NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team was picked to finish second the Ohio Valley Conference this fall in a preseason poll conducted by the OVC coaches and sports information directors. The announcement was made Monday at the OVC football media day event.
The Colonels, who have won a record 21 OVC titles, tallied 114 points in the poll. Since Dean Hood took over as EKU’s head coach in 2008, the Colonels have won two OVC championships and 29 league games. Both of those numbers are tops among the nine OVC football teams.
Defending league champion Eastern Illinois picked up the most points overall (122) as well as the most first-place nods (12). Eastern Kentucky travels to Eastern Illinois in both teams’ OVC opener on Sept. 28. The Panthers won the 2012 meeting against the Colonels, 24-7.
Lots of new faces will fill the Eastern Kentucky depth chart heading into preseason camp as 11 starters from the 2012 squad were seniors including three key positions on offense – quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
Four defensive starters earned preseason all-conference honors – senior linebacker Anthony Brown, senior defensive lineman Shawn Shupperd, senior defensive back Brandon Stanley and senior linebacker Ichiro Vance. Eastern’s defense led the conference in points allowed (21.7 ppg), rushing defense (108.2 ypg) and turnover margin (+19).
EKU kicks off the 2013 schedule with a Thursday night home opener against Robert Morris on Aug. 29. This will mark the first season opener at home and on a Thursday night since 1993.