Eastern Kentucky University football team is set to play West Virginia in game two of the season after a rough start in the season opener against Marshall, where the Colonels lost 59-0.
This will be the first time that EKU and WVU have met on the gridiron.
The Colonels were limited to only 166 yards at Marshall. EKU had 86 yards rushing and 80 yards passing. Linebacker Matthew Jackson had a game high of 12 tackles. Freshmen Jaylen Herrud and Darrian Baker recorded their first career sacks. Punter Thomas Cook punted six times, averaging 41.3 yards per punt.
The Mountaineers had an overall season record of 5-7 in 2019 and a 3-6 record in the Big 12 Conference. Running back Leddie Brown had a total of 367 yards last season, with an average of 3.4 yards per carry. Quarterback Austin Kendall threw for 1,989 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019.
“Neal [Brown] is going to have them going where he wants them to go...he’ll have everything in order for him to have success,” head coach Walt Wells said.
Wells said that WVU had a good lineup for offense and defense but he has been focusing in practice on improving on what needs more attention and preparing his team for Saturday.
“I feel like we’re moving in a direction we need to be moving in... we’ll be ready for kickoff in Morgantown,” Wells said.
After the loss against Marshall, Wells said that the team came together on Sunday which is normally the day off and rewatched the game footage in order to better themselves and fix the mistakes.
Offensive lineman Jackson Bardall said, “I think we did a good job trying to get to know one another through zoom...that obviously affected the way we played but I’m not going to blame what happened on Saturday because of that.”
With the spring semester being moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new head coach and some new players, they were not able to get to know one another like they normally would. Most of everything they did face to face was moved to zoom, making it harder to communicate and form a bond with one another.
“We watched the film together because I don’t want one side pointing at the other,” Wells said.
After the tough loss, defensive lineman Quinten Floyd said he and his teammates are putting it behind them in order to move forward to this next game.
Floyd said, “I feel like we can make a lot of progress, last week it didn’t end the way we wanted it to at all.”
The mindset Wells has for this game is to clean up the mistakes from the last time and continue to improve each time.
“We’re going in for victory... football is a team sport,” Wells said.
The Colonels are set to take to the road against the Mountaineers on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 12 p.m. The game is set to be aired on FS1.