Salukis still have work to do in Terre Haute

Salukis still have work to do in Terre Haute

By Terrance Peacock


Saturday may be the last game of the regular season, and at this point, the Salukis are on the outside looking in in terms of making the playoffs, but that does not mean the team has nothing to play for.

Coach Dale Lennon believes there is a chance the team can still somehow find its way into the pool of 24 Football Championship Series playoff teams, as long as it takes care of business Saturday against Indiana State University.


“Some people love the MVFC and would want to see five teams come out of the conference, and others think that they should go by the win-loss column only,” Lennon said. “This is the first year with this selection committee. They have rewritten some of the selection criteria, so we just have to see what’s in store.”

The Salukis have had ups, downs and everything else in between, and will look to finish their season on a high note.

With a win against Indiana State Saturday, and a Youngstown State University loss against South Dakota State University, the Salukis would be in a three-way tie for second place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

If this scenario happens, then all the Salukis can do is hope; hope the selection committee is in a good mood, and hope the committee feels strongly enough about the MVFC to put four teams into the playoffs.

The possibility of making the playoffs alone should give the Salukis enough motivation to come out with a win Saturday, but an extra push to get it done could be the fact that the seniors could be playing their last game in a Saluki uniform.

Lennon said he always tries to connect with his seniors a little bit more towards the end of the season, because for them it’s almost the end of the road.

“You can see it in their eyes that they know it’s all coming to an end,” Lennon said. “As a head coach you kind of connect with your seniors more, especially in the last couple of weeks because you know after that last game, your relationship is going to change, and you just want to appreciate that coach-player relationship as much as you can and as long as it lasts.”


The seniors will be looking for a win in the last regular season game of their Saluki career and although Indiana State holds a 1-10 start, Lennon said the Sycamores are a little bit better than what their record entails.

“At the beginning of the year, they came in picked to finish high in the Missouri Valley Conference, so I believe that it’s very deceiving,” he said. “They had a hard schedule, so they’ve been playing catch-up ball since the beginning of the season. Even with the hard matchups, you can see the fight of the team, which shows how much character they have in their program.”

The Sycamores started the season against Big Ten Schools Indiana University and Purdue University in consecutive weeks. ISU lost to Indiana 73-35 and was defeated by Purdue University 20-14 the following week.

The Sycamores chose to schedule two extremely tough games to start the season and it backfired, still Lennon said the Salukis shouldn’t take ISU lightly and will need to jump out to a lead early.

“It’s always good to get a lead no matter if they’ve won eight-in-a-row or lost eight-in-a-row,” Lennon said. “You really just have to be ready to battle.”

Terrance Peacock can be reached at [email protected]

or 536-3311 ext. 256.