Moving the Chains with . . . SIU receiver Raphael Leonard

Moving the Chains with . . . SIU receiver Raphael Leonard
Raphael Leonard is one of Southern Illinois’ most recognizable players. Much of that status comes from his having played at East Mississippi Community College in 2016, where Leonard was part of Season 2 of the popular Netflix documentary Last Chance U. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound senior leads the Salukis in receptions. In fact, Leonard has caught at... Read more »

EIU mourns loss of longtime head coach Bob Spoo

EIU mourns loss of longtime head coach Bob Spoo
Former Eastern Illinois football coach Bob Spoo died early Monday morning in Rockford.  Spoo, 80, was head coach at EIU from 1987-2011, amassing a school-record 144 victories. His 68 Ohio Valley Conference wins rank fourth all-time among conference head coaches. While Spoo certainly can be measured in numbers, awards and conference championships, his legacy goes far... Read more »

Stalled drives, turnovers tame Western against No. 1 NDSU

Stalled drives, turnovers tame Western against No. 1 NDSU
Of eight drives in the first half against No. 1 ranked North Dakota State, the Western Illinois offense enjoyed little success. Against the stifling Bison (6-0), Western managed one drive longer than four plays and punted five times. Those offensive struggles defined Saturday’s game in Macomb as NDSU rolled to a 34-7 Missouri Valley Football... Read more »
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Illinois State wins rivalry game, Spack loses 'stache

Illinois State wins rivalry game, Spack loses 'stache
NORMAL–Brock Spack’s new look was the opposite of the game’s result–a close shave. The 10-year Illinois State head coach made a deal with his team that if the Redbirds could beat rival Southern Illinois by at least 35 points–the margin of last year’s 42-7 loss in Carbondale–then Spack would shave his famous mustache after the... Read more »

Ohio Valley's best punishes Eastern Illinois

Ohio Valley's best punishes Eastern Illinois
Matching up against the Ohio Valley Conference’s best team led Eastern Illinois head coach Kim Dameron to issue a warning. “If we turn the ball over, we don’t have a chance,” he told the media this week. Though the Panthers limited their turnovers to only one Saturday, they still had nary a chance against seventh-ranked... Read more »

Illinois FCS Midterm Reports: Eastern Illinois Panthers

This is the final in our series of midterm reports. Today, beat writer Justin Rust of the Journal Gazette-Times Courier offers his analysis. Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-5 overall, 1-2 in Ohio Valley Conference) Offense: A- I can’t give a full A because of the Illinois State game but that’s the only game where EIU’s offense hasn’t clicked... Read more »
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Illinois FCS Midterm Reports: Western Illinois Leathernecks

Prairie State Pigskin contacted those close to each Illinois FCS program to get a midterm report on the 2018 season. Here’s our third such report. Western Illinois (2-3 overall, 1-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference)   Offense: C-. The offense has been extremely inconsistent this season. The WIU offense has scored on its first drive in four... Read more »

D-line duo provides stout front for Western Illinois

D-line duo provides stout front for Western Illinois
When Shabar Wilson visited Macomb, Ill., on his football recruiting trip, fellow defensive lineman Khalen Saunders served as his host. “He reminded me of my older brother,” Wilson, who played high school football in Memphis, told the WIU radio team this week. The two became teammates and are part of a unit that is ranked... Read more »

Illinois FCS Midterm Reports: Illinois State Redbirds

Prairie State Pigskin contacted those close to each Illinois FCS program to get a midterm report on the 2018 season. Here’s our second such report, courtesy of ISU sideline reporter Craig Bertsche. Illinois State (4-1 overall, 1-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference)     Offense: B. The Redbirds offense was blistering in the non-conference portion of the... Read more »
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RB Scott goes from 'Last Chance' to big chance at EIU

RB Scott goes from 'Last Chance' to big chance at EIU
Before Jamal Scott arrived on Eastern Illinois University’s campus in August, head coach Kim Dameron wasn’t familiar with his new running back’s fame. A transfer from Independence (Kan.) Community College, Scott was one of three running backs to be featured on the hit Netflix series, “Last Chance U.” In one game, Scott ran for 180... Read more »