Archive for April 2021

SIU's Berner tackles new role at defensive tackle

SIU senior Jordan Berner has been a highly capable fill-in at defensive tackle over the last three games when injuries forced him to move from defensive end. (Photo by Since his redshirt freshman season in Carbondale, Jordan Berner has been a fixture at defensive end. That is, until injuries demolished the Southern Illinois depth... Read more »

A pair of ISU Redbirds stand best chance of being taken in NFL Draft

Illinois State safety Christian Uphoff (24) is projected as a possible late-round selection in the NFL Draft. (photo courtesy ISU Athletics) The National Football League opens its annual player draft tonight in Cleveland, however Illinois FCS fans aren’t likely to hear the name of one of the four state schools until the later rounds. If... Read more »

3 key matchups for SIU's rematch with South Dakota State

In a 44-3 loss last month in Carbondale to South Dakota State, Southern Illinois gave up 392 rushing yards. The two teams face off against Sunday, May 2 in the FCS playoffs. (Photo by In their first meeting with South Dakota State – on March 20 in Carbondale – little went right for the... Read more »

Familiar foe: Get to know SIU's Missouri Valley adversary turned 2nd-round playoff opponent

Neuqua Valley High School graduate Mark Gronowski leads top-seeded South Dakota State against Southern Illinois in round two of the FCS playoffs. (Photo courtesy Dave Eggen/Inertia) 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... Read more »

With emotional playoff win comes gratitude, pride for Southern Illinois coach Hill

SIU head coach Nick Hill leads his team onto the field before Saturday’s playoff victory at Weber State in the first round of the FCS playoffs. (Photo by Moments after his team’s first playoff victory since 2009, which was filled with more ups and downs than a roller coaster, Nick Hill was at a... Read more »

3 things we learned: Salukis score late, secure FCS playoff stunner in Round 1

SIU wide receiver Branson Combs (83) hauls in the game-winning touchdown Saturday in the Salukis’ 34-31 first-round playoff victory against Weber State. (Photo by Beating the No. 3 team in the nation on the road in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday took everything – and everyone – that No. 14 Southern... Read more »

Saluki QB Labanowitz treasures his role as SIU's gun-slinging 'therapist'

SIU quarterback Stone Labanowitz has completed 78% of his passes this season, despite starting the spring campaign at No. 3 on the depth chart. (Photo by When the football zips out of Stone Labanowitz’s right hand to a wide receiver, it is often on time, accurate and arrives in a speedy fashion. “That’s who... Read more »

SIU strives to be king of the Hills in playoff tilt at unbeaten Weber State

The key to SIU’s upset bid in the first round of the FCS playoffs may well rest with the Saluki defense. (photo courtesy Following a 12-year absence, Southern Illinois fought and scrapped its way into the FCS playoffs. If the Salukis are to survive and advance, head coach Nick Hill knows a similar effort... Read more »

Serious reliability: SIU wide receiver Lenoir leans on strong football foundation

SIU wide receiver Landon Lenoir (17) piled up seven catches for 128 yards last weekend against Southeastern Louisiana. (Photo by The list of what senior wide receiver Landon Lenoir provides the Southern Illinois offense is a long one. “He’s played inside,” head coach Nick Hill said. “He’s played outside. He’ll block on the perimeter.... Read more »

3 key matchups for SIU's return to the playoffs

Southern Illinois University posted this graphic after finding out the Salukis made the 16-team FCS playoff field SIU last made the playoffs in 2009. (graphic courtesy Following Southern Illinois’ exhilarating celebration Sunday morning when the Salukis were named part of the 16-team FCS playoff bracket, the SIU coaching staff set sights on the opponent... Read more »