Eastern Illinois coach Bob Spoo says his players know that U.N.I. nearly pulled a stunning upset over the Iowa Hawkeyes in last year’s season opener. The Hawks blocked two field goals in the waning seconds of a 17-16 victory and now it will be the Eastern Illinois Panthers who will be looking for an upset.
Spoo says his players will be aware of that, but they have some questions coming in and it will be a baptism of fire for some new players. Eastern Illinois finished 8-4 in 2009 and advanced to the opening round of the FCS playoffs. He says they’ve had a productive preseason, but could be healthier overall.
Eastern Illinois has a new quarterback this season as redshirt sophomore Brandon Lange makes his first start. Spoo says Lange is the question mark right now and it will be interesting to see how he performs. Spoo says to have any chance they must make the Hawkeyes earn what they get. He says they can’t give up turnovers, and penalties and those types of things.