The Colonels are looking to continue their winning ways as they travel to West Virginia to face the Thundering Herd of Marshall University.
Last week, EKU came away with a 49-23 victory over rival Morehead State. “It’s always great to have a victory under your belt, it’s great to start the season off with a victory,” head coach Mark Elder said during the weekly EKU press conference on Sep. 3. Marshall also won last week defeating Miami (Ohio) by a score of 35-28.
This is the 20 meeting of the two teams, who were once rivals as part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) before Marshall moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). “Moving on to this week we got Marshall, a team that EKU fans are very familiar with, I know that we’ve played them numerous times throughout the years,” Elder said during the press conference.
The Thundering Herd leads the all-time series 10-8-1. “They’re extremely talented,” Elder said. Marshall has a freshman quarterback, Isaiah Green, who played in his first collegiate game last week. Elder thought he made some great throws and didn't put the ball in jeopardy during the game. Elder was also impressed with Green’s composure.
“They look real nice, very big and athletic. We’re going from being the top-dog to the underdog, we got to come in ready to shock the world,” junior running back from Dayton, Ohio, Daryl McCleskey Jr. said during the press conference.
EKU is coming into this game as an underdog with only a 2.2 percent chance of winning according to ESPN. Marshall has won 82.9 percent of its home games in Joan C. Edwards Stadium. This hasn’t affected the Colonel's mindset coming into the game. “We haven't been getting the respect we’ve wanted as a team already so every game we’re going into it as the underdog, whether we are or not because we have a lot to prove,” McCleskey said.
Elder is still planning on playing multiple quarterbacks in the game like he did in week one. Last week Dakota Allen, redshirt freshman from Lebanon, Ohio, started the game and Austin Scott, redshirt sophomore from Moore, South Carolina, received some playing time. Alphonso Howard, sophomore from Chicago, Illinois also came into the game late against Morehead.
This week the Colonels will look to continue running the ball from the start. McCleskey led Eastern Kentucky with 125 yards on 14 carries in the first game of the season. As a team, EKU had 401 rushing yards against Morehead.
Coming into this matchup Elder and the team are working on fixing mistakes from last week and preparing for arguably one of the best opponents they will face this season. “It’s going to be a great challenge and I know our guys are very excited for the opportunity this Saturday,” Elder said.
The Colonel’s roll into Huntington, West Virginia on Saturday looking to add another win to their resume and stay undefeated. Game time is set for 6 p.m.