EIU Climbs To No. 4 in FCS Coaches Poll


Published on October 8 2013 9:23 am
Last Updated on October 8 2013 9:23 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON -- A bye week benefited Eastern Illinois in one of the two FCS polls as the Panthers climbed to No. 4 in the FCS Coaches poll and remained at No. 5 in the Sports Network Top 25.  EIU will return to action this Thursday night at Austin Peay with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Governors Stadium.

The Panthers (4-1, 1-0 in the OVC) enter the game with the nation’s number one offensive unit averaging 598 yards per game.  The Panthers defense leads the nation with 11 interceptions while the special teams unit is ranked first nationally in kickoff return defense allowing just 13.2 yards per kick return.

EIU’s next game following the contest at Austin Peay is Oct. 19 against Southeast Missouri in the Panthers homecoming game.  Tickets are on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com

The FCS top five had one slight change as No. 1 North Dakota State edged Northern Iowa.  NDSU remained No. 1 in the FCS Coaches poll but did lose one first place vote to No. 2 ranked Towson.  Sam Houston State is ranked third followed by Eastern Illinois with Northern Iowa dropping to No. 5.

In the Sports Network top five; all five teams remained the same with NDSU first followed by Sam Houston State, Towson, Northern Iowa and Eastern Illinois.

The remainder of both polls was slightly different as several new teams jumped into both polls.  Youngstown State and Jacksonville State were added to both polls.  Samford and James Madison were newcomers to the Sports Network Top 25.  Tennessee State and Charleston Southern were newcomers to the FCS Coaches Top 25.

Teams six through twenty five in the Sports Network poll were Eastern Washington, Montana State, Coastal Carolina, McNeese State, Fordham, Montana, Wofford, South Dakota State, Maine, Villanova, Bethune-Cookman, Lehigh, Youngstown State, Northern Arizona, Central Arkansas, James Madison, Georgia Southern, Samford, Jacksonville State and New Hampshire.

Teams six through twenty five in the FCS Coaches poll were Coastal Carolina, Montana State, Eastern Washington, Fordham, Montana, McNeese State, Wofford, Bethune-Cookman, Lehigh, Villanova, Youngstown State, Maine, South Dakota State, James Madison, Central Arkansas, Northern Arizona, New Hampshire, Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Charleston Southern.

There are seven undefeated teams remaining in the FCS; North Dakota State, Towson, Coastal Carolina, Fordham, Charleston Southern, Yale and Harvard.