Archive for March 2021

SIU playoff chances range from longshot to 'slim to none' to 'hard to see how'

After two straight losses, Southern Illinois will likely miss the FCS playoffs. (photo courtesy Following two straight losses, Southern Illinois’ playoff chances appear to be a longshot at best. The Salukis’ overall record stands at 4-3 overall — counting a win over Southeast Missouri State in the fall — and 3-3 in the Missouri Valley Football... Read more »

Moving the Chains with ... Eastern Illinois super back Jay Vallie

Graduate transfer super back Jay Vallie prefers making a big block to catching touchdowns. (Photo by Sandy King, EIU Athletics) Growing up, Jay Vallie played backyard football and pretended to be Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. During high school, he was pretty sure his future was as a college basketball player. Now, as a... Read more »

Second straight loss spirals Salukis down eight slots in national rankings

Southern Illinois has an unscheduled bye Saturday, after Illinois State canceled its remaining games, and will host Western Illinois on April 10. (photo courtesy Two weeks ago, Southern Illinois’ record stood at 4-1 and the Salukis were ranked No. 5 in the country with visions of the FCS playoffs staring them firmly in the... Read more »

Lead, chance to upset No. 17 Murray State vanish in 2nd half for EIU Panthers

DeQuan Dallas of Murray State outruns EIU safety Raymond Crittenden (4) into the end zone in the third quarter Sunday in Murray, Ky. (Photo by Dave Winder, Murray State Athletics) It took 5 minutes, 31 seconds for Eastern Illinois to take a two-touchdown lead Sunday at Murray State in the third quarter. Less than 5... Read more »

3 things we learned: SIU playoff hopes dealt damaging blow with last-second loss

Southern Illinois’s Romier Elliott breaks a tackle from Missouri State defender Lucas Eatman.Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader Southern Illinois saw its FCS playoff drive dealt a severe setback with a 30-27 loss to unranked Missouri State Saturday afternoon. Jose Pizano kicked a 33-yard field goal with no time remaining to lift the Bears to victory. Missouri State,... Read more »

3 things we learned: Big plays send WIU to defeat

Western Illinois remains winless following its home loss to nationally ranked Northern Iowa Saturday at Hanson Field in Macomb. (photo courtesy Big plays by an opponent again doomed Western Illinois and sent the Leathernecks to their fifth loss of the spring season. No. 22 Northern Iowa scored 10 points in the final minute of... Read more »

Former WR Johnson tackling new role for Eastern Illinois

Linebacker Jason Johnson (8) leads the Ohio Valley Conference with 11 tackles a game for Eastern Illinois. Johnson played only one year of linebacker in high school. (Photo by Sandy King) When Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing is asked to describe sophomore linebacker Jason Johnson’s play, he asks a question in return. “How much... Read more »

Salukis in must-win mode following one-sided defeat

Justin Strong (5) and Southern Illinois need to re-establish the running game that has led to Saluki success this season. (photo courtesy Quarterbacks are almost always at the forefront of college football talk. Saturday’s key Missouri Valley Conference game between 10th-ranked Southern Illinois and Missouri State will be no different. SIU head coach Nick... Read more »

Another early kickoff for Western Illinois as Leathernecks entertain Northern Iowa

Western Illinois hosts Northern Iowa in Missouri Valley Football Conference action Saturday in Macomb. (photo courtesy The starting time for Saturday’s Missouri Valley Football Conference game between Western Illinois and 22nd-ranked Northern Iowa has been moved from a nighttime start to 11 a.m kickoff. Perhaps that will ignite the home-standing Leathernecks to their first... Read more »

Moving the Chains with . . . Western Illinois defensive back Jalen Powe

Jalen Powe is the first Western Illinois player to wear 0 on his jersey. (all photos courtesy of Western Illinois University) When people ask Jalen Powe where he is from, he has an unconventional answer. “I tell them Six Flags,” the Gurnee native said. Like the roller coasters at the famed theme park in his... Read more »