#15 Stony Brook (7-4) vs. #20 Southeast Missouri (8-3)
NCAA Division I Championship First Round
: Saturday, November 24, 2018
: 1:04 p.m., CT
: Cape Girardeau, Mo.
: Houck Field (10,000)
: Field Turf
Partly Cloudy, 57 degrees
Head Coaches: Tom
Matukewicz (24-33 overall; 23-33 at
SEMO; 18-21 OVC). Chuck
Priore (123-74 overall; 84-65 at Stony Brook).
Radio: Real Rock 99.3 FM
& ESPN 1220 AM
(Jim Barbar, John Gregory)
Live Stats: NCAA.com
Southeast Missouri Notes
Redhawks Host First Playoff Game
#20 Southeast Missouri (8-3) will host #15 Stony Brook (7-4) in its first-ever home playoff game Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m., CT, at
Houck Field. The first round matchup will air live on
Follow the Redhawks
Fans can listen to Saturday's game live on the radio at Real Rock 99.3 FM and SEMO ESPN 1220 AM. Erik Sean, Rick Wieser and Rusty Hendricks will call the action. Video can be accessed online at ESPN3 with Jim Barbar and John Gregory on the call. Live stats are available at GoSoutheast.com. Twitter updates provided @SEMOFootball.
Southeast Missouri makes just its second NCAA Division I Championship appearance in 2018. The Redhawks last made the postseason when they shared the Ohio Valley Conference title with Jacksonville State and garnered the league's automatic berth in 2010. SEMO, then-ranked ninth, lost at #5 Eastern Washington (2010 National Champion), 37-17, on Dec. 4. The playoff bracket consisted of 20 teams in 2010.
A Look at the Field
#1 North Dakota State (11-0), #2 Weber State (9-2), #3 Eastern Washington (9-2), #4 Kennesaw State (10-1), #5 South Dakota State (8-2), #6 UC Davis (9-2), #7 Maine (8-3) and #8 Colgate (9-1) are the national seeds in this year's 24-team playoff bracket. Southeast Missouri's game against Stony Brook is one of eight first-round matchups Saturday. The winner of that contest travels to Ogden, Utah to face Weber State at 3 p.m., CT, on Dec. 1. SEMO and Stony Brook were the final two teams to make this year's playoff field.
Southeast Missouri faces Stony Brook for the first time Saturday. Stony Brook is located in Stony Brook, New York, which is 1,072 miles away from Cape Girardeau. The Seawolves are members of the Colonial Athletic Association which has the most (6) teams in this year's NCAA Division I Championship. Stony Brook is the first-ever CAA school SEMO faces in its football history.
OVC Gets Two In
Automatic qualifier Jacksonville State and Southeast Missouri represent the Ohio Valley Conference in the 2018 NCAA Division I Championship. The OVC has placed multiple teams in the playoffs (which began in 1978) in 22 of the 41 years. The OVC has now had multiple teams in the field in six of the last nine and eight of the previous 13 years.
Matukewicz in the FCS Playoffs
This year marks Tom Matukewicz's sixth all-time FCS Playoff appearance and first as a head coach. Matukewicz was part of five-straight (2003-07) FCS Playoff teams as linebackers coach and run game coordinator at Southern Illinois. SIU fell one win away from advancing to the national title game in 2007. Current Southeast Missouri defensive coordinator Bryce Saia was with Matukewicz on SIU's staff during that time.
Hall Two Tackles Away from Single Season Record
Junior inside linebacker Zach Hall is two tackles away from breaking Southeast Missouri's all-time single season record. Hall currently leads the Ohio Valley Conference and ranks second in the nation with 150 total tackles. Fellow linebacker Blake Peiffer holds the SEMO record with 151 tackles in 2011. Hall has posted double-digit tackles in six-straight games and nine of his 11 starts this year. He also has 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, a team-high four interceptions, four forced fumbles, a blocked field goal and a safety. Hall is now 14th among SEMO's all-time career leaders with 265 tackles.
For the first time in school history, Southeast Missouri has a finalist for the STATS Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan and Eddie Robinson Awards in the same season. Senior running back Marquis Terry is one of 25 finalists for FCS Offensive Player of the Year award, junior linebacker Zach Hall is among 25 finalists for the FCS Defensive Player of the Year honor and Tom Matukewicz is one of 15 finalists for the coveted FCS Coach of the Year award. SEMO is one of five FCS schools with a finalist on each of these lists, joining Kennesaw State, UC Davis, Colgate and North Dakota State.
This week marks the third-straight where Southeast Missouri's game will air live on ESPN3. The Redhawks were involved in the Ohio Valley Conference Game of the Week each of the last two weeks. SEMO is 1-1 in those ESPN3 matchups.
Hall and Custis Win OVC Honors
Southeast Missouri junior linebacker Zach Hall and freshman return specialist Zion Custis earned Ohio Valley Conference accolades on Nov. 18. Hall was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week and Custis claimed Specialist of the Week. Hall tallied 16 tackles (seven solo) and two quarterback hurries as Southeast Missouri topped Eastern Illinois, 38-32, to improve to 8-3 and earn an at-large berth to the FCS Playoffs. It marked the sixth-straight game and ninth time this season Hall recorded double-digit tackles. it was also the fifth time he had 15 or more tackles in a game in 2018. Hall finished the regular season with 150 tackles (13.6/game), which ranks second nationally (one behind the leader). He also ranks 10th nationally in forced fumbles (0.36/game), 21st in fumbles recovered (2) and 27th in interceptions (0.4/game). After Eastern Illinois had trimmed the game to 30-24 in the fourth quarter, Custis took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to put SEMO up 14 points with 6:39 to play. The 97-yard kickoff return was the longest in the OVC this season and second-longest in school history. Custis finished the game with 180 return yards on three attempts (60.0 yards/return) to go along with a team-high 77 rushing yards (on 11 carries) and two receptions finishing with 254 all-purpose yards.
