SIU football has complete game in Liberty victory

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

The Saluki football team was finally able to put together the two sides of positive play from its first two losses and convert it to a win Saturday night against No. 10 Liberty, 34-13.

SIU’s offense put up 47 points in Week 1 against Indiana, but its young defense appeared to be lacking initiative and relinquished 595 yards. 

Against Southeast Missouri State the following week, the offense became its own worst enemy and turned the ball over seven times, yet the defense gave a strong showing. 


This team is better than its record shows. A turnover less in each loss could make it 3-0. 

The Salukis put the doubters to rest — even if only temporarily — showing that this team is better than its previous 0-2 record indicated. 

SIU was -9 in turnover margin before Saturday, tying it for fifth-worst in any level of NCAA football. 

The team somewhat righted the ship against Liberty by recovering two fumbles. The only turnover they gave up came when redshirt freshman wide receiver Matt DeSomer’s trick pass was intercepted. 

The Salukis gave up 368 yards but kept bending without breaking, allowing only 10 third-down conversions on 20 attempts. They also stopped the Flames twice on fourth and short situations. 

The offense kept with the trend of balance and ball distribution fans saw in the first two games, picking up 255 yards on the ground and 227 through the air. 

Freshman running back Daquan Isom had 10 carries. Three other players had seven or more. Eight players carried the ball at least once in the game. 


This amount of parity out of the backfield can drive opposing defenders mad as there are multiple options to cover every play, leaving carriers the ability to make one cut and see daylight. 

On the other hand, when the Salukis pass the ball, there are many options to throw to either as eight different players caught at least one pass. 

To the more casual football fan, this offense looks a lot like the University of Oregon’s in the last few years. Opposing defenses do not know how it will gain yards, but it probably will. 

Senior quarterback Mark Iannotti is not Marcus Mariota, who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Ducks to the NCAA Championship game last year, but with the plethora of options he has to assist him, he does not need to be.

It is going to be a wild ride for SIU football fans the rest of the year.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE