ISU tumbles in national polls; Redbirds & WIU Leathernecks on FCS playoff bubble

ISU tumbles in national polls; Redbirds & WIU Leathernecks on FCS playoff bubble
After suffering the latest of three straight losses, Illinois State has fallen in the national polls. ISU, 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, remains ranked in both the STATS and Coaches FCS Polls. The Redbirds, 10-point losers to Northern Iowa Saturday, dropped nine places in both rankings. ISU comes in at No.... Read more »

Western rallies past Southern to keep playoff hopes alive

Western rallies past Southern to keep playoff hopes alive
Western Illinois entered the fourth quarter trailing rival Southern Illinois by 17 points with its postseason hopes fading in the late afternoon light. Showing the resiliency that often marks playoff teams, the Leathernecks rallied for a 34-31 win over the Salukis in Missouri Valley Football Conference action at Saluki Stadium. “We just fought,” WIU quarterback... Read more »

ISU losing streak reaches three in road loss to Northern Iowa

ISU losing streak reaches three in road loss to Northern Iowa
The last three weeks have not been kind to Illinois State. The Redbirds struggled to get their offense untracked Saturday and fell 26-16 in a crucial Missouri Valley Football Conference game at Northern Iowa. The loss was the third straight for the Redbirds, dropping ISU to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the conference. Previously, the... Read more »
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Critical road conference game awaits Illinois State

Critical road conference game awaits Illinois State
It’s not a playoff game per se, but it certainly will play a major factor when the NCAA announces the FCS tournament field in less than three weeks. “It’s a playoff game every Saturday,” Illinois State head coach Brock Spack said at this weekly media address. “It’s a tough conference from top to bottom.” While... Read more »

Leathernecks, Salukis renew rivalry Saturday in Carbondale

Leathernecks, Salukis renew rivalry Saturday in Carbondale
Two years ago, Southern Illinois rallied from a 17-point deficit to knock off No. 24 Western Illinois 44-34 in Carbondale. That result most likely kept WIU out of the FCS playoffs. Last fall, the Leathernecks toppled in Salukis 28-14 in Macomb en route to the postseason. So, what will Saturday’s Missouri Valley Football Conference encounter... Read more »

National media assesses postseason chances for Redbirds, Leathernecks

National media assesses postseason chances for Redbirds, Leathernecks
As the leaves fall and the calendar flips to November, the FCS college football regular season enters its stretch run. With Illinois State and Western Illinois still in the hunt for the FCS playoffs, Prairie State Pigskin assesses the chances of the Redbirds and Leathernecks reaching the postseason party. Illinois State has gone to the playoffs seven... Read more »
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Kolbe taking first-team reps in preparation for possible start

Kolbe taking first-team reps in preparation for possible start
A familiar face may be returning to lead the Illinois State offense when the Redbirds face Northern Iowa in a critical Missouri Valley Football Conference road game. With starting quarterback Brady Davis questionable for Saturday’s game at the UNI-Dome, backup Jake Kolbe is next in line to take over the position. Pantagraph beat writer Randy Reinhardt... Read more »

Moving the Chains with . . . EIU receiver Aaron Gooch

Moving the Chains with . . . EIU receiver Aaron Gooch
Aaron Gooch walked on at Eastern Illinois in 2014. He redshirted that season, but worked his way into becoming a special teams starter the following year. By his sophomore season, Gooch had moved into the starting lineup as a wide receiver. Two years later, he’s a vital part of EIU’s Air Raid offense as well... Read more »

Second half spells doom for Eastern Illinois

Second half spells doom for Eastern Illinois
Eastern Illinois couldn’t maintain its first-half success and fell 31-23 at Eastern Kentucky Saturday in Ohio Valley Conference action. Trailing 17-10 at the half, EKU tied the game midway through the third quarter as LJ Scott broke away for a 48-yard touchdown run.  The Colonels finished the game with 216 yards rushing after being held... Read more »
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Western's 'complimentary football' yields upset of No. 17 Northern Iowa

Western's 'complimentary football' yields upset of No. 17 Northern Iowa
A week ago, Northern Iowa shut down the high-powered offense in an upset of Top 10-ranked South Dakota State. Yet, it was Western Illinois that looked like the highly rated team Saturday at Hanson Field in Macomb. The Leathernecks trounced No. 17 Northern Iowa 37-17, marking the second time this season WIU knocked off a... Read more »