CHARLESTON (WCIA) — Eastern Illinois football is nationally ranked for the first time since 2016. The Panthers are tied for 25th ranking in the FCS.

After going 4-1 so far this season, the Panthers now will face another ranked team for their first conference game of the season, facing No. 23 ranked UT Martin. While this is a big accomplishment for Eastern Illinois, they say they aren’t done yet.

“We knew coming here that we had some work to do and I’m really proud of the players’ efforts, the staff’s efforts, and the administration’s support, but we got a long way to go,” EIU head coach Chris Wilkerson said.

“It’s definitely cool to be recognized for all the hard work we put in over the off season, but I mean personally at the end of the day I feel like rankings don’t mean much,” EIU defensive lineman Nicholas Oliveira-Chace said. “As long as we keep coming out and executing and getting the job done and working hard like we’ve been doing then I feel like I’ll be satisfied.”

Eastern Illinois will host UT Martin Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT in Charleston.