Game Day: Colonels Open NCAA FCS Playoffs Against Gardner-Webb

@EKUFootball Game Day: Colonels Open NCAA FCS Playoffs Against Gardner-Webb

RICHMOND, Ky. – EKU hosts its first NCAA FCS Playoff game since 2014 this Saturday when the Colonels host Gardner-Webb in the opening round at CG Bank Field at Roy Kidd Stadium. 

The game will air live at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN+ with Noah Reed serving as the play-by-play announcer and Marcus Ray as the analyst.

A live radio broadcast will also be available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM. Greg Stotelmyer, Jim Tirey, and Wes Chandler will be on call.

INSIDE THE SERIES

–  Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between EKU and Gardner-Webb.

 

–  The Colonels are hosting their 17th playoff game and first since 2014. EKU is seeking its first playoff win since 1994. 

THE COLONELS

–  Eastern Kentucky enters Saturday with a 7-4 record. The Colonels earned the ASUN-WAC automatic qualifier berth as co-champs of the ASUN and the top team in the ASUN-WAC power ranking. 

 

–  Quarterback Parker McKinney threw for a career-high 427 yards and tied a school record with five passing touchdowns last weekend against Kennesaw State. McKinney was named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award this week. 

 

–  Linebacker Matthew Jackson recorded a career-high 18 tackles against the Owls. Jackson also notched 3.0 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in the win. 

 

–  Offensive lineman Payton Collins is set to start his team-best 32nd consecutive game on Saturday. Collins was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team this week. 

–  Defensive lineman TK McLendon Jr. leads the EKU defense with a team-high six sacks. McLendon has posted at least five tackles in five different contests.

 

–  EKU’s offense ranks third nationally with 318.4 passing yards per game. 

 

–  The Colonels are averaging 21.6 yards per punt return, the second-highest average in the nation. 

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

–  Gardner-Webb owns a 6-5 record and advanced to the playoffs as champions of the Big South. 

 

–  Quarterback Bailey Fisher was named Big South Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 2,755 yards and 18 touchdowns.

 

–  Defensive lineman Ty French tied the Big South record with 11.0 sacks en route to being named conference Defensive Player of the Year. 

 

–  Linebacker Ty Anderson earned Big South Freshman of the Year after notching 33 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and an interception. 

 

–  Running back Narii Gaither has rushed for 668 yards and five touchdowns, topping the 100-yard mark in five different contests. 

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