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EKU to meet Western Carolina in Opportunity Bowl on Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium


Eastern Kentucky University will face Western Carolina in the Opportunity Bowl presented by Raising Cane’s, and in memory of Dr. Sheila Pressley, on Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. The bowl will air live on ESPN3.

Eastern Kentucky is 2-6 after falling at No. 11 Central Arkansas last Saturday by a 37-25 score at Conway, Ark. The Colonels overcame a 24-0 deficit and took a 25-24 lead, but couldn’t hold off the Bears.

EKU’s Alonzo Booth is second in FCS football with 530 rushing yards. (EKU photo)

EKU redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Velez made his collegiate debut at Central Arkansas and helped the Colonels erase the 24-point deficit. He finished 15-of-19 for 151 yards with a touchdown pass and added a touchdown run.

Alonzo Booth carried the ball 33 times for 124 yards and scored a touchdown at Central Arkansas. It was the first time an EKU running back had 30 or more carries in a game since Dy’Shawn Mobley rushed 40 times against Murray State on Nov. 15, 2014.

Booth is second in FCS football with 530 rushing yards. He is third in rushing touchdowns (4) and ninth in yards per carry (4.24).

Western Carolina (0-1) played its first game of the season last Saturday, falling at No. 22 Liberty by a score of 58-14. The Catamounts totaled 282 yards of offense against the Flames.  WCU rushed for 142 yards and passed for 140 yards.

EKU leads the all-time series with Western Carolina by a 3-2 margin. The two teams first met in 1988, when EKU picked up a 32-14 win on the road. Eastern beat WCU 31-13 a year later at Roy Kidd Stadium.

Between 2006 and 2009 the two teams met three times. Western Carolina won 20-17 on Sept. 16, 2006, in Cullowhee, N.C.  The Colonels earned a 45-21 victory on Sept. 8, 2007, in Richmond.

In the most recent meeting, the Catamounts beat EKU 24-7 on Nov. 14, 2009, at Roy Kidd Stadium.

From Eastern Kentucky University

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