Southern Illinois made two game-ending stops on Saturday to hold off South Dakota 35-28 and win its first Missouri Valley Football Conference game of the season.
It also gave sophomore quarterback Sam Straub a win in his first starting assignment for the Salukis. Straub threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a team-high 68 yards and a score. He completed 19 of 34 passes without an interception.
After stopping the Coyotes (4-5, 3-3) on third-and-goal as time ran out, players from both teams left the field and coaches were doing interviews before being called back and one second put back on the clock.
Chris Streveler’s fourth-down pass was also incomplete and the Salukis escaped with the win.
Playing in his third game of the season, Straub had completed just one of five passes for 20 yards in two previous games.
Straub threw TD passes of 31 yards to Israel Lamprakes and 7 yards to Hans Carmien.
“Nothing anything special,” SIU coach Nick Hill said of his quarterback’s first real action. “He’s been around here for a long time and he knows our offense.”
With 6:25 left in the first quarter, Straub tossed a 7-yard TD pass to Carmien, and the PAT gave the Salukis a 7-0 lead.
USD quarterback Chris Streveler atoned for an early interception by throwing a 57-yard TD pass to Alonge Brooks to tie the game 7-7 with 14:13 left in the first half.
Streveler passed for 219 yards and two scores and ran for a game-high 113 yards and a score.
SIU responded with a seven-play, 64-yard drive capped by Cameron Walter’s 1-yard run with 11:40 left in the half.
With 4:24 left in the second quarter, Missouri State’s Jonathan Mixon scored on a 1-yard run. A Salukis’ scoring threat ended with a fumble at the 4-yard line with seconds left in the half.
Straub’s pass to Lamprakes and his 2-yard run made it 35-14.
USD closed within 35-21 with 7:30 to play on Mike Fredrick’s 34-yard run.
With 2:35 left to play, Brooks hauled in a 27-yard TD from Streveler to pull the Coyotes within 35-28. The two-minute drive covered 82 yards.
USD’s last-second drive down to the SIU 4-yard line ended in the end zone twice.