The Redhawks closed out a regular season with a win for the second year in a row when they beat Eastern Illinois, 38-32, at Houck Field on Nov. 17. SEMO last ended a regular season with a win in back-to-back years in 2007 (32-25, vs. Jacksonville State) and 2008 (33-30, at Austin Peay).
Kristian Wilkerson is approaching 1,000 receiving yards this season. Wilkerson leads Southeast Missouri with 806 yards and 12 touchdowns through 11 starts. He needs 194 more yards to hit that mark. Wilkerson's 12 receiving touchdowns are the most in a season by a SEMO receiver since Willie Ponder had 15 in 2002. Ponder was also the last receiver to get 1,000 yards in a season when he finished with 1,453 that year.
Undefeated at Home
Southeast Missouri is a perfect 5-0 at Houck Field this season. SEMO and Jacksonville State are the only Ohio Valley Conference teams with undefeated home records in 2018. The last time the Redhawks finished a season undefeated at home was in 2010 (5-0).
Redhawks Ranked #20 in Final Regular Season Poll
The Redhawks were ranked 20th in the final regular season STATS FCS Media and American Football Coaches Association Polls. Southeast Missouri was ranked in both of the Top-25 polls four-straight weeks. SEMO's highest ranking of the season was 19th prior to its game against Murray State on Nov. 10.
Fourth Quarter Magic
Southeast Missouri won three games in the fourth quarter, including two in the final 25 seconds this season. Austin Crump caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Santacaterina to give SEMO a 48-44 road victory over Missouri Valley Football Conference member Southern Illinois (Sept. 15) with 25 seconds left. Jerrick Orr made a spectacular 37-yard catch on a fourth-and-14 to set up the Redhawks game-winning touchdown (2-yard run by Marquis Terry) with 15 seconds to go in SEMO's 31-27 victory over Austin Peay (Oct. 13). Most recently, freshman Zion Custis returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to seal the Redhawks 38-32 win over Eastern Illinois (Nov. 17) after the Panthers had pulled to within six with less than seven minutes remaining. SEMO scored a total of 127 points in the fourth quarter through 11 games, second-most in the Ohio Valley Conference behind Jacksonville State (129).
The Redhawks are second in the Ohio Valley Conference and ninth in the nation in scoring offense with 39.2 points per game. Southeast Missouri won fiveof its last seven games by 17 or more points. The Redhawks also scored 40 or more points on four occasions this year.
Another Record Broken
Southeast Missouri broke the single season record in points scored when it beat Eastern Illinois, 38-32, on Nov. 17. Currently, the Redhawks have scored 431 points in 11 contests. The 2002 team held the previous school record with 416 points. SEMO's 39.2 points per game are also in position to break the school's current record of 34.7 also set by the 2002 Redhawks.
In his first year as Southeast Missouri's starting quarterback, Daniel Santacaterina is getting closer to the school's single season record in passing touchdowns. Santacaterina is presently second in the Ohio Valley Conference with 25 passing touchdowns this year. He is averaging 2.3 per game and is five away from breaking the record currently held by Jack Tomco (29 in 2002).
OVC Top Three
Daniel Santacaterina ranks third in the Ohio Valley Conference in passing yards (2,598), third in passing yards per game (236.2), second in passing touchdowns (25), second in pass efficiency (147.8) and third in total offense (247.5 ypg). Nationally, Santacaterina is 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision in passing touchdowns, 14th in pass efficiency, 22nd in passing yards and 25th in passing yards per game. He is also 16th in points responsible for (158).
Redhawks Lead the Nation in Interceptions, Turnover Margin and Turnovers Gained
Southeast Missouri leads the nation in interceptions, turnover margin and turnovers gained. SEMO has 21 picks in 11 games and boasts a staggering +23 turnover margin with 31 turnovers gained. Eleven different Redhawks have an interception this year.
Since taking over as Southeast Missouri's starting place kicker, Kendrick Tiller has scored 42 points on 8-of-10 field goals and 18-of-20 PATs. Tiller had never attempted a college field goal until the UT Martin game on Oct. 27, where he connected on a perfect 3-of-3 and scored 14 points en route to securing Ohio Valley Conference Specialist of the Week honors. He followed that up with 5-of-5 PATs and 1-of-2 field goals against Tennessee State (Nov. 3).
The Redhawks have won 25 weekly honors this 2018 season. Here is a breakdown of those awards:
OVC Offensive Player of the Week (4)
OVC Defensive Player of the Week (5)
OVC Specialist of the Week (4)
OVC Newcomer of the Week (3)
CSM OVC Offensive Player of the Week (3)
CSM OVC Defensive Player of the Week (2)
STATS Offensive Player of the Week (1)
STATS Defensive Player of the Week (1)
CSM National Offensive Player of the Week (1)
CSM National Defensive Player of the Week (1)
- CSM (College Sports Madness)
Senior Drew Forbes enters Saturday's game with a streak of 33 consecutive starts at left tackle. Forbes anchors an offensive line that features three returning starters.
The Redhawks presently have the second-longest scoring streak in the Ohio Valley Conference. Southeast Missouri has scored in 88-consecutive games and ranks behind Murray State (152) in that category. The last time the Redhawks were shutout in a game was at Purdue (59-0) on Sept. 17, 2011.