BROOKINGS, S.D. -- Deji Karim rushed for 127 yards and Lance Caldwell returned an interception 75 yards for a score as Southern Illinois defeated South Dakota State 34-15 on Saturday to clinch at least a share of the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Salukis (8-1,7-0) came into the day tied with the Jackrabbits (7-2,6-1) atop the standings. They can wrap up the conference title next week with a victory over Missouri State.
Southern Illinois quarterback Paul McIntosh threw for just 108 yards but had two touchdown passes, a 4-yarder to John Goode and a 40-yarder to Jeff Evans. The Salukis limited South Dakota State to 14 rushing yards and recorded six sacks.
Backup quarterback Thomas O'Brien passed for 181 yards and two TDs in less than a half of play for the Jackrabbits.