Oct. 2, 2010

Courtesy of SIU

NORMAL, Ill.
- Luke Thuston blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and No. 23 Southern Illinois ran for a season-high 342 yards to defeat No. 19 Illinois State, 38-17, Saturday at Hancock Stadium to snap a three-game losing streak.

SIU improves to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with what could be a season-changing victory on the road. Illinois State falls to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference with its first home loss of the season.

Junior running back Shariff Harris had 37 carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Chris Dieker added 91 yards rushing on 10 carries with one touchdown. Dieker threw for 78 yards with one TD to Matt Guinn in the third quarter.

Thuston, a redshirt freshman who made his first career start at free safety, had two tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery and his blocked punt was his second in as many games. Thuston's pressure of quarterback Matt Brown with seconds remaining in the second quarter caused a Stephen Franklin interception when the Redbirds had the ball on the Saluki two-yard line.

Kyle Dougherty broke the SIU school record, when he made the 51st career field goal in the first quarter.