Rochester’s Nic Baker gets national award after SIU comeback win

Southern Illinois quarterback Nic Baker (8) looks to pass against Northwestern, during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton

CARBONDALE — Rochester native Nic Baker, a senior quarterback at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, won the FedEx Ground FCS National Offensive Player of the Week award, the Missouri Valley Football Conference announced on Monday.

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Baker guided SIU’s 15-0 halftime deficit comeback against Southeast Missouri State University on Saturday as the Salukis won 26-25. He threw for 408 yards in the second half — an SIU school record for most yards thrown in a half.

Baker, a 2018 Rochester High School graduate, completed 35-of-51 passes for 462 yards and three touchdowns as the then-FCS Coaches Poll No. 18-ranked Salukis improved to 3-0 to beat then-No. 15 SEMO.

Baker is the first SIU national player of the week since Mark Iannotti won in 2015. The Salukis’ quarterback converted three fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter, including a 9-yard touchdown to Izaiah Hartrup with 11 seconds left that gave SIU its only lead of the game.

The 5-foot-9 Baker was also named the MVFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for the eighth time in his career. Baker also won the league’s award after a Week 1 win over Austin Peay.

In 2016 and 2017, Baker led the Rockets to Class 4A state championships in 2016 and 2017.

D’Anté Cox, a 2017 Rochester graduate and an SIU senior wide receiver, caught five passes for 64 yards in the Salukis’ win.

SIU moved to 13th in this week’s coaches poll. SIU hosts Missouri State (0-2) on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Baker throws 3 TD passes as Southern Illinois rallies to beat Southeast Missouri State 26-25

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Author : The State Journal-Register

Publish date : 2023-09-19 03:32:31

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