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Nov 21

Eastern Kentucky finally home for the playoffs

It’s been a long time – 17 years to be exact – since Eastern Kentucky University has competed in a playoff game at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Since then, the Colonels (7-4) have been in the postseason just five times and have failed to gain traction as a regular contender in the FCS. Eastern made its last appearance in the playoffs in 2008, dropping a 38-10 setback to the University of Richmond. Eastern’s previous four appearances have been first-round exits to Montana (1995), Western Kentucky (1997), Richmond in back-to-back fashion in 2007-08. Prior to a first-round loss to Richmond four years ago, Eastern went nine years without making an appearance in the postseason.
This season, Eastern gave No. 16 Kansas State a fit before losing 10-7 in its opener in Manhattan, but won six of eight games in the Ohio Valley Conference to earn a coveted spot in the playoffs. The school split the conference title with Tennessee Tech, which earned the league’s automatic bid to the postseason. The Colonels’ only conference letdown was a loss at Austin Peay. The team’s most memorable league contest was an epic 52-48 come-from-behind thriller at Jacksonville State.
In his first four seasons as coach at Eastern, Dean Hood has guided the Colonels to two appearances in the playoffs, a sign the program is making a climb back up the proverbial ladder in the FCS.
Eastern will eat Turkey Thursday and then take on James Madison at noon Saturday to open the postseason in search of its first playoff victory since it defeated Boston University in 1994.
Let’s hope it’s not another 17 years before Eastern hosts another postseason contest.

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