EIU Remains In Both Polls


Published on November 4 2013 2:14 pm
Last Updated on November 4 2013 2:14 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois picked up a 56-21 victory over Tennessee Tech this past weekend to improve to 8-1 on the year, 5-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference.  On Monday the Panthers remained in the number spot in both FCS polls released by the Sports Network and FCS Coaches.

EIU returns to action this Saturday with a 12 p.m. game at Murray State.  EIU is currently the only team from the OVC to be nationally ranked in either poll after Tennessee State fell from the national rankings in both polls.

The top five remained unchanged in the FCS Coaches poll with number one North Dakota State idle and Eastern Illinois, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Washington and Montana State all picking up wins.

The top five in the Sports Network had a small shake up after McNeese State was knocked off by Southeastern Louisiana.  North Dakota State was first followed by Eastern Illinois, Eastern Washington, Montana State and Coastal Carolina which moved up to fifth.

Fordham, which is ranked sixth in the FCS Coaches poll and seventh in the Sports Network poll, joins North Dakota State and Coastal Carolina as the three remaining undefeated teams at the FCS level.

The reminder of the FCS Coaches poll in spots six through 25 includes Fordham, Sam Houston State, Youngstown State, Maine, Bethune-Cookman, Towson, Montana, McNeese State, Northern Arizona, Wofford, Charleston Southern, Southeastern Louisiana, James Madison, Lehigh, South Dakota State, Delaware, Samford, Chattanooga, William & Mary and Central Arkansas.

The remainder of the Sports Network poll in spots six through 25 includes Sam Houston State, Fordham, Maine, Youngstown State, Montana, McNeese State, Bethune-Cookman, Towson, Northern Arizona, Delaware, Southeastern Louisiana, Wofford, Charleston Southern, South Dakota State, Samford, Lehigh, James Madison, William & Mary, Chattanooga, New Hampshire.

Delaware, Chattanooga and William & Mary were the three new schools joining the FCS Coaches poll this week.  James Madison, William & Mary and Chattanooga were the three new schools joining the Sports Network poll this week.
Eastern Illinois senior wide receiver Erik Lora was named the Ohio Valley Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following the Panthers 56-21 victory over Tennessee Tech on Saturday.  The Panthers return to action this week with a 12 p.m. game at Murray State.

Lora hauled in 12 catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns during the win.  Lora’s two touchdowns in the opening quarter staked EIU to a 14-0 lead as they built a 28-0 first half lead.  Lora added this third touchdown catch in the third quarter giving him 16 touchdown receptions this season.  The 16 touchdown receptions ties the OVC single season record set last season by Quentin Sims of UT Martin.  That touchdown reception also gave Lora 32 career touchdown receptions for his career as he moved into a tie for first place on the conference’s career list for touchdown receptions with former teammate Chris Wright and Tennessee State wide receiver CJ Johnson.

Lora added a fourth touchdown later in the third quarter with an 80-yard punt return touchdown which tied for the longest punt return for touchdown in school history.  It would have been Lora’s second punt return for a touchdown on the day but a previous long return for touchdown was wiped out by a penalty.

Lora moved into seventh place on the FCS career receptions list with 296.  The next person Lora will pass on the list is Jerry Rice with 301 career catches.  Lora also moved into 24th place on the FCS career receiving yards list with 3,614 yards.  Lora’s 16 touchdown receptions this year rank first among all players across FBS, FCS, NCAA Division II and Division III.  Lora’s 87 catches this year lead the FCS and rank third among all collegiate players.

EIU quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was named the OVC Offensive Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com after passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns.