SIU Football to Host SEMO on Oct. 23

Sep 21, 2020

College football is coming to Carbondale.

SIU and SEMO have agreed to play each other at Saluki Stadium next month.

Salukis head coach Nick Hill says he and Redhawk head coach Tom Matukewicz began to realize this could happen when the NCAA allowed teams playing this spring to hold fall practices.

"Coach Tuke and I talked. If we're going to have practice, have intersquad scrimmages and do those things, we might as well play each other."

Hill says he believes players are safer with each other.

"We've seen, even here, if we've had someone test positive, it hasn't come from this building. It's come from large gatherings, off the field."

Both schools resumed full-team practices Monday. 

Saluki Athletics is working on a reduced-capacity seating plan and other measures that could allow season-ticket holders and students to attend the game. Details will be announced later.

Both the No. 24 Salukis and No. 25 Redhawks are ranked in the Stats FCS preseason poll. The game will count toward the 2020-21 season record and be used by the selection committee when determining the proposed 16-team playoff field. The Missouri Valley Football Conference expects to play an eight-game spring season, followed by the FCS Playoffs.

The rivalry is branded the "War For The Wheel" in reference to the ship's wheel trophy that goes to the winner.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, October 23.