Football travels to South Dakota State on Saturday

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    Nov. 1, 2011

    By John Lock

    Complete Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    Game Day Quick Facts
    RADIO: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky on WVZA 105.1-FM in Carbondale. Other radio affiliates in the PDF at the top of the page.
    VIDEO STREAMING: (Premium)

    Southern Illinois travels to Brookings, S.D. for a matchup with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m....Fans can listen to the game on the Saluki Sports Network with the call of Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis, who will be joined by Gene Green and Joel Sambursky. Tune into WVZA 105.1 in Carbondale to hear Reis' call...The 2011 season marks the 99th year of football at Southern Illinois and the 96th season fielding a team (SIU did not have teams in 1918, 1920 and 1943 because of the World Wars)...SIU, first in the MVFC in passing defense is the only team in the conference to allow fewer than 200 yards per game passing, but SDSU leads the conference in passing offense by more than 65 yards per game..Jayson DiManche has climbed into the top 20 in school history in career tackles for loss...Head coach Dale Lennon needs one win to tie Carmen Piccone for the sixth most victories in school history with 28.

    Saluki Headlines
    • The final total of pledged funds for Black Out Cancer Jerseys is $89,890. A total including donations and merchandise sales will be announced next week.
    Paul McIntosh will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
    • Faulkner's 78.3% completion percentage on Saturday was the fifth most accurate game for a quarterback in Saluki history.

    For Starters...
    The Saluki defense has recorded at least one sack in 11 consecutive games and 24 of the last 25. Coming into last Saturday's contest, Illinois State had only given up three sacks in eight games on the season, but junior Kayon Swanson got to quarterback Matt Brown and forced a fumble, picking up a sack in the process. In that 25-game stretch, the Saluki D has gotten three or more sacks 10 times, including three times this season. Western Illinois has been the biggest victim of the past three years, getting sacked 14 times in the last three matchups with SIU. SDSU was the only team in the last 25 games to avoid a sack, which they did in last year's contest. The most sacks SIU has picked up in the last three years has been six, which they recorded against South Dakota State in 2009.

    The South Dakota State Jackrabbits
    South Dakota State is coming off a thrilling 43-36 overtime win against Missouri State. The Jackrabbits sit 3-6 on the season and 2-4 in the MVFC. After a season opening win against Southern Utah, the Jacks lost six of their next seven before last week's win. SDSU uses a potent passing attack against opposing defenses. SDSU rushes for only 81.7 yards per game, which is last in the conference. On the other side, the Jacks pass for 290.9 yards per game, which leads the conference by more than 65 yards per game.

    Redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Sumner leads the passing attack. He averages better than 230 yards per game passing and has nearly 1,500 yards through the air. Against Missouri State last week, Sumner threw for a career high 377 yards--the fourth time in five games he has thrown for more than 300 yards. For the effort he earned his second MVFC Newcomer of the Week nod. Dale Moss leads a talented and deep receiving corps. Moss is one of three Jacks averaging more than 50 yards per game receiving. Last week, Moss hauled in seven passes for 178 yards, earning MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the effort.

    SIU vs. SDSU - The Series
    The series between South Dakota State and Southern Illinois has been a short one. The teams have played each of the last three years, but the 2008 meeting was the first ever between the schools. The Salukis won the first two matchups but lost last year at home, 31-10. SIU head coach Dale Lennon is 6-2 against the Jacks, going 2-1 while at SIU and 4-1 while head coach of North Dakota.

    Last year, SDSU ended SIU's 13-game home conference winning streak in convincing fashion. Kyle Minett ran 30 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Jacks to the upset over then-No. 15 SIU. The Jackrabbits jumped out to a 31-3 lead before SIU could get anything going offensively. SIU held SDSU to 103 yards passing but couldn't overcome 194 yards on the ground from the Jacks. The Salukis didn't record a sack in last year's matchup--the only time in the last 25 games that SIU didn't record at least one sack. The year before, in 2009, the Salukis recorded six sacks. That year, which has been the only previous matchup in Brookings, S.D., between the schools, SIU and SDSU were both ranked in the top 10, and the Salukis came away with a 34-15 win.

    Faulkner records historic passing game against Illinois State
    Kory Faulkner put his name in the record books with his performance against Illinois State. Faulkner was 29-37 with 334 yards passing and one touchdown against the Redbirds. He added 44 yards and another touchdown on the ground. The Salukis had never had a player pass for more than 300 yards under head coach Dale Lennon. Nick Hill's 436-yard game against Northern Iowa in 2007 was the only other 300-yard performance since 1999, and Faulkner's 334 yards tied Brian Downey for the ninth-most passing yards in a game in school history. Faulkner's completion percentage (29-37, 78.4%) was fifth-best all-time among Saluki quarterbacks with a minimum of 20 attempts.

