Eastern Illinois opened the 2019 season last Thursday with a 24-10 loss at Chattanooga. It marked the third straight season that EIU has opened the year on the road. It marked the head coaching debut for Adam Cushing who was hired as the 25th head coach in Eastern Illinois history in December of 2018.
Eastern Illinois and Indiana will be meeting for the first time in program history. This will be the ninth time that EIU has faced a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Panthers are 0-8 in previous meetings with the last match-up coming during the 2015 season when EIU lost at Northwestern with current Panthers head coach Adam Cushing on the Wildcats staff.
The Panthers started three true freshmen on its offensive line in the season opener at Chattanooga. Chad Strickland, Elkhanan Tanelus and Anthony Sottosanto all began their collegiate careers as starters. The line helped the Panthers finish with 354 yards of total offense allowing only one sack which ranks 22nd in the FCS.