SIU Football has struggled the past month, dropping all three contests since their dominant victory over Murray State in the season opener.  They badly need a bounce-back win this weekend against Youngstown State.  Unfortunately for the Salukis, the Penguins also need a rebound victory as both teams enter with a record of 1-3, 0-1.


The Salukis offense ranks as the top offense in the Valley through the first four games, rushing for a total of 952 yards and throwing for another 1197 yards for a total of 2149 yards.  The next closest team, thru four game, is Illinois State who have gained 1856 yards, nearly a 300 yard difference.  Per game, the Salukis average 537 yards.  The Salukis are in the top half of the Valley for offensive touchdowns with 17, good enough for 4th.

On the defensive end, the Salukis rank dead last in yards given up, giving up 717 rushing yards and 1177 passing yards for a total of 1894 yards given up.  SIU’s also allowed a league worst 20 touchdowns to be scored on them.


Youngstown’s QB, Montgomery VanGorder, has turned in a solid first four games for the Pens.  The former Fighting Irish quarterback has tossed 1011 yards at a 58.1% clip.  The senior has also tossed 10 touchdowns, which ties him with Illinois State’s Brady Davis and South Dakota State’s Taryn Christion for 2nd in the Valley behind Western’s Sean Maguire who has 11 this season.

Last week, VanGorder was named the MVFC’s Newcomer of the Week after breaking three records at Youngstown.  VanGorder broke the record for completions in a game, attempts in a game, and passing yards in a game when he went 33-for-57 for 418 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort to the Western Illinois Leathernecks.


Davis Robertson SEMO 2018
Photo Cred: Mike Robertson/SIU Athletics

D.J. Davis just missed his mark of 120 yards to make it four games in a row last week against South Dakota.  He only ran for 117.  Still, the game marks the fourth straight 100 rushing yard game.


Leonard USD 2018
Photo Cred: SIU Athletics

Raphael Leonard is the leading reception leader in the Valley.  He’s caught 24 this season for 337 receiving yards and four touchdowns.  Those four touchdowns also rank second among receivers.  His 337 receiving yards are third most in the Valley.


Kilby USD 2018 SIU Media
Photo Cred: SIU Athletics

Nigel Kilby caught a team high seven passes last week against South Dakota in the Salukis’ first game without Jacob Varble.  Kilby earned 109 yards on those seven touchdowns and two were in the endzone.


The Dawgs will have extra motivation this week, they’re the Penguins’ Homecoming opponent.  The Salukis will try to get back on track by playing spoiler in Youngstown, Ohio.


The Salukis (1-3, 0-1) head to Youngstown State (1-3, 0-1) Saturday night.  Kickoff is at 5pm.  Tune in to CIL-FM for pregame at 4pm with Mike Reis, Gene Green, and Connor James.


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