Coach Hill discusses preparations for quarter final matchup against SDSU


Photo courtesy of SIU Athletics taken at the SIU vs. Weber State game on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

The Southern Illinois Salukis advanced in the first round of the FCS playoffs with a 34-31 win over Weber State. The Salukis have earned a rematch against South Dakota State in the quarterfinals, which will be played on May 2. 

Head coach Nick Hill discussed the win during his press conference on April 26.

“This game is about the players and they’ve done an unbelievable job and they did again on Saturday being resilient. That’s really just kind of what this group is all about, and it was a great football game, great game to be a part of, happy we got on that plane with the win,” Hill said. 


Hill spoke on the loss to fellow MVC program South Dakota State earlier in the season and what the team can take from that game. 

“We have to own that game. If we try to hide from that game or not talk about it or learn from it, I feel like we’ve grown from that game and gotten better. If you don’t take some games like that in the season and grow from it, then shame on you as a program,” Hill said.

The Salukis committed four turnovers against the Jackrabbits on March 20 in their 44-3 defeat. Hill discussed how he thinks SIU can win this game against SDSU.

“This game comes down to execution and if you look in the games that we’ve gotten beat especially North Dakota and South Dakota State we never really gave ourselves a chance and then that’s what you have to do, Hill said. “You got to execute at a high level, there’s going to be no tricking your way to a win, it’s going to be line up and execute blocks, defeat blocks and make tackles on defense.”

Hill said the team’s preparation will be some different because they’ve already seen South Dakota State, but a lot of the preparation will stay the same. 

The Salukis will kick off against the Jackrabbits at 8 p.m. in Brookings, S.D., and the game will be viewable on ESPN 2. 

Hill discussed the start time and playing on national TV.


“I like noon games, but I like football and I like playing in the quarterfinals. So if they tell us to play at midnight, we’ll be ready at midnight. It really doesn’t matter to us at this point. I mean, you’re on the road and it’s the quarterfinals and we’re playing on national TV,” Hill said. 

The winner of the game will have a semi final against either No. 4 Jacksonville State or Delaware.

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

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