Louisiana football starts with two home runs versus McNeese

Eastern Illinois (2-1) vs. McNeese (0-3)
O’Brien Field (10,000) • Charleston, Illinois.
September 23, 2023 • 2 p.m. • TV: ESPN+

Cover the game
EIU Game Notes | McNeese Notes | Listen live | Live stats | Watch ESPN+ | Buy tickets |

Notes you should know
• Eastern Illinois plays the first of two schools on its schedule from Louisiana State on Saturday as the Panthers host McNeese at 2 p.m. at O’Brien Field. EIU travels to Northwestern State next Saturday (September 30) to complete a two-year home-and-home contract between schools in the OVC and Southland conferences. EIU split its two games last year, beating Northwestern State at home before an early November road loss to McNeese.

• Eastern Illinois drove 93 yards on eight plays in 62 seconds on Saturday and scored the game-winning score with 30 seconds left. Pierce Holly to Justin Thomas 25-yard touchdown strike. The win snapped a five-game winning streak for Illinois State in the Mid-American Classic as EIU won the 111th meeting between the schools, 14-13.

• Running back MJ Flowers He was named Big South-OVC Rookie of the Week following the Panthers’ win over Illinois State. On a day when offensive yards were hard to come by, Flowers had 55 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 25 yards on three carries and caught four passes for 30 yards. Two of his receptions were on the Panthers’ final game-winning drive.

• EIU started the season 2-1 and received votes in this week’s STATS Performance FCS Top 25 poll. The 2-1 start is the Panthers’ best season since 2016 when they opened 3-1 which included wins over nationally ranked Illinois State and FBS member Miami (Ohio). The last time EIU was ranked during a season was November 5, 2016.

Justin Thomas He returned to the lineup for the first time since the start of last season when an injury after just four games ended his season. Thomas ranked among the OVC leaders in both receptions and receiving yards before his injury. This season he returned with seven catches for 80 yards including a touchdown for EIU. For his collegiate career, Thomas ranks 18th among all active college players in receptions with 186 yards while ranking 10th in career yards with 2,894 yards. These totals are second among players at the FCS level behind Jackson Jahnke (South Dakota St.)

• Eastern Illinois’ defense caught three passes against Illinois State on Saturday as the Panthers are the national leader with seven picks this season including two passes returned for touchdowns in the opener at Indiana State (Therese Harvey And Negi Bert). The EIU record for interceptions in a season is 31 set during the 1980 season. All seven interceptions came from different players that season.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: