(STATS) - Eastern Illinois football will face a challenging schedule this year while it tries to win the Ohio Valley Conference title and reach the FCS playoffs.
The traditional OVC power finished 6-5 last season and just 4-4 in the conference.
The Panthers will kick off their season on Aug. 31 at Indiana State - the 83rd all-time meeting between the two schools, but the first since 2009.
They'll visit MAC member Northern Illinois on Sept. 9 before returning to Charleston for their home opener against Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic on Sept. 16.
Within the OVC, coach Kim Dameron's team will host Southeast Missouri (Sept. 23), Tennessee Tech (Oct. 7), Jacksonville State (Oct. 21, Homecoming) and Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 4). The Panthers' conference road games are against Tennessee State (Sept. 30), Murray State (Oct. 14), UT Martin (Oct. 28) and Austin Peay (Nov. 18).
2017 Eastern Illinois Schedule
Aug. 31, at Indiana State
Sept. 9, at Northern Illinois
Sept. 16, Illinois State
Sept. 23, Southeast Missouri*
Sept. 30, at Tennessee State*
Oct. 7, Tennessee Tech*
Oct. 14, at Murray State*
Oct. 21, Jacksonville State* (Homecoming)
Oct. 28, at UT Martin*
Nov. 4, Eastern Kentucky*
Nov. 18, at Austin Peay*
* - OVC game