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Southern Illinois gets past Northwestern for an FCS upset

The Salukis went upstate and took down a Big Ten team on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Southern Illinois at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

A Missouri Valley Conference team upset a Big Ten team on Saturday and no, it wasn’t North Dakota State this time.

The Southern Illinois Salukis went upstate Evanston, IL, and punked the Northwestern Wildcats for a shocking 31-24 victory. And this wan’t some fluke victory on last a second Hail Mary or anything, SIU hung tough and took it to the Wildcats in the second half.

With the game tied 17-17 early in the fourth quarter, Saluki quarterback Nic Baker hit Jacob Garrett for a nine-yard touchdown pass to give them the lead. Trying to even things up once again, Northwestern would shoot itself in the foot no once, but twice. Running back Evan Hull would cough up the ball for a fumble on the first drive and deep in their own territory on the following drive, quarterback Ryan Hilinski would be strip sacked. Two plays later, Baker would take a one-yard touchdown scamper himself to put the Salukis by two scores.

Hilinski would orchestrate a touchdown drive to bring the Wildcats back to with one-score with just over a minute left, but SIU managed to run the clock down for the win. Northwestern closed as a 13.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.