Daily Egyptian

Turnovers continue to plague Salukis

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

Saturday’s football game was supposed to be one of the easiest games on the schedule, but the Salukis made it harder than it needed to be.

Giving the ball away is problematic, especially seven times, in a 27-24 loss.

After an almost perfect game against Indiana in the season-opener, the Saluki offense continually shot itself in the foot Saturday against Southeast Missouri State. 

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Senior quarterback Mark Iannotti lost the ball four times with three interceptions and a fumble. Sophomore wide receiver Connor Iwema had two fumbles and redshirt freshman wide receiver Matt DeSomer fumbled on the final kickoff return of the game.

Two turnovers — one interception and one fumble — were returned for touchdowns by SEMO. 

Two turnovers came inside the opponents 40-yard line, almost assuredly keeping points off the board. 

Situations like these are what turns wins into losses, and that is exactly what happened to the Dawgs on Saturday.

Credit has to be given to the defense for keeping SIU in the game, as the Salukis were able to stop SEMO on every chance they had after a turnover.

SEMO scored 14 points off turnovers with a fumble and interception each returned for a touchdown. This means SIU’s offense contributed more points, 14, to SEMO’s final score than SEMO’s offense, 13. 

This speaks a lot to the resiliency of the Saluki defense to stand firm after offensive turnovers.

Hindsight is always 20-20, but this team may be two fewer turnovers away from being 2-0. Instead they are 0-2.

If the offense cannot hang on to the ball, with the schedule ahead of them, it could be a long season.

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

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