Archive for April 2021

WIU opt-out decision 'in the best interest of our players, our program, everybody involved on a daily basis'

Western Illinois opted out of the remainder of the spring Missouri Valley Football Conference season. (photo courtesy of A day after announcing its football program was opting out of the remainder of the spring season Western Illinois head coach Jared Elliott and his team captains addressed the media Tuesday afternoon. “When we got through... Read more »

Western Illinois opts out of spring football season

Western Illinois becomes the second state school to opt out of spring football. (Photo by Barry Bottino) Western Illinois University announced early Monday evening that its football program was opting out of the spring Missouri Valley Conference season. The official university release opened with, “Out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of its student-athletes,... Read more »

Coming off unscheduled bye week, SIU jumps two spots in national FCS poll

Southern Illinois wraps up its regular season hosting in-state rival Western Illinois Saturday in Carbondale. (photo courtesy Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill celebrated his birthday Monday. Though he’s a few decades past 16, that’s where his Salukis land in this week’s Stats Perform FCS national rankings. Coming off an unscheduled bye week, SIU... Read more »

3 things we learned: Western Illinois savors first win of unique spring football season

Wide receiver Tony Tate returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown Saturday in Macomb to help Western Illinois beat Youngstown State, 27-24. (Photo by For the first time in 518 days, the Western Illinois football team was able to celebrate a victory. On Saturday night in Macomb, in Week 6 of the unique... Read more »

3 things we learned: Jacksonville State clips EIU Panthers in final OVC Charleston appearance

No. 12 Jacksonville State celebrates during Saturday’s victory at Eastern Illinois. (Brandon Phillips/JSU Athletics photo) In its final appearance at Charleston’s O’Brien Field, Jacksonville State continued its recent dominance over Eastern Illinois by clipping the Panthers 44-23 Saturday. JSU — which is leaving the Ohio Valley Conference after this spring season  — took advantage of explosive... Read more »

Western's prolific passing game puts Leathernecks among national leaders

Senior quarterback Connor Sampson worked early in the COVID-19 quarantine with two of his top receivers. The result has been big numbers at WIU. (Photo by WIU Athletics) Early in the COVID-19 quarantine, Western Illinois football players weren’t sure if a season would be reality. “We didn’t know when we were going to play –... Read more »

Improved EIU running game faces stiff test against conference's top defense

Eastern Illinois freshman Jordan Smith (35) rushed for a career-high 142 yards last weekend against conference leader Murray State. (photo courtesy Dave Winder, Murray State) Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing has liked what he’s seen the last few weeks from his run game. If that trend is to continue, the Panthers will have to... Read more »