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(6) William & Mary (10-2) at (1) Southern Illinois (11-1)



The Sports Network

By Brett Kahn, FCS Assistant Editor

DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 5, 12 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: McAndrew Stadium (17,324) -- Carbondale, Illinois. Surface: AstroPlay turf. Television: ESPN Game Plan/ESPN360.com. Home Record: William & Mary 6-0; Southern Illinois 6-0. Away Record: William & Mary 4-2; Southern Illinois 5-1. Series Record: First meeting. Conference: William & Mary - Colonial Athletic Association; Southern Illinois - Missouri Valley. Sports Network Ranking: William & Mary (6); Southern Illinois (1). Playoff Record: William & Mary (5-7); Southern Illinois (8-6). Nicknames: William & Mary Tribe; Southern Illinois Salukis. Coaches: William & Mary - Jimmye Laycock (199-140-2); Southern Illinois - Dale Lennon (20-4 at Southern Illinois; 122-37 overall).

GAME NOTES: Two teams that have never played will meet for the first time in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 FCS playoffs.

This is Southern Illinois' fourth quarterfinal appearance in five seasons and first second-round berth for William & Mary since 2004.

No. 3 seeded and Missouri Valley Football Conference champion Southern Illinois blew out Eastern Illinois 48-7 in the first round last weekend.

The Salukis outgained the Panthers 389-189, with 2009 Payton Award finalist Deji Karim (1,667 yards rushing, 18 TDs) running for 155 yards and two scores, including a 58-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Karim ranks second nationally in rushing, is tied for second in scoring and is third in all-purpose yardage (2,234 yards). His 2009 rushing total ranks third in SIU history.

Freshman quarterback Paul McIntosh (1,341 yards of total offense, 13 TDs) compiled 181 yards and three scores against EIU and has filled in nicely for Chris Dieker, who is out for at least one more game after suffering a broken left clavicle earlier in the season. McIntosh's 115 yards rushing against the Panthers was a career-high.

Joe Allaria (50 catches, 13.4 average, three TDs) leads SIU's wide receiving corps that also features Bryce Morris (37 catches, 11.2 average, two TDs). The duo didn't produce a lot in the opening round game, because of the success of a rushing attack that racked up 323 yards.

Southern Illinois ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense and seventh in sacks allowed. The unit played extremely well against the Panthers, holding EIU to just seven points and under 200 yards of total offense.

The Salukis' defense features Buchanan Award nominee Brandin Jordan (76 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries) and Kyle Walker (40 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries) at linebacker and All- American Korey Lindsey (58 tackles, six interceptions) at cornerback.

SIU leads the nation in kickoff returns, with Karim (32.9 average, one TD) carrying the effort.

William & Mary, an at-large selection from the Colonial Athletic Association shut out Weber State in the first round, 38-0 to advance. The offense outgained a very solid Wildcats' unit 408-161, with All-CAA running back Jonathan Grimes (1,102 yards rushing, six TDs) compiling 139 yards rushing on 23 carries.

All-CAA Tribe quarterback R.J. Archer (2,585 yards of total offense, 20 TDs) racked up 216 yards of total offense and two rushing scores in the win. It was the first time Archer had rushed for more than one touchdown in a game since facing Villanova in October of last season.

Archer's top receivers include D.J. McAulay (45 catches, 11.3 average, three TDs), Chase Hill (31 catches, 13.8 average, four TDs) and tight end Rob Varno (42 catches, 9.5 average, three TDs).

William & Mary's defense rank No. 1 FCS in fewest rushing yards allowed, is second in total defense and fourth in sacks. The unit showed its dominance against the Wildcats, shutting out a WSU offense that hadn't been held to zero points all season.

Buchanan Award nominee Adrian Tracy (68 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks), defensive tackle Sean Lissemore (63 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss) and CAA defensive rookie of the year, cornerback B.W. Webb (21 tackles, seven interceptions, two TDs) lead this stingy Tribe defense. Webb had two picks and returned one 58 yards for a touchdown against Weber State.

Both defenses have held their own all season, making this matchup about which offense can be most effective. But William & Mary's offensive balance with Archer could tip the game the Tribe's way.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 24, Southern Illinois 14.

12/02 18:40:43 ET