Southern Illinois Salukis
Missouri Valley Football Conference
Head Coach: Nick Hill
Overall Record: 7-5
Conference Record: 5-3
Biggest Win: SIU's coming out party came in its second game. Following an opening-season loss (see below), the Salukis reeled off 35 unanswered points to shock UMass 45-20. It marked SIU's first win against an FBS opponent since 2007 and just the fourth FBS win in school history.
Most Frustrating Loss: The Salukis dropped their season opener and lost the War For The Wheel 44-26 to regional rival Southeast Missouri State.
Returning strengths for 2020: Running back Javon Williams, Jr. burst onto the national scene with a breakout redshirt freshman season for the ages. The Centralia native will no doubt be the focal point of the Saluki offense. Southern also made great strides on the defensive side of the ball under coordinator Jason Petrino.
Emerging Star: RB Romeir Elliott should team with Williams to give the Salukis a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield.
Giving Thanks: For the return and successful senior season for linebacker Cody Crider who endured so many injuries in his collegiate career.
New Year's Wish List: SIU builds off its success from this past season and makes a return to playoff football.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: S Jeremy Chinn & RB D.J. Davis
Next up: Barry Bottino explores Five Burning Questions that face SIU football for 2020.