CARBONDALE, Ill. — Quarterback Nic Baker and safety PJ Jules were named the Missouri Valley Football Conference players-of-the-week on Monday, as Southern Illinois swept the league’s offensive and defensive awards after beating No. 13 SEMO on Saturday.
Baker led SIU to a 26-25 comeback win against the Redhawks. Trailing 15-0 at halftime, he passed for 408 yards in the second half — a school record for a half. On the day, he completed 35-of-51 passes for 462 yards and three touchdowns. Three times in the fourth quarter, he converted fourth-down plays, none bigger than the nine-yard touchdown pass to Izaiah Hartrup that won the game with 11 seconds left. He had league single-game bests for passing yards and total offense. Baker won the award for the eighth time in his career, including Week 1 recognition versus Austin Peay.
Jules had a career-high 15 tackles, including a half-tackle for loss. He also had three more pass breakups, which gives him six in the last two games and moves him up to No. 5 all-time at SIU. The Salukis held SEMO to 86 yards rushing, the third-straight game the defense has held an opponent under 100 yards. Southern ranks No. 5 in the nation in rushing defense (62.7) in the FCS. Jules’ 15 tackles match the best by a league player in a game this year and his six PBUs leads the MVFC. Jules also won Valley player-of-the week honors in Week 2 for his 12-tackle performance in the win at Northern Illinois.