Archive for August 2021

Spack poised to become Illinois State's career leader in coaching wins

Brock Spack is on the verge of becoming the all-time wins leader at Illinois State (photo by Barry Bottino, Prairie State Pigskin) When Brock Spack took over the Illinois State head coaching position in December 2008, the former Purdue linebacker and defensive coordinator spoke of waking the “sleeping giant” of Redbird football. Thirteen seasons later,... Read more »

Fresh Faces: Matching up vs. top Western receivers is welcome work for CB Ross

A transfer from Eastern Illinois, cornerback J.J. Ross (24) enjoys working against three of the nation’s most productive receivers in preseason practices at Western Illinois. Ross, a junior from Ohio, is among the fresh faces on WIU’s roster. (Photo by Keion Robinson/WIU Athletics) Editor’s note: This is part two of the annual Prairie State Pigskin... Read more »

Overtime rules change designed to shorten games, decrease injuries

Teams will be required to run a 2-point conversion play after a touchdown in the second overtime period. Previously, this was only required after a game reached the third overtime period. (photo courtesy The most significant rules change for this fall’s college football will require teams to run a two-point conversion play after a... Read more »

3 things we learned: Indiana State tips Eastern Illinois in Week Zero matchup

(graphic courtesy EIU Athletics) Though Eastern Illinois showed progress from its recent one-win spring season, the Panthers lost 26-21 in their “Week Zero” road non-conference opener at Indiana State. “Not the result we wanted. I’m getting really, really tired of saying that,” EIU head coach Adam Cushing said in a postgame Zoom conference. “But, there’s... Read more »

Season opener may prove to be a harbinger of EIU season to come

Chicago native Adam Cushing enters his third season as Eastern Illinois head coach. (photo courtesy Sandy King, EIU Athletics) Saturday’s “Week Zero” game between between regional rivals Eastern Illinois and Indiana State kicks off the fall FCS college football season. Certainly third-year EIU head coach Adam Cushing also wants it to ignite his team to... Read more »

Fresh Faces: EIU connections part of new running back's path to Charleston

Running back Markenzy Pierre (1) enjoys some down time during fall camp with EIU teammate Robbie Lofton. (Photo by Editor’s note: This is part one of the annual Prairie State Pigskin series on four new faces — two on offense and two on defense — who likely will play big roles on the field... Read more »

Spring lessons offer Redbird QB, offense room for growth

Illinois State tight end Tanner Taula caught a career-high 13 passes and two touchdowns for the Redbirds during their four-game spring season. (Photo by Barry Bottino) The worst game of Bryce Jefferson’s college career is one he won’t forget. Why is the Illinois State quarterback’s four-interception game during the spring against South Dakota so memorable... Read more »

'Finishing strong' & 'It's time' the next steps in EIU football turnaround

Several Chicago area players can be found on Eastern Illinois’ defense. (photo courtesy Sandy King. EIU Athletics) CHARLESTON—Head coach Adam Cushing believes a closer look at one-win spring season shows promise for Eastern Illinois football. The third-year head coach has pointed out several times that his Panthers were in every game following a one-sided opening... Read more »

WIU Leathernecks focus on a 'run-first offense' in fall camp

Ludovick Choquette was Western Illinois’ leading rusher in the spring season. (Twitter photo) An improved rushing game would vastly help both sides of the ball for Western Illinois. “In this conference (the Missouri Valley), and really in any conference that travels around the country, you’ve got to marry a great run game and a defense,”... Read more »

WR Hill back in step with Eastern Illinois offense after Achilles injury

Isaiah Hill (7) caught 58 passes in only eight games for Eastern Illinois in 2019 to lead the Panthers. He is recovering from off-season Achilles surgery. (Photo by CHARLESTON — Five months ago, Isaiah Hill was forced to the last place he wanted to be during the spring FCS season at Eastern Illinois —... Read more »