EIU Ranked No. 19 By CollegeSportsMadness.com

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Published on August 13 2013 10:42 am
Last Updated on August 13 2013 10:42 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois football has been ranked No. 19 by the CollegeSportsMadness.com as the online website previews the top 44 FCS programs in the nation counting down to kickoff.  The Panthers are the top rated team in the Ohio Valley Conference as well as the only team predicted to make the FCS playoff bracket by the online site.

The Panthers open the season on August 31 at San Diego State with the home opener slated for Sept. 14 against Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic.  Season and single game tickets are now on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com

EIU will be led on offense by Walter Payton Award candidates Jimmy Garoppolo and Erik Lora.  The pair both finished in the top ten in the Payton Award voting last season marking the first time that has happened in award history.

EIU returns eight starters on defense led by All-Conference selections Nick Beard and Pat Wertz.

EIU was ranked No. 23 in the FCS Coaches preseason poll released last week.  The Sports Network Top 25 preseason poll will be released on Tuesday afternoon.