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SIU Fooball | 4-Down Territory: Lenoir moves up career charts, and some bad history on Saturday

Landon Lenoir moves up the career charts, and some bad history for Saturday, all in today's Saluki Football 4-Down Territory.

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First Down: Lenoir moves up to third in career catches

Lenoir had 54 of his 98 receiving yards Saturday against Dayton after catching the football, and moved up the Saluki career charts. The sixth-year wideout from Crete moved up to third on SIU's all-time receptions list, with 160, fourth place with 1,979 yards, and tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns after catching a 6-yard pass from Nic Baker. Lenoir's 11 receiving touchdowns are tied with five others, most recently LaSteven McKinney (2011-14).

Lenoir has caught at least one pass in 23 straight games heading into No. 7/8 SIU's MVFC opener against Illinois State (2-1) Saturday. The Salukis (2-1) and Redbirds kick off at 2 p.m. on Family Weekend.

Lenoir is 21 yards from becoming just the fourth receiver in school history with 2,000 yards. Cornell Craig (3,508, 1996-99), former tight end MyCole Pruitt (2,601, 2011-14) and Brent Little (2,303, 2002-05) are the others.

Second Down: Bad history on Sept. 25

SIU is 41-38-3 lifetime against Illinois State, and won its only game against the Redbirds on Sept. 25. The Salukis are 4-8 lifetime on Sept. 25, dropping four of their last five.

SIU last played on Sept. 25 in 2010, when it lost at Youngstown State, 31-28. The Salukis last won on Sept. 25 in 2004, when they walloped Delaware State on the road, 49-0. SIU is 16-20 in MVFC openers, and 0-5 under Hill.

Third Down: Cox on pace for first 1,000-yard season in 22 years

Through three games, consensus All-American receiver Avante Cox is on pace for the first 1,000-yard receiving season since 1999. Cox has caught 12 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns this fall season, an average of 108.3 yards per game. Cox's long of 99 yards, which came on the first offensive play of the season at Southeast Missouri State, will be tough to beat.

ISU is fourth in the MVFC in pass defense, allowing an average of 181.7 yards per game after taking on Butler, Western Michigan and Eastern Illinois. SIU is second in the league in passing offense, with a Valley Football-best eight touchdown passes. The Salukis average 296 yards through the air a game so far. Western Illinois leads the league at 315.7 yards a game after quarterback Connor Sampson threw for a career-high 425 yards against No. 6 Eastern Washington.

Fourth Down: USD tackle honored as MVFC top lineman

South Dakota left tackle Alex Jensen was named the Valley Football offensive lineman of the week on Monday, after helping lead the Coyotes past Cal Poly on the road, 48-14. USD scored 41 points, earned 452 total yards and 26 first downs in just the first half. The Coyotes ran for 353 yards, the most under coach Bob Nielson.

Jensen graded out at 94% for an offense that put up 615 total yards and 35 first downs. The team averaged 5.5 yards a carry and 6.8 yards per play, overall.

USD (2-1) plays at No. 18 Missouri State (2-1) Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com

618-351-5087

On Twitter: @THefferman

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