Salukis face Redhawks Friday


Jared Treece | @bisalo

SIU head football coach, Nick Hill, speaks on the bullhorn before Saturday’s Saluki Unity run/walk event that brought awareness towards social injustices. The event helped raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois. “We have a long way to go in this country, so anytime we can raise awareness[…] marches and rallies are good to raise awareness, but it’s the action that happens after that,” coach Hill said. As of Monday, Salukis’ Football is to start back up on Oct. 23, despite the SIU’s athletic department postponing the season till the spring of 2021. SIU will open up the season to SEMO at home. This photo was taken on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 at SIU.

The Saluki football season will kick off this Friday night at 7 p.m. when the SEMO Redhawks visit Saluki Stadium.

SIU football head coach Nick Hill spoke on Monday about the team’s excitement to be playing this week; he said the team is “excited to play and thankful for this opportunity, thankful for the administration.”

Hill said preparation has been some different since this is the only game they will be playing during the fall. 


The Redhawks have been an explosive running team the past few seasons and Hill said the defense is expecting a physical game with a lot of running plays from SEMO. 

“We’ve gotta be physical up front, we’ve gotta do that within the structure of our defense and we’ve gotta be opportunistic, we’ve gotta create takeaways,” Hill said 

Hill spoke about running back Javon Williams, who scored 21 touchdowns for the Salukis last season and didn’t have a carry in the opening week matchup against SEMO last season. 

“Obviously Javon’s a playmaker he proved that time and time again last year. He’s gotta get his touches. The best thing about Javon is he can do a lot of things. He can throw the ball, he’s excellent in pass catching and obviously at 250 pounds he’s a tough tackle,” Hill said. 

Hill spoke about the importance of this game being that it’s a matchup between two ranked teams. 

“You’ve got a long time to sit at 0-1 or a long time to sit at 1-0 with a ranked opponent win going into a conference season that is unknown. So this game is extremely important when it comes to fulfilling the goals that this game has,” Hill said.

Hill spoke about his motivation going into the game, and said “We’re 2-2 against them since this coaching staff has been here, there’s been some exciting games, tough games.”


Hill said the team is excited that they finally get to be one of the teams playing after watching other teams play for a while now. 

The Salukis have 33 freshmen this year including redshirts and Hill said he isn’t yet sure how many of them will see playing time this week but said some of them will get time on special teams. 

The Salukis game this weekend will have no fans and attendance and Hill didn’t expect it to be very strange since they have already been preparing for it. 

“We’ve prepared for it 40 times with no fans in practice,” Hill said. 

Hill said that the quarterbacks have done a great job this offseason and the quarterbacks room hasn’t changed from last season. 

Sports reporter Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @RyanscottDE. 

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