For the first time, Eastern Illinois will be serving beer at the home football game Saturday at O’Brien Stadium.
In the summer of 2016, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner approved a measure that allows Illinois colleges and universities to sell alcohol at campus events.
Saturday’s game is one of two events EIU will sell beer. Saturday’s home game against Tennessee Tech starts at 6 p.m. The other game will be the homecoming game against Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21.
Two two games will serve as a trial period for EIU. Southern Illinois tried the same trial basis last season and is allowing alcohol at games full this time season.
No. 4 Jacksonville State (3-1, 1-0)
With the graduation of Josh Barge, the Gamecocks needed the wide receiver core to step up. Demontez Terry has so far this season for JSU. In the 34-7 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Terry had eight receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown.
Through four games, Terry has 19 receptions for 252 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 63 yards receiving a game.
“Demontez, he’s a smaller guy but plays a lot bigger than what he is. It’s good to see the success he’s had. He’s worked tremendously hard,” JSU coach John Grass said. “He had a breakout night statistically, but you know what you are getting from him every game. He’s a smart player, plays hard and blocks. Get the ball in his hands he’s able to make plays and hopefully we find ways to get him the football.”
This week the Gamecocks face Austin Peay, which is on a three-game winning streak. The Gamecocks aren’t statistically the best defense in the game, either. JSU has allowed only 290.2 yards per game, but the Governors lead the lead with only 251.8 yards allowed a game.
“Number one, they are committed and you can tell that on tape. They play extremely hard. Half the battle is get them to run to the ball and be physical and they are playing physical and are sound in what they do,” Grass said. “Scheme wise they are good. They are a year older and do a great job.They are developing guys and doing things the right way.”
Austin Peay (3-2, 2-0)
Defensive end Jaison Williams was in UT Martin’s backfield for a good portion of Saturday’s game as Austin Peay knocked off No. 18 UT Martin 7-0.
Williams, a sophomore, had six tackles, 2.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries and forced a fumble. Williams was named the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
“He plays with the energy and emotion that you want him to,” Austin Peay coach Will Healy said. “He finally played the way we want him to play on a weekly basis. He has a great motor. We have to rush the passer like that to have a shot against teams like Martin. One of the biggest areas of improvement is the defensive line and we rushed the passer and stopped the run. I am very proud of Jaison and all of the defensive line.”
It was another game where Austin Peay’s defense showed considerable improvement from last season. It was the first shutout against an NCAA Division I team since 1986.
The Governors only allowed 291 yards of total offense and limited UT Martin quarterback Troy Cook to just 10-of-31 passing. Austin Peay’s defense currently ranks seventh nationally in total defense (251.8 yards allowed a game) and ninth in passing defense (148.8 yards allowed a game).
Austin Peay’s defense allowed more than 500 yards a game last season and the Governors have cut that in half this year.
“It’s amazing to me how the kids don’t relate to the past. It’s a totally different culture and they don’t perform like they lost 29 games in a row and they don’t acknowledge it,” Healy said. “Our defense feels like we can compete with anybody. They play really hard and believe in our scheme and are a year older.”
Four weeks ago, the Governors had a 29-game losing streak. Now Austin Peay has won three straight games for the first time since the 1986 season.
No. 25 UT Martin (3-2, 1-1)
The Skyhawks offense had trouble with Austin Peay’s defense all game. In the 7-0 loss to the Governors, the Skyhawks only had 291 yards of total offense and Troy Cook was only 10-of-31 passing for 126 yards. He had two interceptions and was sacked twice.
“We had 291 yards of total offense, but when you don’t have that 25 or 45-yard play, it makes it tough,” UT Martin coach Jason Simpson said. “The defensive line put pressure on us and the linebackers fit in well and the corners covered the post well and played well on 50-50 balls. We didn’t run good enough routes. Their defense played better than our offense did across the board and that’s why we didn’t score points.”
Tennessee State (3-2, 0-2)
Four turnovers proved costly for the Tigers in a 19-17 double overtime loss to EIU on Saturday. TSU had an interception and four fumbles in the loss.
“Hats off to our defense, they played well in some tough situations. We have to get on track on offense,” TSU coach Rod Reed said. “Every time there was a big play, there was a penalty to bring it back. We have to do a better job as coaches and the players have to do a better job on the field. We have to take our A-game to (Eastern Kentucky) and be ready to play at a high level.”
Eastern Kentucky (1-3, 1-1)
The Colonels run defense struggled on Saturday in the 29-10 loss to Southeast Missouri State. Even though the Redhawks passed for only 76 yards, they were just shy of reaching 300 yards rushing as a team as they finished with 299 yards on the ground.
The Redhawks had a 77-yard touchdown run from Cameron Sanders and Marquis Terry ripped off a 67-yard run. He led the way with 184 yards rushing and SEMO averaged 6.8 yards per carry against the Colonels, who are now allowing 179.5 yards rushing a game, third worst in the OVC.
“We didn’t tackle very well. That first and foremost was a major issue for our defense,” EKU coach Mark Elder said. “They were able to get a lot of extra yards after first contact and that can’t happen. That happened numerous times and that starts adding up. We have to do a better job of tackling and with our run fits.”
Southeast Missouri State (1-4, 1-1)
It was a breakout game for Marquis Terry in the 29-10 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. The Highland Community College transfer running back rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries on Saturday. Terry scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and added a 1-yard score in the fourth quarter. Terry ranks fifth nationally in total rushing yards with 540.
Terry was named the OVC Co-Newcomer of the Week.
“He definitely found that a little bit more, made some guys miss and ran through some arm tackles,” SEMO coach Tom Matukewicz said. “He was just intense with everything that he did and tried to get every ounce of every run. Our offense stepped it up and came together and gave him that breakout game that we knew that was there. That was good to get our run game off the ground a little bit.”
On the other side of the ball, SEMO’s defense was exceptional against the run. After allowing 230 yards on the ground against Eastern Illinois, the Redhawks held Eastern Kentucky to 11 yards rushing total. SEMO has allowed 121 rushing yards per game.
“I think that’s the thing I am proud about with our defense. We take pride in playing good defense and stopping the run,” Matukewicz said. “We have been up and down. That’s how we got some of our turnovers, got them in third and long and it affected their quarterback. I think (EKU) has some good running backs, good offensive lineman and good schemes, so hats off for us to do that this week.”
Murray State (1-4, 0-2)
For the second straight week, the Racer offense was held below 100 yards of total offense. It was a tougher opponent this past week, though, as Murray State traveled to Louisville.
The Racers were held to 80 total yards of offense, but Murray State coach Mitch Stewart thought his offense was a bit more productive than the week before.
“I don’t care if we are playing an FBS opponent, by no means am I happy with how we played I saw some improvements and things we haven’t done the past couple of weeks,” Stewart said. “I thought Corey Newble went up there and played well as a freshman (quarterback). He handled himself very well. I saw improvements, but by no means am I happy with how we played offensively. There’s still a lot of work to do on that side of the ball.”
Tennessee Tech (0-5, 0-2)
The Golden Eagles have struggled with turnovers this season, but on Saturday they won the turnover battle. Still, Tech lost to Jacksonville State 34-7, but having no turnovers was a step in the right direction.
“That was crucial. If we don’t win the turnover battle, we might get beat by 60,” Tech coach Marcus Satterfield said. “Winning the turnover battle kept us in the game. Where we are in the program, that’s something we should focus on as a team.”