Many of Kentucky’s college football pundits would probably say the EKU Colonels face their toughest opponent just one game into this season. EKU heads west down I-64 to take on number-eight University of Louisville. If the Colonels can keep the ball in their hands , there would be less time on the field for the high octane Cardinal offense. Eastern Head Coach Dean Hood says his Colonels aren’t about to start any ‘hurry up’ strategies.
“That’s just who we are. We’re not gonna slow it down deliberately, but we play slow. That’s what we do. We’re kind of the exact opposite of a lot of teams in our league. We play Eastern Illinois, we play Murray. They’re trying to go as fast as they can. We’re trying to go as slow as we can,” said Hood.
As far as U-of-L’s Heisman candidate quarterback Teddy Bridewater, Hood called him “the real deal, legit, and potentially the first quarterback taken in next year’s NFL draft.” After a strong performance last year, the Cardinals, at least theoretically, have a shot at the National Championship Game. Still Eastern defensive lineman David Carter believes his team can compete.
“You know, they’re fast, but I think with the DB’S that we have and the linebackers that we have this year, we can match their speed. Hopefully give them a good ballgame,” said Carter.
Both teams come into the game with big opening season wins. The difference is U-of-L is ranked eighth nationally in Division One. Eastern offensive lineman Justin Meredith says keeping the ball in Colonels hands could keep them competitive.
“Yeah, I mean with any game, but especially with Louisville. It’s nice when we have the ball, they can’t score. As long as we have the ball and chewing up time, then that will give our defense a break and then also put points on the board for us,” added Meredith.
To be competitive nationally, some pundits say Louisville must run-up the score on Eastern and every other team they play this year. However, Eastern Head Coach Dean Hood says Coach Charlie Strong doesn’t play that kind of game.
“You know, he don’t fancy me as a guy that’s hey I’m gonna try to beat Eastern by half a hundred. I think he’s more interested in winning every game, one game at a time, and gonna run the plays and the defenses he needs to do that,” said Hood.
In 2010, Eastern lost to U-of-L by ten points. Kickoff is set for just after noon Saturday.