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Dieker comfortable with new offense as spring game approaches
CARBONDALE - Incumbent starting quarterback Chris Dieker has talked the talk and walked the walk in Southern Illinois University’s new offense.
Dieker, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior, who was 7-0 as a starter last season, said he was comfortable with new offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer’s changes. Saturday, at SIU’s last scrimmage before today’s spring game, he showed how comfortable he was, completing 23-of-28 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“I like what we’re doing as an offense,” Dieker said. “Coach DeBoer walked right in, and I like the guys I’m playing with on the offensive side of the ball. I feel like we got a lot of trust in each other. It’s looking good so far.”
Dieker and the Salukis will get their last look at spring football today. McAndrew Stadium will likely see its last football game at 1 p.m., as SIU is expected to open a new stadium near the SIU Arena on Sept. 2.
Paul McIntosh, who started six games after Dieker went down with a broken collarbone against Youngstown State, played mostly with the second unit Saturday. McIntosh completed 6-of-13 for 44 yards, but has looked comfortable, according to SIU coach Dale Lennon. The redshirt freshman completed 78-of-116 last season for 888 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions.
“Both Chris and Paul have had their moments, and I think they’ve adapted well to the new offensive concepts, and visiting with them, they are starting to feel really comfortable in what we are asking them to do,” Lennon said. “That’s the big thing I wanted to accomplish by the end of spring ball was that the offense was going to feel pretty natural at that time and the concerns that they may have had coming into spring ball no longer exist.”
Admission is free to today’s spring game. Gates will open at noon. Free food will be provided by Great Boars of Fire, and there will be inflatables for children
By Todd Hefferman