(STATS) - Eastern Illinois made the playoffs last season despite having a poor September.
Imagine if the Panthers get off to a good start next season.
EIU has set its 11-game schedule for 2016, including five home games.
Two the three teams the Panthers lost to while opening last season remain on the schedule, although this time they will host Western Illinois on Sept. 3 and visit rival Illinois State on Sept. 17. In between they will go to Miami of Ohio on Sept. 10.
Within the Ohio Valley Conference, the Panthers will host Austin Peay (Sept. 24), Tennessee State (Oct. 8), Murray State (Oct. 22) and UT Martin (Nov. 5). Their road conference matchups are against Southeast Missouri State (Oct. 1), Tennessee Tech (Oct. 15), defending champion Jacksonville State (Oct. 29) and Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 19).
EIU is entering its third season under coach Kim Dameron. The Panthers finished 7-5 overall as well as 7-1 and in second place in the OVC a year ago, making their 16th appearance in the FCS playoffs.
2016 Eastern Illinois Schedule
Sept. 3, Western Illinois
Sept. 10, at Miami of Ohio
Sept. 17, at Illinois State
Sept. 24, Austin Peay*
Oct. 1, at Southeast Missouri State*
Oct. 8, Tennessee State*
Oct. 15, at Tennessee Tech*
Oct. 22, Murray State*
Oct. 29, at Jacksonville State*
Nov. 5, UT Martin*
Nov. 19, at Eastern Kentucky*
* - Ohio Valley Conference game