Two-Minute Drill: SEMO Football To Play SIU on Oct. 23 in the War for the Wheel

Sep 24, 2020

SEMO and Southern Illinois will play the "War for the Wheel" football game after all. SEMO and SIU jointly announced Monday that they will square off in Carbondale on Friday, October 23. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Saluki Stadium.

SEMO Director of Athletics Brady Barke and SIU Athletics Director Liz Jarnigan worked together with head coaches Tom Matukewicz and Nick Hill to plan a safe return to practice and competition.

The No. 25 Redhawks and No. 24 Salukis are ranked in the STATS FCS Preseason Poll and join a growing list of college football programs that are planning to play football this fall.

The game will count toward the 2020-21 season record and be used by the selection committee when determining the proposed 16-team playoff field. The Ohio Valley Conference expects to play a seven-game spring season, followed by the FCS Playoffs.

This year marks the 88th meeting between SEMO and SIU in a series that dates back to 1909 when the teams crossed the Mississippi River by boat to play. The game is now known as the "War for the Wheel" in reference to the ship's wheel traveling trophy which goes to the winner. The wheel currently resides in Cape Girardeau after the Redhawks beat the Salukis each of the last two seasons. SEMO leads the all-time series by a count of 42-37-8.

SEMO will travel to SIU on the day of the game and return to Cape Girardeau the same night.

Saluki Athletics is working on a reduced-capacity seating plan and other measures that could allow season-ticket holders and students to attend the game. Details will be announced at a later date.

Both SIU and SEMO resumed full-team practices Monday.

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