CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP)Theo Day threw two touchdown passes and Northern Iowa created four turnovers in its 23-16 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday night.
Day was 14-of-26 passing for 103 yards and threw two interceptions and Bradrick Shaw had 24 carries for 124 yards for Northern Iowa (5-3, 3-2 Missouri Valley Conference), ranked No. 17 in the FCS coaches poll.
Matthew Cook made a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to trim UNI’s deficit to 13-6 with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that culminated when Day hit Sam Schnee for a 19-yard touchdown to make it a tie game with 10:58 left in the third quarter. Third-ranked Southern Illinois went back in front when Nico Gualdoni kicked a 33-yard field goal less than two minutes later. The Panthers answered immediately, going 79 yards in 14 plays to take the lead for good when Day connected with Kyle Fourtenbary for a 10-yard TD to make it 20-13 heading into the fourth.
Nic Baker completed 27 of 42 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown but threw a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions for Southern Illinois (6-2, 4-1).
Northern Iowa has played four straight games against ranked opponents, losing to North Dakota State and South Dakota before beating then-No. 7 South Dakota State last Saturday.
Gualdoni made a 49-yard field goal to open the scoring and his 48-yard kick gave the Salukis a 13-3 lead in the second quarter.
Cook added field goals of 38 yards in the first quarter and 44 yards to cap the scoring late in the fourth.
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