I think the phrase a play or two here or a play or two there is very common in what fans would consider to be "Coach Speak". That term was very prevalent during the EIU football season that ended on Saturday with a loss at Illinois State.
Here are just a couple of examples which could have easily swayed the outcome of any one game and thus the record for the entire season.
1.) The game against Central Arkansas - EIU muffs three punts in the first quarter
2.) The game against Jacksonville State - A late pass near the end zone gets intercepted preventing an EIU comeback win
3.) The game against Murray State - A sky kickoff was not properly fielded resulting in an on-side kick that the Racers recovered
4.) The Illinois State game - The Panthers left points on the table with an interception in the end zone and mishandled extra point snap
Of course the Panthers did get that same play here, play there treatment to go in their favor in the win at Tennessee State as they scored one touchdown on a tipped pass in the end zone and won the game as a ball was fumbled out of the end zone for a touchback.
Despite some of those miscues the Panthers did show some life in the final weeks which can only bode well for next season as some key players from this year's team are set to return.
The play here, play there theory was also in full effect on Sunday in Lantz Arena where the Panthers knocked off Big 12 Conference member Missouri to give the women's basketball team a 1-1 start to the year. In that game sophomore Kelsey Wyss hit an improbable half court short off an inbounds pass that helped EIU stay on top midway through the second half. Wyss' play has been submitted to ESPN for Top Play consideration.
Congrats to the men's and women's cross country teams which finished up the season on Saturday at the NCAA Regional while the volleyball team also ended its season falling short on its bid to make the OVC Tournament in Kate Price's first season at the helm. Look for good things from both of those programs as they had good year's under young first year head coaches.
The men's basketball team will be looking for its first win this Thursday when the Panthers play at Loyola. The EIU Alumni Association is having a pregame function in the Windy City at Hamilton's Bar and Grill prior to the game.