CHARLESTON (WCIA) — For the first time in more than a year the sounds of pads and cheers returned to O’Brien Field, but from the opening kick, Eastern Illinois was outmatched by one of the OVC favorites Southeast Missouri, losing 47-7.
The passing game struggled to find its footing as they only mustered 171 yards, with only 32 in the first half. Freshman Kendi Young gave the panthers a bright spot in the drubbing, his 72 yard touchdown got EIU on the board for the first time of the 2020 season. On the other side, SEMO had no trouble finding offense. They scored 34 points with 229 passing yards just in the first half.
“Our opponent today had a game in the Fall so that had something a little more recently then we did,” says head coach Adam Cushing. “But there’s a difference, in practice you throw the interception, you throw the ball into the ground you usually just line up and do it again. But here when you fumble the ball or throw it to the other team, the other team comes out there on the field and has some momentum. We’ve just got to get better into the flow of the football game.”
EIU will go on the road for a rescheduled contest against UT-Martin next weekend. That game was originally supposed to be the season opener but was postponed for weather