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Battle of the Bluegrass football rivalry renewed: EKU to meet WKU in 2024 at Houchens-Smith Stadium

The football version of the Battle of the Bluegrass will renew when Eastern Kentucky University travels to play at Western Kentucky University in 2024, the two schools announced Monday.

The game will be played on Sept. 7, 2024, at Houchens-Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

The most recent meeting between Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky came on Sept. 2, 2017. Eastern held Western at bay for much of the first half and stayed within striking distance for most of the second half.

EKU closed within 10 points twice before falling, 31-17. The Colonels drove the ball to the WKU 6-yard line as time expired in the game, just missing a chance to set the final margin at seven.

EKU and WKU have met on the football field 85 times. Both schools were among the seven founding members of the Ohio Valley Conference in 1948. (EKU photo)

Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky have met on the football field 85 times. This will be just the second match-up between the Colonels and Hilltoppers since WKU moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision at the start of the 2009 season.

Both schools were among the seven founding members of the Ohio Valley Conference in 1948. Western left the conference after the 1981 season and returned for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. The first meeting between the two teams was in 1914 when EKU won 34-6 in Richmond. The two teams met every year from 1946 to 2000.

EKU is ranked 24th in the preseason HERO Sports Top 25 and 25th in the Lindy’s Sports preseason Top 25. The Colonels were picked to finish third in the OVC. EKU posted a 7-4 overall record last season and finished third in the OVC with a 5-2 mark.

EKU will begin the 2019 season having won 10 of its last 16 games. The Colonels begin the season on Aug. 29 when Valparaiso visits Roy Kidd Stadium.

A year ago, WKU posted a 3-9 overall record. The Hilltoppers finished with a 2-6 mark in C-USA. WKU closed the 2018 campaign with two consecutive victories, knocking off UTEP (40-16) and Louisiana Tech (30-15).

WKU opens the season at home on Aug. 29 with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff against Central Arkansas in the debut of new head coach Tyson Helton.

Information compiled from EKU, WKU and staff reports

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