MACOMB, Ill. -- Ryan West threw for two touchdowns in his first collegiate start, and Southern Illinois held on to defeat Western Illinois 34-28 on Saturday.
Kory Faulkner had started 26 consecutive games for the Salukis (5-4, 3-2 Missouri Valley) before breaking a finger last week. West's two TD passes gave SIU a 14-0 lead, and the Salukis would not be caught.
The Leathernecks (3-7, 1-5), losers of five straight, outgained SIU 460-278 and had a 29-16 edge in first downs. J.C. Baker had 25 carries for two touchdowns, and Trenton Norvell threw for two scores.
Baker's 63-yard run got WIU within 20-14 in the third quarter but a field-goal attempt was blocked and returned 85 yards for a score by Bryan Presume.
Baker came back with a 1-yard score, but Malcolm Agnew's 8-yard run put SIU up 34-21 early in the fourth.
WIU scored a touchdown 30 seconds left.
The defense at Vanderbilt made strides in 2015 under Derek Mason and added some nice pieces on signing day, but the offense needed more help.
Wisconsin loaded up on defensive backs in this year's recruiting class, but they still look a little thin at wide receiver.
Here are five storylines to keep in mind as USC turns the page and dives into the next recruiting cycle.
As the smallest school Power 5 school, Wake Forest far exceeded expectations by hauling in 20 three-star prospects for a class ranked 50th overall.
Fans have been salivating for more meetings between the Pac-12 and SEC, so even a matchup without each league's top teams is enticing.
The Mountaineers had lost four straight ahead of the game against Texas Tech. They won that one, plus four of the last five to end the season strong.
|North Dakota State||7-1||13-2|
|South Dakota State||5-3||8-4|