Regional rival SEMO travels to SIU Saturday

By Tony McDaniel

SIU football will look to extend its wining streak this weekend against its nearest opponent.

The (2-0) Salukis will host (1-1) Southeast Missouri State on Saturday in SIU’s second straight game against an Ohio Valley Conference opponent. The Redhawks lead the all-time series against the Salukis 37-34-8.

The two schools sit 47 miles apart; making this an important regional rivalry game that has recruiting implications, SIU head coach Dale Lennon said.

Advertisement

The Redhawks’ first-year coach Tom Matukewicz will look to steal a win from the Salukis in his first regional rivalry game.

Matukewicz was the Salukis’ linebacker coach from 2001-2007 before leaving to take the same job at Northern Illinois University.

SEMO has not faced a Football Championship Subdivision team this season. The Redhawks opened their season with a 77-0 win against Missouri Baptist University. SEMO faced the University of Kansas the next week, and hung tight with the Big 12 Conference team.

In the first half of the game, Kansas looked as if it would run away. The Jayhawks jumped to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter. For the next three quarters, the SEMO defense held KU to 10 points, while the offense posted 28 points.

The 34-28 final score was closer than most experts thought.

Despite SEMO’s first week blowout win and eight point loss to an FBS team, the Redhawks are still 24 point underdogs according to sportbet.com.

If I were a betting man, I would stay far away from that line.

Advertisement

This sets up a potential trap game for SIU.

For the first time this season, SIU will only have to worry about one quarterback stepping on the field, barring an injury. Eastern Illinois University and Taylor University both ran dual-quarterback systems.

SEMO senior quarterback Kyle Snyder is who will be taking the snaps. He is a slightly dual-threat passer. Snyder is 15th in the FCS with 467 passing yards. Snyder is fifth in passing efficiency and has also rushed 21 times for 80 yards.

Snyder has two good targets to throw to as well.

Junior wide receiver Paul McRoberts has 9 catches for 190 yards and 3 scores this season. He will be one of SEMO’s top offensive weapons, and Lennon said he could be the best receiver his team will face this year.

Senior Spencer Davis will be another viable passing option for Snyder. He has 3 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Senior fullback Ron Coleman will be a player SIU will need to keep its eye on. He is utilized often in the passing game and might lineup at tight end for the Redhawks.

With all these weapons in the passing game, the Salukis’ secondary will certainly be tested.

On defense this season SEMO has been great.

The Redhawks are ranked 13th in the FCS in total defense and are tied for 23rd in scoring defense.

Sophomore inside linebacker Roper Garrett leads SEMO’s defense in tackles with 24. His 2 sacks have him tied for the team lead with sophomore defensive end Selwyn Carrol.

SEMO has only an interception so far this season though.

As long as SIU comes ready to play against SEMO, the Salukis should win by a few touchdowns. If SIU enters this game with its guard down after the upset over EIU, the Salukis may be left wondering what hit them.

Advertisement