Saluki’s season officially underway

By Gus Bode

After more than nine months, the Salukis are ready for kickoff.

The Salukis begin preparation today for their first game of the season Saturday against Marshall University. It will be the Salukis first game since New Hampshire cut their season short in last season’s Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Nov. 29.

Head coach Dale Lennon said the players are ready to face opposition on the field again.


‘We’ve had a good showing at camp, and hopefully we can carry that over into our pre-game this week,’ Lennon said. ‘I trust that they will do that.’

With the preseason behind them, the Salukis hope to continue their success against Football Bowl Subdivision teams. SIU has gone 2-1 against FBS teams the past three seasons with wins over Indiana and Northern Illinois before losing to Northwestern last year.

‘ Marshall, which plays in the Mid-American Conference, is coming off a 4-8 record.

To prepare for the jump in competition, practices will be a little different than they have been the last several weeks.

The Salukis will no longer just fill out the depth charts. Instead, the main focus will be on game schemes against Marshall, Lennon said. The Salukis will practice the offensive and defensive schemes used by Marshall.

The Salukis are also adding video to their preparation this week, as they will now study Marshall’s past games to see what they should expect from the Thundering Herd.

Lennon said the team does not focus on the division a team is from. Rather it judges opponents on talent alone.


‘We could care less what conference or division our opponent comes from,’ Lennon said. ‘We just need to go out there and play our game, and we’ll see what happens from there.’

Though they may not be hitting as hard on the field, defensive coordinator Bubba Schweigert said the weeks before games begin are when the team is pushed the most.

‘We are entering the pregame week, which is when these guys will truly be tested about what they’re made of.’