Nic Baker threw two touchdown passes and Javon Williams Jr., rushed for two in a Southern Illinois comeback that saw the Salukis score five unanswered touchdowns and defeat Illinois State 35-17 in a Missouri Valley Conference opener on Saturday.
Jackson Waring’s 1-yard touchdown run had given Illinois State (2-2, 0-1) a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter, but the game flipped from there as Southern Illinois (3-1, 1-0) forced two punts, a fumble and took over on downs three times on the Redbirds final six possessions.
Baker was 21 of 32 passing for 227 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice. Landon Lenoir rushed for 86 yards and a TD while Izaiah Hartrup gained 82 for Southern Illinois.
Waring, a freshman, passed for 166 yards for Illinois State with Austin Nagel making four catches for 100 yards.