Daily Egyptian

Iannotti named finalist for Offensive Player of the Year

Quarterback Mark Iannotti attempts a pass during SIU's 35-29 loss to North Dakota State University on Oct. 31, 2015, at Saluki Stadium. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Quarterback Mark Iannotti attempts a pass during SIU's 35-29 loss to North Dakota State University on Oct. 31, 2015, at Saluki Stadium. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

SIU football senior quarterback Mark Iannotti was added Tuesday to the STATS Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Year watch list. 

Iannotti is one of 25 finalists for the award and the eighth in 12 years for SIU. Former tight end MyCole Pruitt was a finalist last season. Arkee Whitlock and Deji Karim both finished third in 2006 and 2009, respectively, the highest finish all time for a Saluki.

Iannotti leads the FCS this season with 358.9 total offensive yards per game. He also leads the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 3,578 yards of total offense, 293.1 passing yards per game and 22 touchdown passes. 

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On Saturday, he became the SIU single-season record holder for total offense, breaking former quarterback and current co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Nick Hill’s 2007 record of 3,532. 

Iannotti needs 345 passing yards against Northern Iowa on Saturday to break the single-season SIU record for passing yards, also set by Hill in 2007 with 3,175.

He has thrown for more than 345 yards twice this season. The first was the season opening 48-47 loss at Indiana when he threw for a school record 517 yards. The second was in a 39-36 loss to Indiana State on Oct. 17 when he threw for 427. Iannotti also broke the 300-yard mark Saturday with 329 against Illinois State in a 42-21 loss. 

Iannotti also set SIU and FCS records during Saturday’s 42-21 loss to Illinois State. He broke SIU’s single-game record for passes completed with 42 and passes attempted with 63. His 423 total yards of offense is fourth in SIU history. He now has three of the top four spots, all set this season. Iannotti also set an FCS record with 36 total offensive plays as an individual during the fourth quarter. 

The quarterback is ranked second nationally in total offense, fourth in completions per game, fifth for passing yards, passing yards per game, points responsible for per game, 11th in completion percentage and 12th in rushing yards for quarterbacks. 

Voting will be next week and the award winner will be announced Jan. 8, 2016 in Frisco, Texas, at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet. The award is voted on by more than 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers. 

Other MVFC players nominated for the award are Illinois State senior running back Marshaun Coprich, South Dakota State sophomore wide receiver Jake Wieneke and North Dakota State senior offensive tackle Joe Haeg. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brentmeskeDE 

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