EKU football home opener set for Saturday

The Eastern Kentucky University football team runs out on the field against The Citadel on Saturday, Sept. 26. 

Eastern Kentucky University football team will be hosting their first home game of the season against Houston Baptist on Saturday, Oct. 3.

“It's weird but it's good and we’re excited to get out there and show everyone that we can be that team,” head coach Walt Wells said.

This is the first time the two teams have played each other.

“Coach [Vic] Shealy is a good coach, I have a lot of respect for him,” Wells said.

Before Wells became head coach at EKU, he said he worked with Shealy at Austin Peay.

“Their quarterback is good because he can make plays… they like to spread out on offense and they are just as good on defense,” Wells said.

Houston Baptist has averaged about 34 points and 486 passing yards per game. The quarterback Bailey Zappe has averaged 484 passing yards per game.

“When we got back from Charleston, we went straight to our offices and went to work,” Wells said.

Wells said the team is healthy with no injuries and that they will be practicing every day leading up to this game.

“As a team that was a win that we definitely needed,” quarterback Parker McKinney said.

McKinney was picked as the FCS Player of the Week by Stats Perform after the Colonels’ victory at The Citadel.

The Colonels started the season with two losses against Marshall and West Virginia University.

“That's what we’ve been looking for since day one… there has been a big connection between the team and coaches,” linebacker Matthew Jackson said.

Jackson was chosen as the FCS Defensive Player of the Week by College Football Primetime after his performance in the Colonels’ 37-14 victory at The Citadel last Saturday.

Jackson totaled 11 tackles, including a sack and a total of three tackles for a loss. He also recovered a fumble.

The Colonels have a record of 1-2 while the Huskies are 0-3 for the season.

COVID-19 protocols are in place for the home opener. Masks will be required throughout the entirety of the game. Ushers will be monitoring masking throughout the game. Anyone who refuses to wear their masks appropriately will be escorted from the venue.

All patrons will be required to wear facemasks when traveling through the parking lots and while socializing. No shuttle services from the parking lots to the stadium will be provided during the 2020 season.

Upon entry into Roy Kidd Stadium, fans and staff will be temperature screened using an infrared thermometer.

Hand sanitizing stations will be located in the stadium and signage will be displayed in common areas to assist with physical distancing.

EKU will take on Houston Baptist at Roy Kidd Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. The game will be live on ESPN3. Follow @SportsEP on Twitter for updates throughout the game.

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