Thursday, October 08, 2009

An obligatory look at Eastern Illinois

About the University
Eastern Illinois University is a state university located in Charleston, Illinois, United States. Established in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, a teacher's college offering a two-year degree, Eastern Illinois University gradually expanded into a comprehensive university with a broad curriculum, including Baccalaureate and Master's degrees in business, arts, sciences, and humanities.

Cool Fact
This is going to sound very familiar to Penn State fans:

The first building was finished in 1899 and is called Old Main, though it is formally named the Livingston C. Lord Administration Building in honor of EIU's first president… Built of Indiana limestone in a heavy Gothic revival style with turrets, towers, and battlements, its distinctive outline is the official symbol of the school.

They must have feared an attack from rival schools?!?

Football related datum

Current Record: 4 – 1 – Currently ranked #25 in the latest FCS poll
Last year's Record: 5 – 7

The scary side of things

Hi, I'm Jake Christensen. You may remember me from teams such as Iowa!

The bad news for Penn State fans is that Jake played for Iowa so he's used to Big Ten play the good news is he was the QB for Iowa when PSU beat them last. Christensen is ranked 15th in passing efficiency in the FCS throwing for just over 155 yards per game. EIU has only allowed 2.7 yards per carry in its first five game and they rank highly in most defensive categories including scoring defense (12th and 1st in conference) and total defense (15th and 1st). Basically this game is a no-win situation for Penn State. However unlikely if they do lose it's of the Appy State-Michigan variety with an impact that would shake College football's very core… and I would finally make the leap from weekend warrior to full-time-barely-functioning alcoholic. Win by a small margin and it just looks really bad. Win by a lot and everyone shrugs it off because that's how it should go. Get a serious injury to someone, it's Armageddon.

The not-so-scary side of things
Really, let's all just face facts here, it's a FCS school, albeit a ranked and decent one, there is no excuse for an 'L' for Penn State. The Nittany Lions will most likely have better athletes across the board and should win easily. EIU lost their best running back and wide receiver to graduation and even with Christensen Penn State should be able to handle anything the offense throws at them.

Game Outlook
Hopefully Penn State uses this as a chance to get playing time for their second team, specifically Kevin Newsome who, Joe admitted in his weekly press conference, hasn't got enough game experience. Look for Penn State to stick to basics and keep things simple. They'll probably try to establish the run game early and get the offensive line off to a good start. I don't expect the game to be close at half let alone the end of the game.

TNL's Prediction
Penn State 45
Eastern Illinois 6

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