Prairie State Pigskin
Salukis remain in Top 10 after first Missouri Valley loss of fall season
today at 5:50 pm
SIU defensive lineman Kevin Glajchen (94) had one of two sacks Saturday in the Salukis’ 23-16 loss to Northern Iowa. (Photo by SIUSalukis.com)
After their first Missouri Valley Football Conference loss of the season – and the only loss to an FCS team this fall – the Southern Illinois Salukis fell from a No. 3 ranking nationally Monday but remained in the Top 10 in both polls.
SIU (6-2 overall, 4-1 MVFC) fell to No. 7 in the STATS Perform media poll and No. 9 in the American Football Coaches’ Association rankings as a result of a 23-16 loss Saturday at Northern Iowa.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge for us to go on the road and get a win against a good football team,” SIU head coach Nick Hill said Monday. “We had a lot of missed opportunities there offensively. We put together some drives but just (didn’t) come away with enough scoring opportunities.”
Despite outgaining the Panthers, 410-285, SIU settled for field goals on three different drives and scored only three points in the entire second half.
Meanwhile, Northern Iowa (5-3) jumped three spots in the media poll to No. 13 and two spots in the coaches’ poll to No. 15.
Sam Houston (7-0) and North Dakota State (8-0) remained in the top two spots in both polls, while James Madison (7-1) took over at No. 3.
Montana State (7-1), Eastern Washington (7-1) and Southeastern Louisiana (7-1) filled out the Nos. 4-6 spots in both polls.
SIU and NDSU do not face each other this fall during the regular season.
The Bison are the only MVFC team without a loss and lead the Salukis by one-half game in the league standings. In order to SIU to gain at least a share of the title, they need NDSU to stumble in one of its remaining games at No. 9 South Dakota State, at Youngstown State or at home in the regular-season finale against No. 23 South Dakota.
“I hope the (MVFC champion) has a loss,” Hill joked. “I’ll be rooting for them to have a loss. You’re always going to have a bad taste in your mouth (after a loss) until you can go back out there and get another win. Hopefully somebody knocks the other team ahead of us off.”
Missouri Valley Football Conference, SIU Salukis, Southern Illinois University
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Blog co-authors Barry Bottino and Dan Verdun bring years of experience covering collegiate athletics. Barry has covered college athletes for more than two decades in his “On Campus” column, which is published weekly by Shaw Media. Dan has written four books about the state’s football programs–“NIU Huskies Football” (released in 2013), “EIU Panthers Football (2014), “ISU Redbirds” (2016) and “SIU Salukis Football” (2017).
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