Following its upset win at Weber State in the FCS playoffs, Southern Illinois next plays Sunday, May 2 at No. 1 seed South Dakota State.
Whether SIU fans are traveling to Brookings, S.D. for the game or just watching it on ESPN2 or listening on the radio, here’s a primer on the Salukis’ opponent:
Colors: blue and yellow
Location: Brookings, S.D. (767 miles from Carbondale; 623 miles from Chicago, according to Google maps)
Population of city: 24,108
Conference: Missouri Valley
Record: 6-1 overall, 5-1 in conference
Ranking: No. 2 STATS Perform FCS poll, top seed in the 16-team FCS playoff bracket
Head coach: John Stiegelmeier (23rd season)
Key players: QB Mark Gronowski, RB Pierre Strong, RB Isaiah Davis, WR Jaxon Janke, WR Jadon Janke, TE Zach Heins, RT Garret Greenfield, DT Caleb Sanders, LB Preston Tetzlaff, LB Logan Backhaus, CB Don Gardner, K Cole Frahm
Stadium: Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium (synthetic turf)
Best NFL player: Jim Langer, two-time Super Bowl champion offensive lineman who is considered one of the NFL’s all-time best centers
Notable alumni: Gene Amdahl, IBM 360 inventor; Stephen Censky, former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; Tom Daschle, former Majority Leader of U.S. Senate; Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles tight end; Adam Timmerman, two-time Super Bowl champion guard; Adam Vinatieri, four-time Super Bowl champion kicker who is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer
Fun fact: There are 10 players on the Jackrabbits roster from Illinois.