Eastern Illinois (1-3) vs. Northwestern State (2-3)
O’Brien Field (10,000) • Charleston, Ill.
October 8, 2022 • 2 pm • TV: ESPN3
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NOTES TO KNOW
• Eastern Illinois snapped a nine-game losing streak as the Panthers won at Murray State on Sept. 24, 35-21, to improve to 1-3 overall. The win moved EIU to 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Panthers will not play another league game until Oct. 22 at Tennessee State. Northwestern State enters at 2-3 on the season including 2-0 in the Southland Conference. This will be the first of two OVC/Southland crossover games for EIU as they visit McNeese on Nov. 5. EIU is slated to play both teams as part of its 2023 schedule as well.
• Eastern Illinois rushed for a season high 339 yards in the win over Murray State as the Panthers had three players finish with more than 60 yards on the ground. It was the highest rushing total for EIU since a 351 yard day on Oct. 14, 2017, also at Murray State. It marked the ninth time since the 2012 season that EIU has rushed for 300 or more yards in a game. EIU’s biggest rushing day in the last ten years was 413 yards in 2014 against Austin Peay.
• Eastern Illinois defense forced five turnovers during the Panthers OVC opening win over Murray State with four interceptions and one fumble recovery. The last time EIU had five or more turnovers in a game was during the 2015 season when the Panthers forced seven in the final regular season game win over Eastern Kentucky (5 INT / 2 FR). EIU also had five interceptions earlier that season against Tennessee Tech forcing six turnovers. The Panthers now have nine turnovers gained this season, which ranks seventh in the FCS. It marked the third straight game EIU had forced multiple turnovers.
• Linebacker Elijah Tolbert was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his efforts against Murray State. Tolbert had two interceptions and three pass break-ups to go along with six tackles. He is fifth in the FCS this season with three interceptions and ranks second on the EIU roster with 31 tackles. The last EIU player with two interceptions in a game was Tolbert’s teammate Russell Dandy who picked off a pair of passes in 2021 in EIU’s game at Murray State.
• Running back Kendi Young ripped off a career high 160 yards on eight carries in the win at Murray State. Young had two runs in the game over 40 yards while scoring one of the Panthers three rushing touchdowns. It was a career high for Young whose previous career high was 88 yards during the 2020 spring season against Southeast Missouri. The last EIU running back to Rush for more than 150 yards in a game was Darshon McCullough with 155 yards in 2019 at Tennessee State.