Will EKU be a Top 25 team in 2019?

How shared information from EKU appeals to me as a voter:

EKU football 2019

  • Went 7-4 in 2018.
  • Ended 2018 on a 4-game winning streak.
  • Finished the season ranked 35th in the STATS FCS Poll.
  • Is 10-6 in its last 16 games.
  • One of only 27 teams to win seven or more games against Division I teams during the 2018 regular season.
  • 18 starters back in 2019.
  • Newcomers include two FBS offensive linemen and former Oregon State starting quarterback Conor Blount.
  • 48 of the 61 players listed on the season-ending depth chart will be back in 2019.
  • Lost only 18 players who had ever played in a game.
  • Suffered tough losses to FCS teams Marshall and Bowling Green in 2018. Eastern trailed the Thundering Herd by just seven points in the third quarter and led the Falcons until late in the fourth quarter.
  • Defense finished fifth in the nation with 19 interceptions.
  • Second in the OVC in points allowed per game and total defense in 2018.
  • Ranked 26th in the nation in rushing offense.
  • Led the OVC and finished 7th in the nation in time of possession.
  • Leodis Moore III led the OVC and was 9th in the country in INTs per game. He returns for his senior season in 2019.
  • Quarterback Parker McKinney threw for 333 yards in the season finale, becoming the first true freshman in program history to eclipse the 300-yard mark in a game.

First of all, the original instinctual reaction would be to ask, “Who did you play?” A quick look at Massey shows they did beat SEMO, which is a surprise that wasn’t included in the list. For some reason they are rated low in most of the computer rating systems. That’s usually a semi-barometer for a lot of voters.

The home losses  at the hands of Jacksonville State and Murray State didn’t sit well with voters last season, and I probably wouldn’t have had them in my top 30 last season. They would have been right below that, though.

However, the 2019 poll reflects a new season and this statistical outline reflects many strong points. First, they had a true freshman QB finish out the 2018 season with a very solid game.   They do return 48 out of 61 players from last season’s depth chart and 18 starters.  That’s a strong factor in wanting to vote for them.

Another bonus is the mention that they have two FBS OL transfers. Transfers are often an enigma when it comes to what they are going to be worth, but if they are coming from the FBS at the OL position, they’re probably going to be big guys.

EKU’s defense was mostly stout last season and they do well at controlling the time of possession.  I think they would be worth a 20-25 slot as a lot of quality teams had big graduating classes. Having a solid core returning provides tremendous appeal to a preseason poll voter.

EKU 2019 Football Schedule

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