PREGAME NOTES: EKU Visits Kentucky at Kroger Field Saturday
Twenty seven miles separate Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond -- the home of the Eastern Kentucky University football team, and Kroger Field in Lexington -- the home of the University of Kentucky football team. However, Saturday’s match-up between the two neighbors will be just the fifth-ever meeting.
The game will begin at noon and air live on the SEC Network.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- Kentucky leads the all-time series 4-0. The two teams did not meet for the first time until 1998.
- The last time the two teams met, on Oct. 3, 2015, a 15-yard touchdown catch over the middle by Devin Borders gave Eastern Kentucky a 14-point lead with 7:39 left in the game, but the Wildcats scored two late fourth quarter touchdowns and won 34-27 in overtime. EKU out-rushed UK 180-55.
- Eastern running back Ethan Thomas ran for 84 yards in that game. Safety Kobie Grace totaled nine tackles, one tackle for a loss and returned a fumble 24 yards. Linebacker Jeffrey Canady recorded five tackles.
- Eastern continues to play well against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams. Last week in the season opener at Western Kentucky, EKU closed within 10 points twice in the second half before falling by 14, 31-17. The Colonels drove the ball to the WKU six yard line as time expired in the game, just missing a chance to set the final margin at seven.
- In addition to beating Miami (Ohio) 17-10 in 2014, the Colonels have lost close games at Indiana (19-13), Louisville (23-13), Kansas State (10-7) and at Kentucky (34-27 OT). Last season, EKU trailed Purdue by just 10 points in the fourth quarter.
- Tim Boyle became the first EKU quarterback to eclipse the 300-yard mark in their first game as a Colonel. The redshirt senior completed 63 percent of his passes (29-of-46) for 320 yards and tossed two touchdowns at Western Kentucky.
- Senior wide receiver Ryan Markush totaled a career-best 107 yards at WKU.
- The Colonels limited a Western Kentucky offense that averaged 46 points and 523 yards in 2016 to 31 points and 364 yards.
- EKU registered four sacks against Western Kentucky while allowing just one.
- The Colonels did not turn the ball over in their season-opener at Western Kentucky.
- Punter Keith Wrzuszczak (pictured) was chosen as the OVC Co-Specialist of the Week on Sunday. He was charged with keeping the nation’s No. 2 rated punt return team at bay in the season opener at Western Kentucky. Wrzuszczak punted four times, and only one was returned – for just two yards. He averaged 40.5 yards per punt. The Wildcats
- Kentucky opened the season by going on the road and beating Conference USA member Southern Mississippi, 24-17.
- The Wildcats are now 8-3 over their past 11 regular season games.
- UK held Southern Miss to 55 yards rushing on 38 carries (1.4 yards per carry), but allowed 309 yards passing.
- The Wildcats had 176 yards passing and 78 yards rushing in their first game of the season. Kentucky was out-gained 364 to 254 yards overall
- Kentucky forced three turnovers on Saturday at Southern Miss and turned the ball over just one time.
- UK converted just 3-of-13 third-downs in its season-opener. Southern Miss converted just 4-of-17.
- Individually, running back Benny Snell had 67 yards on 20 carries, Stephen Johnson completed 11-of-20 passes for 176 yards and threw one touchdown pass, and C.J. Conrad caught three passes for 97 yards and one touchdown against Southern Mississippi.
DOWN THE ROAD
- The Wildcats will travel to Columbia to meet the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Sept. 16. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be seen on SEC Network.
- The Colonels will take a week off from game action before beginning a stretch of nine games in nine weeks starting at home on Sept. 23 against Ohio Valley Conference member Tennessee Tech.
EKU Athletics Photo