SIU trails New Hampshire 16-13 at halftime

The SIU football team trails New Hampshire 16-13 at halftime in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs.

The team's traded field goals early and often as Kyle Dougherty and Tom Bishop were true on their kicks through the games first 18 minutes. As the teams battled with the boot, they also battled turnovers.

There were turnovers on four straight possessions, including a never-before-seen interception by defensive lineman Kendrick Young, who caught a deflected pass (off the referee).

That led to the first touchdown of the game, a sneaker by quarterback Chris Dieker gave the Salukis a 13-6 lead with 4:28 remaining in the first half.

The Wildcats inched closer when Bishop banked another field goal to make it 13-9, and then took the lead on a run by quarterback R.J. Toman to give UNH a 16-13 lead that stood 'til halftime.

If SIU can complete another thrilling comeback, they might want to heed the following:
  • Win the turnover battle. SIU has picked two of Toman's passes, but has also been bitten by the turnover bug with two turnovers of its own. If the Salukis can continue to pressure Toman, the team might be able to capitalize on an errant pass.
  • Get Larry Lightning to strike. Warner's been productive on the ground, gaining 62 yards on 11 carries (5.6 yards per carry) but hasn't been able to gain many yards on slow developing plays. Quick hitters have been the Salukis' biggest gaining plays.
  • Somehow get the Shermanator to strike. Senior wideout Damian Sherman has been impressive this afternoon with 3 catches for 46 yards. It's too bad a statsheet couldn't give you a picture of a pair of Sherman's grabs. He's extended his body to extreme lengths to grab a pair of Dieker's high passes. If SIU can get in the end zone, look for a Dieker-to-Sherman connection on a jump ball.
That's it for now from The Mac in Carbondale. Stay tuned to the sidebar Twitter updates throughout the game. And of course, for a post-game wrap up.