-TFL against Indiana State earlier this season.

    - 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. Thompson's interception return against Youngstown State gave the Salukis multiple interceptions returned for touchdowns for the first time since recording four pick-sixes in 2009.

    - After failing to pick off a pass in the first three games, Southern Illinois has recorded eight interceptions in the last five games.

    - Southern has blocked a punt and returned it for it for a touchdown in three straight weeks. SIU had never previously returned three blocked punts for a touchdown in a season, much less three consecutive weeks.

    - Steve Strother is in 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.

    - Only 27 of Pucylowski's 106 punts since the start of the 2011 season have been returned. Only 11 of his 52 punts in 2012 have been returned, and opponents have totaled 11 total yards on those returns. Southern Illinois leads the nation in punt return defense.

    - The Salukis are 13th nationally in net punting (38.3).

    - Austin Johnson hit a game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining against Northern Iowa and went 1-for-1 against Youngstown State. After starting the season 0-for-3 on field goals, Johnson has hit five of his last six and four in a row.

    - Chris Adams only had nine touchbacks on 55 kickoffs last year, but he already has 12 in 2012.

    - LaSteven McKinney has led SIU to a 12.7 yards per punt return average, which ranks second in the conference. North Dakota State is first.

    - SIU has won its first three conference road games for the sixth time in the last ten years.

    - Dating back to the last road game of 2011, Southern has won four straight conference road games, the most since winning seven straight conference road games in 2007 and 2008.

    - Defending national champion North Dakota State is ranked No. 3 in the FCS Coaches Poll and Sports Network poll this week. The Bison spent the majority of the season at No. 1 in both polls before losing 17-14 to Indiana State. NDSU threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in the loss.

    - North Dakota State ranks first in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in scoring, total offense, third-down conversion percentage, scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, opponent third-down conversion percentage, opponent fourth-down conversion percentage and punt return average.

    - The Bison lead the nation in total defense by nearly 90 yards per game over second-place Georgia Southern (185.7 yards allowed per game to 274.7). The Bison also lead the nation in passing defense, scoring defense, third-down conversion percentage defense, first-down defense (10.3 per game) and time of possession.

    - In last year's 9-3 Bison win, Southern Illinois held NDSU without a first down until four minutes remained in the third quarter. The Salukis also blocked an extra point, but they couldn't punch in a touchdown on three carries from the one-yard line and failed to score a touchdown that could have won the game.

    - The two teams have only met six total times. The Bison joined the MVFC in 2008, and the teams have played annually since, with NDSU winning three of the four matchups. Before NDSU joined the conference, Southern won matchups in 1963 and 2005.

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

    - Three weeks ago, Southern was 2-3 and was facing the preseason top four teams in the conference in the next four weeks, with three of those games being on the road. So far in that stretch, SIU is 3-0. All four teams (Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Youngstown State, North Dakota State) reached the top-10 nationally at some point during the season.

    - 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 wins over Northern Iowa and Youngstown State, Lennon has 34 and needs 20 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.