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EKU administration defies Ohio Valley Conference, announces eight-game football schedule for this fall

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Eastern Kentucky University has released an eight-game football schedule, a week after the Ohio Valley Conference postponed its league contests for the upcoming season.

The revised schedule features home games against Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin and Western Carolina. The Colonels will open the season on Sept. 5 at Marshall, followed by another road game at West Virginia a week later on Sept. 12.

“I’m looking forward to leading this team onto the field at Marshall on Sept. 5,” EKU coach Walt Wells said. “I want to thank our administration for working so hard to ensure our players have an outstanding experience this season in an environment that stresses their well-being and safety.”

EKU receiver Keyion Dixon makes a catch against Austin Peay last season. The Colonels open the 2020 campaign on Sept. 5 at Marshall. (EKU photo)

Last week, the Ohio Valley Conference postponed its league games until the spring and gave member schools the option of playing up to four non-conference games this fall. Eastern took it a step further and stepped out on its own opted to go a different route this year.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished,” said Matt Roan, vice president and director of athletics. “We were able to schedule games against a historic regional rival, a senior military college, and other FBS and FCS championship-level programs, to go along with our already scheduled games at West Virginia and at home against Western Carolina. I hope that you will join me in my excitement for the schedule.”

The Colonels have a bye week on Sept. 19 before taking on the Citadel on Sept. 26 in Charleston, South Carolina. Following three straight road games to open the season, Eastern will host Central Arkansas at Roy Kidd Stadium on Oct. 10 and will play at Central Arkansas on Oct. 31.

Eastern also plays Troy on the road and will host Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 7 and Western Carolina on Nov. 21.

Roan left the door open for adding more opponents in the future.

“We do have the flexibility to add additional and/or special opportunities and will continue exploring those,” he said. “We’ll share those details as they become known.”

The Eastern athletics director added that player safety remains a priority because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“My goal has been to formulate a season reflecting the mission of our university – a season of opportunities and first-class experiences conducted with the health and well-being of everyone involved as a primary priority,” he said.

Eastern will be playing The Citadel, Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin for the first time in school history.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com.

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