Illinois recruiting numbers 'way, way, way down', according to 30-year analyst

The number of Illinois prep football players signing with the state FCS schools may well be an all-time low, according to longtime recruiting analyst “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran. Today is National Signing Day, the December date on the calendar when high school athletes officially declare which collegiate program they will enter upon graduation. Earlier this week,... Read more »

5 burning questions for 2022: Illinois State edition

Senior Austin Nagel led the team in receptions this fall at Illinois State, but had only 19 catches for a struggling ISU passing game. (Photo by Brock Spack’s review of his team’s passing attack this fall was direct and blunt. “We are light years away from being able to throw the football the way... Read more »

Illinois State Redbirds postseason capsule

Freshman Cole Mueller led Illinois State in rushing. (photo courtesy Head Coach:  Brock Spack Overall Record:  4-7 Missouri Valley Conference Record:  2-6 Biggest Win:  Defense, a Spack staple, delivered in a 17-10 overtime triumph against No. 13 ranked Northern Iowa. The Redbirds racked up nine tackles-for-loss and ran an interception back for a touchdown in front of the... Read more »

5 burning questions for 2022: Eastern Illinois edition

Running back Jaelin Benefield was hampered by injuries this fall for Eastern Illinois. The running game managed less than 91 yards a game. (Photo by Barry Bottino) The off-season changes came swiftly after Eastern Illinois finished its third consecutive football season with only one win this fall. Gone are all five offensive assistant coaches for... Read more »

Eastern Illinois Panthers postseason capsule

Linebacker Jason Johnson (8) led the OVC in total tackles. (Photo by Head Coach:  Adam Cushing Overall Record:  1-10 Ohio Valley Conference Record:  1-5 Biggest Win:  EIU forced four Tennessee Tech turnovers leading to a 28-14 victory. The biggest came when safety Bryce Dewberry scooped up a fumble and raced a school-record 90 yards for a tide-turning touchdown.... Read more »

Illinois FCS members share thoughts on college football's 'free agency,' aka the transfer portal

Illinois State head coach Brock Spack is one of the Illinois FCS coaches who has experienced the transfer portal’s impacts. (Bottino, Prairie State Pigskin) “The transfer portal makes it different. I was talking to another coach and he said, ‘Can we really build a program any more?’” –Illinois State head coach Brock Spack, Sept. 28... Read more »

3 things we learned: Bison stampede past Southern Illinois in FCS playoffs

The SIU defense allowed 389 rushing yards to North Dakota State in Fargo Saturday in a 38-7 FCS second-round playoff loss. (Photo by After watching his team’s season come to an end Saturday in the FargoDome against eight-time FCS national champion North Dakota State, 38-7, Nick Hill summed up the game bluntly. “That’s an... Read more »

Slowing down potent NDSU run game is top priority for Salukis in 2nd-round matchup

Slowing down North Dakota State’s highly productive run game is the most important job Saturday for Southern Illinois in its second-round FCS playoff game against the Bison. (Photo by When North Dakota State runs the football, it’s often with a who’s who of the Bison roster. In the regular-season finale against South Dakota, seven... Read more »

Moving the Chains with . . . SIU guard ZeVeyon Furcron

Joliet Catholic graduate ZeVeyon Furcron has enjoyed a stellar career at Southern Illinois University. (photo courtesy ZeVeyon Furcron has been a the forefront of Southern Illinois University football’s resurgence. Behind every successful run or pass, it’s players like the 23-year-old guard that are the secret to Saluki offensive success. Certainly Furcron’s 6-foot-2, 327-pound frame... Read more »

Playoff rematch with NDSU another step in SIU's growth

Southern Illinois flexed its muscles Saturday in a first-round playoff win at South Dakota. The Salukis face No. 3 North Dakota State this weekend. (Photo by Winning on the road in the playoffs Saturday against South Dakota was a feather in the cap of Southern Illinois’ football program. “This is the second road playoff... Read more »