Archive for September 2016

Unbeaten WIU Opens Conference Play Saturday

Unbeaten WIU Opens Conference Play Saturday
First-year Western Illinois head coach Charlie Fisher has blended right in with his Leathernecks in earning their way to an unbeaten nonconference start and a Top 10 national ranking. “Coach Fisher fits in so well,” senior wide receiver Joey Borsellino said earlier this week on Fisher’s WIU radio show. “I feel like I’ve known him... Read more »

Illinois State journeys to Fargo for FCS title rematch

Illinois State journeys to Fargo for FCS title rematch
The last time Illinois State visited Fargo, N.D., the Redbirds lost a 28-10 decision during a 2013 season in which they finished 5-6. A total of 1,057 days later, ISU will visit FCS and Missouri Valley Football Conference powerhouse North Dakota State at 1 p.m. Saturday. In between ISU’s visit, the teams played a wild... Read more »

Health of Quarterbacks, Play of Backups May Determine Success for Redbirds, Panthers

Health of Quarterbacks, Play of Backups May Determine Success for Redbirds, Panthers
“The quarterback is not only the team’s biggest decision maker, but his ability to make timely plays and efficiently manage the game routinely determines which team lands in the winner’s circle at the end of the season.” –Bucky Brooks, NFL Analyst Both Eastern Illinois and Illinois State came out of the 105th Mid-America Classic with... Read more »
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Moving the Chains with . . . Charlie Fisher, WIU Coach

Moving the Chains with . . . Charlie Fisher, WIU Coach
Charlie Fisher Wife:  Julie Sons:  Brian and Brett Bachelor’s Degree:  Springfield College (Mass.) Master’s Degree:  Eastern Kentucky If you weren’t coaching football, what would you be doing? When I was younger I thought physical therapy was something I might like to try to do. There’s coaching involved. You’re helping people get better. You’re helping people... Read more »

FBS victory pushes Western to highest ranking since 2003

FBS victory pushes Western to highest ranking since 2003
Beating FBS Northern Illinois on Saturday provided a major highlight this season for the Western Illinois football team. Two days later, the Leathernecks enjoyed another milestone. Western’s 28-23 victory at Northern Illinois helped the team move up five spots to No. 8 in the STATS FCS national poll this week, the program’s highest ranking since... Read more »

Prairie State Pigskin Notebook: WIU Victory Produces 10th FCS Win over FBS Competition

Prairie State Pigskin Notebook:  WIU Victory Produces 10th FCS Win over FBS Competition
A pair of Saturday wins pushed the FCS over FBS count into double digits. And Western Illinois played a starring role. First-year head coach Charlie Fisher’s Leathernecks knocked off Northern Illinois 28-23 in DeKalb and spoiled the Huskies’ Family Weekend showcase event. WIU’s triumph, combined with Central Arkanas’ victory over Arkansas State, gave the FCS... Read more »
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Late Rally Falls Short for Kolbe, ISU in Valley Opener

Late Rally Falls Short for Kolbe, ISU in Valley Opener
Illinois State’s nonconference results were filled with highs and lows. Saturday’s Missouri Valley Football Conference opener at Indiana State brought much of the same. Coming off a week in which their practices were closed to outsiders, the ninth-ranked Redbirds started unproven true freshman Tristan Smith at quarterback. With regular starter Jake Koble nursing a sore... Read more »

EIU Panthers Overcome Hot Temperatures, Stiff Challenge

EIU Panthers Overcome Hot Temperatures, Stiff Challenge
Injuries to key personnel. Temperatures hovering just above 90 degrees. A stiff challenge from an unlikely opponent. Eastern Illinois faced and overcame all of these obstacles in Saturday’s 56-35 victory to open the Ohio Valley Conference season. EIU, playing without starting quarterback Mitch Kimble who was injured in last weekend’s win over Illinois State, raced out... Read more »

WIU Builds Big Lead, Holds Off Northern Illinois 28-23

WIU Builds Big Lead, Holds Off Northern Illinois 28-23
One final big play determined the winner. Would the unbeaten upstart from Football Championship Subdivision or the well-pedigreed Football Bowl Subdivision team be left standing? With the ball and the game’s balance resting on the nine-yard line, Western Illinois called a defensive timeout. The scoreboard showed a fourth-and-3 for the home-standing Northern Illinois Huskies. NIU... Read more »
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ISU Closes Its Circle as Conference Opener Looms

ISU Closes Its Circle as Conference Opener Looms
How big is Saturday’s Missouri Valley Football Conference opener on the Illinois State Redbirds’ schedule? So big that head coach Brock Spack closed practice to outsiders during this week’s preparation. “There are some things we’re going to work on, some things we’re going to be practicing that I don’t want out there,” Spack told The Pantagraph earlier... Read more »