Chris Dieker threw two touchdown passes as Southern Illinois held off North Dakota State 24-14 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference opener Saturday night.
Dieker connected with Jeff Evans on a 61-yard pass to open the scoring, then finished it with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Joe Allaria midway through the fourth quarter. Dieker was 10 of 23 for 186 yards for the Salukis (2-1, 1-0).
Southern's Deji Karim rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries, including a 23-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Kyle Dougherty added a field goal.
D.J. McNorton scored on a 1-yard run for North Dakota State (1-3, 0-1), and Gerry Ebel scored the other touchdown on a blocked field-goal return.
Pat Paschall led all rushers with 150 yards on 28 carries for North Dakota State.