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2016 Preseason OVC Preview: Eastern Kentucky

2015 Record: 6-5 (5-3 OVC)

Key Losses: DE Noah Spence (First Team All-American), TE Ben Madon (First Team All-OVC)

Key Returnees: QB Bennie Coney

Well… Last season didn’t end they way the Colonels wanted.  Many forget that Jacksonville State wasn’t the only FCS team that put fear into an SEC team last year.  The Colonels took Kentucky to overtime last year as well only to lose in the same heartbreaking fashion, only the Colonels didn’t end the season with a trip to the playoffs.  They blew a #13 STATS ranking losing four of their last five game to end unranked and earned a spot on the couch in Richmond to watch the playoffs.

Next season could either be fantastic or a disaster for the Colonels. The Colonels lose 12 starters and lose depth with the loss of 6 second stringers.  To make matters worse, all their losses are big losses.  They lost their only All-American, Noah Spence, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and lost the rest of their offensive and defensive All-OVC players (they retain two special teamers) to graduation. However, new head coach Mark Elder has recruited very well and has a lot of talent returning on the offensive side of the ball that will help him in his transition.  It will be a “next man up” mentality in Richmond this year, especially on defense, but if they can rise to the occasion the Colonels can be great this season.
Schedule and Predictions:  7-4 (6-2 OVC)

L    9/3 @ Purdue

W    9/10 vs. Pikeville

L    9/17 @ Ball State

W    10/1 @ Tennessee Tech

W    10/8 vs. Southeast Missouri State

W    10/15 @ Tennessee State

L    10/22 vs. Jacksonville State

L    10/29 @ UT- Martin

W    11/5 vs. Murray State

W    11/12 @ Austin Peay

W    11/19 vs. Eastern Illinois

With two of the Colonels losses coming from an expected place with two FBS teams, if EKU breaks the 7 win mark expect them to be in talks for an at large bid for the playoffs.  The matchups with Southeast Missouri State and Eastern Illinois will be big ones to win if the Colonels want a shot at the playoffs.  The winner of the EKU games between EIU and SEMO will likely be the one (or ones) that get playoffs bids so the Colonels will need to win.

Written by 

2010 graduate of The University of Northern Iowa. Resident loudmouth and stat nerd on AGS. Follow me on the Twitter, @cdl1018, for random blasts of MVFC stats and thoughts. Want to contribute to The FCS Wedge? Drop me a line on Twitter or email me at agsclenz@gmail.com.

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