Two schools located just 50 miles apart will resume a football rivalry that dates as one of the oldest in both schools gridiron history. Eastern Illinois and Indiana State have signed to play a four-year home-and-home series starting in 2017 at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute. The series includes home games for EIU at O’Brien Field in 2018 and 2020 with another ISU home date in 2019.
“This rivalry just makes sense for both schools to play,” said EIU Athletic Director Tom Michael. “This dates as one of the oldest rivalries in both school’s football histories. With the close proximity between Charleston and Terre Haute, this will be a great game for both of our fan bases to get excited about and possibly attend games at both sites.”
EIU and ISU last played in 2009 with the Panthers picking up a 31-0 victory in Terre Haute. EIU won the last five meetings prior to the series ending and the Panthers hold a 43-37-4 all-time series lead which includes one meeting between EIU and ISU in the FCS playoffs. The two schools first met in 1901 with EIU winning 16-0.
With the return of the Indiana State series, EIU now has two long standing regional FCS series on the schedule through the 2020 season. EIU and Illinois State meet annually in the Mid-America Classic which ranks as one of the longest FCS played series in the nation.
EIU went 7-5 last season advancing to the FCS playoffs for the 16th time in school history. EIU was ranked No. 23 in the final FCS Coaches poll. Indiana State was 5-6 last season.
EIU is in the middle of its spring practice season with the Spring Game set for Saturday, April 23 at O’Brien Field. The Panthers open the 2016 season at home on Thursday, September 1 hosting Western Illinois with a 6:00pm kickoff at O’Brien Field.
Indiana State opens the 2016 season hosting Butler on Saturday, September 3.
The dates for the games between the two schools are as listed below.
EIU – ISU Football Dates
2017 – Sept. 2 at Indiana State
2018 – Sept. 1 at Eastern Illinois
2019 – Sept. 7 at Indiana State
2020 – Sept. 12 at Eastern Illinois