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Salukis still remember end of last year’s game with SEMO
SIU coach Dale Lennon and quarterback Paul McIntosh avoided the R-word in talking about Southeast Missouri State on Monday, but clearly remembered how last year’s game ended.
Revenge will certainly be a hot topic when No. 17/19 SIU gets its long-awaited rematch Saturday against the Redhawks in Cape Girardeau. SEMO rallied from 18 points down in the final 16 minutes at Saluki Stadium to beat SIU, 24-21, last season. The regional rivals then went in different directions the rest of the season.
SIU lost the following weekend at Youngstown State, fell to 1-3, and never recovered on the way to a 5-6 campaign.
The Salukis, the preseason favorites in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, finished tied for third in the league and ended a seven-year playoff run.
SEMO went on to a record season, reaching the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the first time in school history before finishing 9-3.
“They do return several key players in their offense and their defense that played a significant role in the success they had last year,” Lennon said. “They are a 9-3 football team coming off of last season. We’re a 5-6 football team coming off of last season. The challenge is there.”
McIntosh, a fourth-year junior who is expected to make his eighth career start for SIU Saturday, split time with Chris Dieker against SEMO last year. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander completed 5-of-6 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown and rushed 11 times for 36 yards. He was not in on SIU’s final drive of the ballgame, but vividly remembered how that game Sept. 18, 2010, ended.
“They’re a really good team,” McIntosh said. “The last memory I have of them is them walking off our field with a victory, so, we got to come out and try to get another victory back.”
BY TODD HEFFERMAN, The Southern