Archive for May 2021

5 burning questions for fall 2021: Eastern Illinois Panthers

Eastern Illinois linebacker Jason Johnson (8) earned first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors this spring after leading the league in tackles. (Photo by Each week during his Ohio Valley Conference virtual press conference, Eastern Illinois head football coach Adam Cushing discussed the gains his team was making, step by step. Growth is crucial for a... Read more »

EIU Panthers spring postseason capsule

Charleston native Cole Hoover played in the trenches for Eastern Illinois. (photo courtesy of Eastern Illinois Panthers Ohio Valley Conference Head Coach:  Adam Cushing Overall Record:  1-5 Conference Record:  1-5 Biggest Win:  EIU got solid contributions and key plays in all three phases of the game as the Panthers toppled Tennessee Tech 28-20 at O’Brien Field. Eastern intercepted... Read more »

5 burning questions for fall 2021: Illinois State Redbirds

Defensive tackle and homegrown talent John Ridgeway is among the players who chose to leave the Illinois State program this off-season. (Photo by Barry Bottino) In a unique spring season, the games Illinois State chose not to play became the season’s biggest headline. A wave of injuries, specifically along the defensive line, led head coach... Read more »

ISU Redbirds spring postseason capsule

All-American offensive lineman Drew Himmelman signed as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos. (photo courtesy Illinois State Redbirds Missouri Valley Football Conference Head Coach:  Brock Spack Overall Record:  1-3 Conference Record:  1-3 Biggest Win:  The Redbirds rushed for 274 yards en route to a 26-18 victory over rival Western Illinois March 20 at Hancock Stadium. ISU... Read more »

5 burning questions for fall 2021: Western Illinois

WIU’s Dennis Houston was the team’s leading receiver this spring and earned first-team all-conference honors for the Leathernecks. (Photo by The Western Illinois offense was an enigma over the past few months – a wildly successful passing game with veteran players coupled with a sluggish running game made up of new faces that ranked... Read more »

WIU Leathernecks spring postseason capsule

Following his career-best 368 passing yards, Connor Sampson was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week. (photo courtesy Western Illinois Leathernecks Missouri Valley Football Conference Head Coach:  Jared Elliott Overall Record:  1-5 Conference Record:  1-5 Biggest Win:  After an 0-5 start, WIU got both a punt and kickoff return for touchdowns as the Leathernecks broke... Read more »

3 things we learned: SIU upset bid thwarted by top seed's 2nd half comeback

Javon Williams Jr. returned to the SIU lineup and made his impact felt. (photo courtesy Sometimes the Hollywood script gets thrown out. For much of Sunday night, Southern Illinois appeared on its way to erasing the memory of a 44-3 blowout loss to South Dakota State at Saluki Stadium in March. After falling behind... Read more »

Trio of former ISU Redbirds find new homes as undrafted NFL free agents

ISU offensive tackle Drew Himmelman signed Saturday with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent. (photo by Barry Bottino, Prairie State Pigskin) After the NFL draft concluded Saturday, three former Illinois State players – Drew Himmelman, Romeo McKnight and Christian Uphoff — were busy finding new football homes as undrafted free agents. Himmelman, a... Read more »

Salukis confront top seed in national quarterfinal

Branson Combs’ fourth-down TD catch sent Southern Illinois into Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup with top-seed South Dakota State (photo courtesy In a year and season that has featured more twists than a summer blockbuster thriller, Nick Hill’s Southern Illinois Salukis now face an old Missouri Valley Football Conference adversary worthy of what many would call... Read more »