... and a Biscuit shall lead them

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

HIs teammates affectionately call him "Biscuit." For EKU quarterback Allan Holland, Jr., it's a nickname he embraces.

HIs teammates affectionately call him "Biscuit."  For EKU quarterback Allan Holland, Jr., it's a nickname he embraces.

Known for is robust abilities and size, Holland and the Colonels have put together one of the more amazing runs in recent EKU history.  After dropping three of their first four games, some, including yours truly, thought new coach Dean Hood might endure one of the more disappointing seasons in Richmond.

The Colonels were blown out in the season opener at Cincinnati, 40-7.  But the Bearcats now are on the verge of a BCS bowl, sitting atop the Big East standings.

EKU dropped a home game to arch-rival Western, before finally outlasting Morehead, 16-8.  Hood's troops then fell to 1-3 with a loss at Tennessee State.

At that point, the Colonels could have folded and made excuses about the coaching change.

But they didn't.  Instead, Holland and preseason All-American Brandon Gathof rallied their teammates and the Colonles have strung together seven consecutive wins.

Holland and Hood have a history together.  While he was the defensive coordinator at Wake Forest, Hood was instrumental in luring Holland from Perry Co. Central to Winston-Salem.  Holland eventually left Wake Forest, returning to the Bluegrass state, where evetually, he landed the starter's role at EKU.

After Danny Hope left Eastern to become the coach in-waiting at Purdue, Holland and Hood were reunited.  The result has been EKU's 20th OVC championship.

This past Saturday, the Colonels traveled to Tennessee- Martin with the league title on the line.  Having never lost to UT Martin, Holland and Hood knew the opportunity was there to write an unlikely ending to Eastern's regular season.  Despite being outgained in total yardage, 501-172, EKU took advantage of five Skyhawks' turnovers, taking a 33-31 lead into the game's final seconds.

Gathof, a senior from LaGrange, saved his best game for last as a Colonel.  Gathof finished with 11 tackles, had two interceptions and won the game for the Colonels when he blocked a field goal attempt at :02.

EKU clinched its 19th playoff birth, which is most ever.  The Colonels will travel to RIchmond for the first round next Saturday.

It's been a remarkable turnaround for the Colonels, one that even had the great Roy Kidd giddy after the win at Martin.


Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.


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