#1 Southern Illinois Salukis (9-1, 8-0 MVFC)
at Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (2-8, 1-7 OVC)
Saturday, Nov. 21 • 1:00 p.m. CT
Houck Stadium (10,000) • Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Live Stats: none
Series Record: Southeast Missouri leads 36-30-8
Last Meeting: Southern Illinois leads 58-23 (9/1/05)
Dale Lennon at Southern Illinois: 18-4 (2 yrs.)
Dale Lennon Overall: 120-37 (13 yrs.)
Tony Samuel at Southeast Missouri: 13-31 (4 yrs.)
Tony Samuel Overall: 47-88 (11 yrs.)
Southern Illinois Last Week: W, 44-24 vs. Missouri State
Southeast Missouri Last Week: W, 49-13 vs. Murray State
GAME NOTES: Two regional rivals whose campuses are separated by less than 50 miles are renewing their rivalry (which dates back to 1913) after a three-year break. Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois have played 74 times prior, with Southeast holding a slight edge in the series. Interesting enough the series is deadlocked at 18-5-4 in SEMO’s advantage both in Cape Girardeau and Carbondale. SIU has won the last three in the series and did so in convincing fashion, winning by a combined margin of 128-33. Prior to those three victories, Southeast Missouri won three straight from 2000-02. In the last meeting in 2005, SIU jumped out to a 23-0 advantage and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to win 58-23. The Salukis rushed for 197 yards and passes for 348 in the win. Southern Illinois is the first No. 1 team in the country to visit Houck Stadium since undefeated Tennessee State paid a visit on Nov. 20, 1999 (a game TSU won 35-28).
SCOUTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Southern Illinois enters the week as the No. 1 team in the Sports Network Top 25 poll (SIU is No. 2 in the FCS Coaches Poll). The Salukis lost their season-opener by three points (31-28) at Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foe Marshall and have not lost since, winning nine straight and going undefeated in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. SIU has won 14 straight MVFC games, a new conference record. SIU is also winning by big margins, as only two of their nine wins have come by 10 or fewer points and seven of the nine wins have come by 19 or more points. The Salukis are led by All-American running back candidate Deji Karim, who has rushed for 1,357 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He is third nationally in rushing (135.6 yards/game) and had 273 yards rushing in a win over Illinois State earlier this season; that performance is tops in the country this season.
SCOUTING SOUTHEAST MISSOURI: Southeast Missouri got the monkey off its back on Saturday, snapping an eight-game losing streak by topping Murray State 49-13 at home. The win was the first since the season opener for SEMO and prevented the first winless OVC season in program history. It also marked only the seventh win over the Racers in 44 total meetings. The win came after playing nearly every opponent on its schedule tough this season, as the team’s last seven losses had come by an average of 11.3 points, with four of them coming by 10 points or less. The Redhawks, who rank second in the OVC in rushing (and 16th nationally), used that attack to topple Murray State. The team rushed for 302 total yards, the first time since the 2006 season the team had 300 or more rushing yards in a game. Mike Jones led the way with 113 yards and two touchdowns, Henry Harris added 99 yards and two scores and quarterback Matt Scheible had 48 yards rushing and a score. Scheible also completed 6-of-12 passes for 188 yards and two scores. Wide receiver Chantae Ahamefule caught only three passes, but two of them were for touchdowns as he netted 150 receiving yards (including a 75-yard scoring strike). The 49 points was the most by the Redhawks in an OVC contest since the 2005 season.