Second-ranked South Dakota State (4-0) gets its first big test of the season with No. 7 Southern Illinois (4-1) for a FCS showdown.
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
The game (3 p.m. ET start time) will be televised locally on MidCo SN 2, but if you don’t have that channel or you live out of market, anyone in the US can watch Southern Illinois vs South Dakota State live on ESPN+:
With ESPN+, you’ll be able to stream hundreds of live college football games during the 2021 season. It also includes dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Southern Illinois vs South Dakota State live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Southern Illinois vs South Dakota State Preview
South Dakota State looks like a team on a mission, outscoring teams 93-37 in four games, after coming up short in the spring FCS title game.
The Jackrabbits opened the season with a bang, pounding FBS Colorado State 42-23. SDSU then blew out the likes of Indiana State, Dixie State, and Division II Lindenwood.
Southern Illinois isn’t any of those teams. The Salukis almost beat Kansas State (3-2) in a 31-23 loss in September. Otherwise, the Salukis cruised through most of its FCS schedule except a 31-30 overtime nail biter against Western Illinois (1-4) last week. in Missouri Valley Conference action.
Many of the Salukis players also played on the spring team earlier this year, which included a 38-14 rout of perennial power North Dakota State. The Salukis also challenged the Jacks in the FCS quarterfinals, falling 31-26.
Salukis quarterback Nic Baker has 1,338 yards passing, a 66.2% completion rate, 11 touchdowns, but six interceptions. Landon Lenoir leads all Salukis receivers with 29 catches, 429 yards, and five touchdowns.
SDSU could contend with three potent Salukis running backs in Justin Strong, Javon Williams Jr., and Donnavan Spencer. All three average more than 5.2 yards per carry and have multiple touchdowns this season.
The Salukis defense will have to slow down the high-octane Jacks offense, which averages 48.3 points per game. SDSU running back Pierre Strong Jr. has another stellar season going with 486 yards and five touchdowns.
Amar Johnson can also make plays for the Jacks out of the backfield. He has 186 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries. The Jacks don’t have spring season leading rusher Isaiah Davis due to injury.
Despite significant injuries, the Jacks haven’t slowed down from last spring’s run to the national title game. That starts with quarterback Chris Oladokun filling in for the injured Mark Gronowski.
Oladokun has 721 yards passing, 11 touchdowns, a 61.7% completion rate, and no interceptions this season. He can make plays with his legs, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Jadon and Jaxon Janke are dangerous receivers, who average 16.1 or more yards per catch. If Oladokun doesn’t target the Jankes, he has solid pass-catching tight ends in Zach Heins and Tucker Kraft. Both have three touchdowns this season and average 7.6 yards or more per reception.
SIU’s defense allows 296 yards to total offense per game, but the Salukis can create turnovers — four interceptions and four forced fumbles in five games. SDSU has a strong defense, allowing five touchdowns all season and creating nine turnovers already.