Eastern Kentucky (3-6) played a fall season and beat Stephen F. Austin 24-6 in its lone matchup against a future WAC opponent.
Walt Wells is settling in as he enters his second season as EKU’s head coach, and the Colonels have continuity at QB with Parker McKinney back under center. Running back Alonzo Booth rushed for 753 yards and seven touchdowns on 4.7 yards per carry for an inconsistent offense.
QB Parker McKinney: Played in and started the first six games of the season before suffering a season-ending injury; completed 64 % of his passes (102-for-160) for 1,358 yards; threw 12 touchdown passes and only five interceptions; averaged 226 yards per game.
WR Jacquez Jones: The former Kentucky Wildcat and Tennessee Vol transfer played in all nine games and started five times; led the team with 40 receptions and was second with 578 receiving yards; caught four touchdown passes and averaged 64.2 receiving yards per game; averaged 4.4 receptions per game and 14.4 yards per reception.
LB Kaleb Lundy: Played in and started all nine games at linebacker; finished the season with 54 tackles, which was second-most on the team; had two tackles for a loss and one pass deflection.
Key Game: September 25 vs. Austin Peay
Worst Case: A punishing schedule dooms the Colonels to a sub-.500 year, with the finishing blow involving two very long road trips to Texas vs. Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston.
Best Case: A well-tested EKU squad, on the heels of a fall football season last year, enters Alliance play in the middle of a long homestand with some momentum. They use that to get some early Alliance wins before they get to the meat of their schedule, with a shot at some glory and an FCS Playoff spot.
Rob Butler is a lifelong Texas A&M football fan – his family is full of A&M graduates. He graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with two degrees – a BBA in Finance and an MBA. His hobbies include jogging and reading books pertaining to college football.