Salukis make FCS playoffs, will face Weber State

Jonathan+Thompson%2C+cornerback%2C+tackles+a+Southeastern+Louisiana+University+player+on+Saturday%2C+April%2C+17%2C+2021+in+Carbondale%2C+Ill.

Bryon Hetzler

Jonathan Thompson, cornerback, tackles a Southeastern Louisiana University player on Saturday, April, 17, 2021 in Carbondale, Ill.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:50 p.m. April 18 to include commentary from the coach and players. 

SIU is in the FCS playoffs, and they will play against Weber State on April 24 at 3 p.m.

Southern Illinois football (5-3,3-3 MVC) earned the spot with their final win by a score of 55-48 over Southeastern Louisiana on April 17. 

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Head coach Nick Hill spoke after finding out that SIU made the playoffs.

“I’m really thankful for the committee recognizing all the hard work from this program and really the players. That’s where it starts and really ends, the support staff and the opportunity to play but these players 18- to 22-year-olds really put everything on the line and have done it the hard way and are getting rewarded for that,” Hill said

Senior offensive lineman Ze’Veyon Furcron discussed his reaction to making the playoffs as well saying he and the other seniors have been waiting for this moment.

“To see our name up there, It’s a feeling that we haven’t experienced yet and it’s a feeling I can’t really describe,” Furcron said. 

Furcron said just missing the playoffs in 2019 was one of the worst feelings he’s had.

“Working so hard and just falling short by inches. That day after we walked out of there, our main thing that I wanted to preach to the team was leave no doubt. This year we’ve had our ups and downs but the committee took into consideration the games we’ve had and the opponents we’ve had and I’m thankful that they gave us the opportunity to be in,” Furcron said. 

SIU got their fourth win over a ranked team in that game, adding on to their wins over North Dakota State, Southeast Missouri State, and Northern Iowa. This is the Salukis first playoff bid since 2009.  

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Hill said he thinks the team needed to play as many games as they did to get in. 

The Big Sky champions Weber State (5-0, 5-0 Big Sky) will look to stay undefeated on the season as they host the Salukis in Ogden, Utah.

SIU is on the same side of the bracket as South Dakota State, who beat them 44-3 on March 20 in Carbondale. The Salukis would play them again in the second round if they both win their first round games. 

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

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