For the first time, Eastern Kentucky University and Purdue meet this Saturday on the football field. In other opening games recently, the Colonels have caused a few anxious moments for their opponents. EKU has fallen short in two of the last three years to teams, which were on paper, stronger. In 2009, Eastern lost to Indiana in Bloomington. Last year, in a real nail biter, the Colonels fell to Kansas State by three points. Eastern Coach Dean Hood says it’s important for his players to stay grounded
“I think the biggest thing for us is to not think that because we have been close in a few of these that it’s our turn, it’s just gonna happen. They’re a Big Ten team and they’ve got a ton, a ton of talent,” said Hood.
The football Colonels travel to West Lafayette Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. Hood likes the experience found on his squad…
“We’ve just got a senior on every segment of our team and I just think that makes me sleep at night, knowing that you’re gonna hit some ups and downs throughout the year and those guys will be in the room to keep our guys level headed,” added Hood.
The Colonels have received some pre-season accolades. EKU was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference and placed in the top twenty nationally for its division. So, Coach Hood is reminding his team nothing’s decided until the games begin. On the other hand, Hood believes the preseason attention is well deserved..
“I try to tell them, look guys don’t take it the wrong way. I’m not disappointed in ya, I’m proud of ya. You guys have positioned yourself here through hard work and focus. You haven’t taken a lazy step. You’ve been working hard. But, just being 48 years old, I know the traps of being picked first and all those pats on the back that you get before you even start to play the season,” said Hood.
Hood says one concern about taking on a team like the Boilermakers is the difference in team depth late in the game. Kickoff is scheduled Saturday afternoon just after 3:30.