The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU football excited for 2024 season changes

Eastern+football+team+celebrates+after+getting+a+interception+against+UT+Martin+at+O%E2%80%98Brien+Field+Saturday+afternoon.
Tyriq Johnson
Eastern football team celebrates after getting a interception against UT Martin at O‘Brien Field Saturday afternoon.

There is still a whole semester before college football starts again. However, with the release of next season’s schedule, the players had some thoughts before the 2024 season starts.

Next season, Eastern plays two Football Bowl Subdivision teams: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University. The Panthers play the U of I Fighting Illini to start the season.

“Everyone’s most excited to play the first opponent because we try not to look ahead of our schedule,” redshirt freshman defensive lineman Cody Silzer said. “We wanna go one at a time, and obviously, the first one is Illinois, and we wanna beat them.”

The team wants to take each opponent one game at a time, but they are all looking at the matchup that could find them playing at Soldier Field against the Northwestern Wildcats.

“So right now, Northwestern is a huge thing on our schedule. Right now, we’re still not sure where we’re gonna play since getting their stadium broken down,” redshirt freshman kicker Ruben Popoca said. “So right now, I think Soldier Field is in talks. Just me growing up in Chicago, I’ve always been to Soldier Field for soccer games and stuff like that. I think it’ll be really cool to play there.”

Northwestern has not announced where they will play their home games since rebuilding their stadium.

There have been talks of many stadiums hosting their games including Soldier Field and Wrigley Field.

Some other things that stood out to players was adding another game to the schedule.

Last season, the Panthers only played 11 games with six of those being Big South-Ohio Valley Conference games.

However, next season, the Panthers play 12 games with eight total in conference, as the Big South-OVC changed their rules and now every team must play each other.

“The 12 games. That’s huge,” redshirt sophomore linebacker Phoenix Porter said. “Those extra two games are huge for the team. As far as individual stats and stuff like that, that really helps the players and evens the playing field between FCS and FBS because we don’t get nearly as many games as them.”

One thing that stood out to some players was playing at Tennessee three different times during the season. Graduate quarterback Pierce Holley, though, saw it as just three more games.

“I know we have two games back-to-back in Tennessee, but we have a break in between, which is nice, but honestly like it doesn’t really matter to us,” Holley said. “We wanna play whoever wherever.”

Overall, the football team is excited to improve on their 8-3 record. They start their season on August 31, 2024 in Champaign against U of I.

 

Patrick Schmitz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Patrick Schmitz
Patrick Schmitz, Sports Reporter
Patrick Schmitz is a freshman sports media relations major. This is his first year at The News. 

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest