Daily Egyptian

4 things we learned from SIU football’s loss to Indiana State

Saluki+freshman+wide+receiver+Landon+Lenoir+dives+with+the+ball+past+Sycamore+freshman+defensive+back+Kevin+Scott+during+SIU%E2%80%99s+homecoming+game+against+the+Indiana+State+Sycamores+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+22%2C+2016%2C+at+Saluki+Stadium.+The+Salukis+lost+with+a+final+score+of+22-14.+%28Anna+Spoerre+%7C+%40annaspoerre%29
Saluki freshman wide receiver Landon Lenoir dives with the ball past Sycamore freshman defensive back Kevin Scott during SIU’s homecoming game against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. The Salukis lost with a final score of 22-14. (Anna Spoerre | @annaspoerre)

Saluki freshman wide receiver Landon Lenoir dives with the ball past Sycamore freshman defensive back Kevin Scott during SIU’s homecoming game against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. The Salukis lost with a final score of 22-14. (Anna Spoerre | @annaspoerre)

Saluki freshman wide receiver Landon Lenoir dives with the ball past Sycamore freshman defensive back Kevin Scott during SIU’s homecoming game against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. The Salukis lost with a final score of 22-14. (Anna Spoerre | @annaspoerre)

By Jonathan Thompson

SIU football lost its fourth straight game to open conference play Saturday at Saluki Stadium during the team’s homecoming game.

Here’s what fans can take away from the loss.

1. The defense has to step it up

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SIU’s offense has carried the team all season, proving they are one of the best in the conference. But, you can’t rely on it alone.

The team struggled to move the ball upfield Saturday as they posted their season low in total offense with 365 yards and season low in points scored with 14.  

The defense has to be more consistent. While they have been stellar on third down all season, they continue to give up big plays, which has limited their ability to get opposing offenses to third down.

When the offense has an off night, the team should be able to fall back on its defense to keep the other team at bay.

Giving up an 85-yard pass for a touchdown like SIU did Saturday is not putting the team in the best position to win.

2. Daquan Isom needs to get back on to the field

Junior running back Daquan Isom was cleared to play for Saturday’s game but didn’t get the call to play.

Other running backs only got 65 yards Saturday in his place.

Isom is imperative to how the team runs its offense. He is a quick and shifty tailback that makes plays in open space.

The Salukis like to throw short screen passes that allow the ball carrier to pick up yards after the catch.

Having Isom on the field in these situations is a nightmare for opposing defenses so the Salukis need to keep him in the rotation as much as possible.

3. The team needs to fix its mid-game droughts

Like a lot of other games this season, shortly after the end of the first quarter the Salukis offense came to a screeching stop and didn’t pick up until varying spots in the third quarter.

This is part of the game where they dig themselves into a hole and end up spending the rest of the game playing catch up. If the Salukis could keep the score close or even have the lead later in games, they will put themselves in a much better position to win games.

4. The team needs “killer instinct”

Joe Montana, Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter. Outside of being some of the greatest players in their respective sports, they are regarded as some of the best finishers in sports.

They go out and win games, even on their worst days.

The Salukis continue to find themselves in situations that are theirs for the taking but they keep ending up in the losing column.

Indiana State did not play a great game against the Salukis and there were multiple times that SIU could’ve taken the lead but just didn’t.

They have the playmakers to do it but until they can put the pieces together, the Salukis will continue to struggle.

Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

To stay up to date with all your SIU football news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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