EIU Opens Season On Road at San Diego State

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Published on August 27 2013 4:22 pm
Last Updated on August 27 2013 4:22 pm
Written by Millie Lange

Eastern Illinois opens the season on the road for the first time since the 2010 season as EIU travels to San Diego State. EIU has won its last two season openers at home but has not won a road season opener since 2005 when the Panthers beat Indiana State, 24-13.

EIU won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title last year with a 6-1 record. The Panthers advanced to their 14th FCS playoff appearance falling at South Dakota State to end the year at 7-5. The Panthers have been picked as the OVC preseason favorites this year with senior wide receiver Erik Lora the preseason OVC Player of the Year. Lora and senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have both been named to the Walter Payton Award preseason watch list for 2013.

San Diego State won the Mountain West Conference regular season title last year with a 7-1 record. The Aztecs played in the Poinsettia Bowl falling to BYU to end the season with a 9-4 record. This season San Diego State has been picked second in the Mountain West Conference West Division behind Fresno State. The Aztecs return three preseason All-Conference players.

THE SERIES

This will be the second meeting between Eastern Illinois and San Diego State. The Aztecs won the previous meeting 40-7 back on Oct. 6, 2001, the Panthers first game flying following 9/11. Larry Ned rushed for 285 yards to lead the San Diego State ground game as they led 17-7 at the half. Tony Romo passed for 199 yards including a 65-yard touchdown pass to Andre Raymond in the second quarter. Raymond finished with 223 all-purpose yards. The loss was the only regular season set back for EIU as the Panthers climbed to No. 3 in the nation before losing in the FCS playoffs.