CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning score with 2:38 remaining, to lead Eastern Illinois past Illinois State 33-26 Thursday night in the season opener for both schools.
Lorence Ricks caught seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers, who scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. Garoppolo also ran for a 1-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 19. He connected with Ricks for a 42-yard touchdown after an ISU turnover to give Eastern Illinois a 26-19 lead.
Ashton Leggett, who finished with 97 yards rushing, scored his second touchdown of the game from 3 yards out to tie it again. But Garoppolo, who completed 25 of 34 attempts, found Chris Wright for 10 yards for the winning TD.
Matt Brown was 23 of 35 for 240 yards for Illinois State with two interceptions.