CHARLESTON (WCIA) — EIU Football opens it’s 2017 season Thursday against Indiana State.
The Panthers finished the 2016 season 4-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference, missing a shot at the playoffs.
The preseason polls have EIU finishing fourth in the conference behind Jacksonville State, UT Martin, and Tennessee State, about where the team finished last season after losing three of its last four games.
Defying expectations and getting back to the postseason, however, aren’t the Panthers’ only goals. Head coach Kim Dameron said the team should perform well and early.
“It is important that we play well in the first ball game,” Dameron said. “That is something that has ben a big, big emphasis this year for us, is that we want to play mid-season form in game one, and with as many returning players as we have, I’m hopefully that we’ll be able to do that.”
“This year our goals are much higher,” senior linebacker Nick Horne said. “We want to win a conference championship, national championship. We also, defensive-wise, we want to be one of the best defenses in the country.”