    Faulkner's total offense total (378 yards) is the fifth-best single-game total of all time, and he is only the third player in school history to record more than 375 yards total offense in a single game. Nick Hill's 2007 game against Northern Iowa leads the way, followed by three 1999 games by Sherard Poteete. Faulkner accounted for 93% of SIU's total offensive output.

    After throwing his fifth interception in three games during the first quarter of the Youngstown State game, Faulkner hasn't thrown an interception since; he has gone 82 throws since his last interception, and he has thrown two touchdown passes in that time. The last two games mark only the second time in the last four years that SIU has gone back-to-back games without an interception, the other being the second and third games of the 2009 season against Southwest Baptist and North Dakota State, respectively.

    Black Out Cancer jerseys raise nearly $90,000
    Bidding for Black Out Cancer jerseys ended Sunday at 11:59 p.m. In total, the top 80 bids added to $89,890, all of which will go to the American Cancer Society. The bidding saw a lot of action in the last week; the top 80 bids' total increased more than $25,000 in the last week of bidding alone. There were 34 bids of $1,000 or more, including 13 bids of $2,000 or more. The lowest bid that will be awarded a jersey is $600.

    DiManche among top 20 in tackles for loss
    With 1.5 tackles for loss against Illinois State, junior linebacker Jayson DiManche jumped into the top 20 in school history for career tackles for loss. DiManche leads the team with 10.5 tackles for loss in 2011--3.5 more than anyone else. He has 23.0 career tackles for loss, which puts him 19th on the career list. DiManche needs just five more TFLs to break the top 10 on the list. If he wants to break the school record, he'll have his work cut out for him. Bryan Archibald collected 48.0 TFLs between 1998 and 2001, which is 6.5 more than anyone else in school history. DiManche is 5.0 TFLs away from breaking into the single-season school TFL record list. DiManche has recorded a TFL in six of the eight games this season, including three multiple-TFL games early in the season.

    Fuller leads balanced receiving corps
    Senior wideout Cam Fuller averages 66.2 yards per game receiving, which ranks eighth in the conference. But the receiving corps has proved much deeper than Fuller, who had 100-yard receiving games in two of the season's first three games. MyCole Pruitt has emerged as a favorite target of quarterback Kory Faulkner. Of Pruitt's 30 receptions this season, 19 of them have come in the last three weeks, including career highs of eight receptions and 124 yards against Youngstown State. John Lantz set a new career high with seven receptions against Illinois State. Seven Saluki receivers average double-digit receiving yards this season, and nine players have caught a pass of 15 yards or more. Five Salukis have caught touchdown passes, and those catches were the first of the respective career for all five--MyCole Pruitt, Luke Standiford, David Lewis and Rik Hicks.

    Fuller passed 500 career receiving yards early in the Illinois State game. He now has 585 career receiving yards, 530 of which have come this season. He is the only receiver with more than one touchdown catch, and he got both TD receptions in the first two weeks of the season. He put up 92 yards against Illinois State, which was his most receiving yards since the third week of the season against Missouri State.

    Strother leads kick return unit
    Steve Strother has proved a dangerous kick returner for the Salukis. Against WIU, Strother returned five kicks for 136 yards, including a 45-yarder he nearly broke for a touchdown. NDSU kicked twice to Mulku Kalokoh, but after he nearly got loose on a 36-yard return, they kicked short on their final kickoff. Youngstown State kicked deep to Strother five times. Strother had returns of 38, 39 and 56 yards before the Penguins kicked short on their final attempt. Strother was twice one man away from taking a kickoff back against YSU, but he couldn't evade the final tackler. For their effort, the entire "house" unit--the kickoff return unit--was given the team's special teams player of the week after the YSU game.

    Strother is climbing the Saluki record books in kick returns. Strother has 544 kick return yards in 2011, which is the fifth best single-season total in school history. He is only 48 yards away from second place and 212 yards away from Craig Turner's school record of 756, which he set in 2007. Strother's 544 yards in 2011 boost his career total to 965, which places him seventh in career kickoff return yards in school history. He is just 145 yards from the top five and 697 yards away from Billy Swain's school record. Strother, a junior, still has three games in 2011 and the entire 2012 season to break the record.