EIU linebacker Horne's fan club spreads across conference

EIU linebacker Horne's fan club spreads across conference
Thanks to his team-leading 10.5 tackles for loss this season, Nick Horne has earned plenty of fans in Charleston, Ill. Horne learned this season that he has a fan club in other Ohio Valley Conference cities as well, in the form of opposing coaches. Horne, the standout senior linebacker for Eastern Illinois, said postgame well... Read more »

Illinois State faces must win situation in home finale

Illinois State faces must win situation in home finale
The Illinois State Redbirds faced the North Dakota State Bison for the 2014 FCS national championship. While Saturday’s stakes won’t be as high, they mean everything to this year’s ISU team fighting for a playoff berth. “Absolutely. This is a playoff game for us. Exactly right,” Redbird head coach Brock Spack said. “Most of the... Read more »

Western playing for FCS seed; ISU playoff path is murky

Western playing for FCS seed; ISU playoff path is murky
With the regular season wrapping up Saturday, Western Illinois is most certainly in the FCS playoffs. Should the Leathernecks defeat rival Southern Illinois Saturday in Macomb, the question of whether WIU gets one of the eight seeds and first-round byes remains up in the air. Head coach Charlie Fisher’s Leathernecks are 7-3 overall and 4-3... Read more »
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Moving the Chains with ... Western Illinois wide receiver Jaelon Acklin

Moving the Chains with ... Western Illinois wide receiver Jaelon Acklin
Throughout the Western Illinois football locker room, Jaelon Acklin has left a trail of broken dreams when it comes to Xbox challengers. He also has broken the spirits of a number of opposing defensive backs this fall, and currently is 25 yards away from the school record for receiving yards in a season. Along with... Read more »

FCS Notebook: Leathernecks, Redbirds remain among nation's ranked teams

After triumphing Saturday against winless Indiana State, Western Illinois cracked the Top 10 of one national FCS poll. WIU, 45-0 victors over the Sycamores, advanced two places and landed at No. 9 in the STATS FCS Poll, which was released Monday. The Leathernecks moved up five places to 13th in the Coaches FCS Poll. “Your biggest worry... Read more »

After defeat, Southern Illinois no longer encouraged by close calls

After defeat, Southern Illinois no longer encouraged by close calls
A year ago, under then-rookie head coach Nick Hill, the Southern Illinois football program took pride in close calls against some of the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s top teams. This season, with Hill in his second season, those close calls aren’t as encouraging. Despite a late rally Saturday from a two-score deficit, the Salukis (4-6... Read more »
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Rush, receive, return: Do-it-all McShane powers Western to record win

Rush, receive, return: Do-it-all McShane powers Western to record win
Running back Steve McShane has been a threat as a running back and a receiver this season for the No. 11 Western Illinois football team. On Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind., McShane’s skills as a return specialist gave his team a lift in its 45-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference victory against Indiana State. McShane’s 81-yard... Read more »

Illinois State falls in overtime at South Dakota State 27-24

Illinois State falls in overtime at South Dakota State 27-24
Looking for a spark, Illinois State changed its starting quarterback. And while redshirt freshman Malachi Broadnax ignited the Redbirds’ fire, South Dakota State may well have snuffed out ISU’s playoff chances. Chase Vinatieri, nephew of NFL standout kicker Adam Vinatieri, nailed a 43-yard field goal in overtime to give South Dakota State a 27-24 victory over ISU.... Read more »

Diggs, Western Illinois secondary moving beyond last year's struggles

Diggs, Western Illinois secondary moving beyond last year's struggles
Aaron Diggs was born in Florida, spent time during his youth in Illinois and Wisconsin and attended high school in Arizona. Diggs, a senior defensive back at Western Illinois, had another sport to thank for his family’s travels. Aaron’s father, Tony Diggs, played minor league baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals organizations.... Read more »
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Salukis hope to avoid playing own worst enemy

Salukis hope to avoid playing own worst enemy
Watching film of his team’s loss last week to Missouri State was an eye opener for Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill. The Bears beat SIU, 36-28, in Carbondale. But the Salukis, according to Hill, also were their own worst enemy. “We felt like we got in our own way,” Hill said. “We had seven... Read more »