WIN, LOSE OR DRAW: Eastern Kentucky

Part one of a 12-part series outlining Indiana’s opponents during the 2009 season.

hardman1129

Eastern Kentucky offensive tackle Derek Hardman. Chris Radcliffe | Eastern Kentucky Athletics

OPPONENT: Eastern Kentucky

DATE: Sept. 3

TIME: 8 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network

TICKETS: Click here.

FOLLOW THE TEAM: Eastern Kentucky’s official site.

Media guide

Coverage from Richmond Register, the local newspaper.

HISTORY VS. INDIANA: First meeting.

WHO ARE THEY: The Colonels of FCS’s Ohio Valley Conference will be looking to win a third-straight conference championship this season. During Dean Hood’s first season in charge of the program, the Colonels were 8-4 and advanced to the FCS Playoffs, before losing to eventual-national champion Richmond in the first round, 38-10. Eastern Kentucky runs the spread, with four wide receivers out wide. On defense, the team plays a base 4-3.

OFFENSIVE STAR: Senior offensive tackle Derek Hardman has started 35-straight games on the offensive line for the Colonels. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound left tackle is a FCS All-America candidate and a possible NFL draftee.

DEFENSIVE STAR: Senior defensive end Chris Hall is a speed rusher at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds. He led the team in sacks (six) and tackles for loss (13) during the 2008 season. He’s built like a Big Ten linebacker, but plays with his hand down.

WHY INDIANA WILL WIN: Because, despite the Hoosiers’ struggles in the Big Ten, it’s still a FBS school going up against a FCS foe. It’s also the first Thursday night game at Memorial Stadium, and will be televised. The Hoosiers should be energized for the season to start and will be too everything (big, fast and strong) for the Colonels.

WHY EASTERN KENTUCKY WILL WIN: Eastern Kentucky loaded up on FBS transfers, bringing in 10 to replace a large group of seniors. The transfers, who are eligible to play immediately, could lead their new team into Memorial Stadium with the attitude necessary to pull off the classification upset.

NOW YOU: Call it — win, lose or draw? Well, ok, just win or lose. State your reason, as well.

26 comments

  1. Win. I’m sure this posting will lead to many “hilarious” comments, but come on. We’ll win.

  2. I’m going to go “win”, but I approach this game with caution. I recall none-too-fondly Coach Lynch’s last foray against a really solid FCS team (’06, Southern Illinois). I’m going to give IU a bit of an advantage because I think we’ll actually have more home-field advantage this year; making student tickets cheaper while also walling in their end of the stadium SHOULD mean more students and more noise…in theory

  3. How pathetic is our team if we’re worried about Eastern Kentucky?

    Goodness, I feel like an IU basketball fan. “I don’t know if we’ll beat IUPUI!”

  4. I remember last year getting lambasted by the entire football blogging community for suggesting that the Ball State game was an “automatic loss” before the season started (even the wise Mike P was on my case for that prediction). People cited IU’s long winning streak vs. the MAC as sure-fire evidence that we would cruise. Well, let’s learn a lesson here- these games are no ‘gimme,’ especially when you hire a coach that excited you so much that you make him the 82nd most high paid coach in the nation.
    Lynch not only lost to Southern Illinois (a DII school at the time), but also lost to Connecticut, 14-7, a school who was in THEIR FIRST YEAR OF A FOOTBALL PROGRAM.
    Fear EKU, my friends… especially Jimmy (“hilarious”, isn’t it?)

  5. I want to believe we(IU) will win this one, but I do think that HuskyTom has a point that this program has proven no opponent is a gimme. This EKU bunch is not like Indiana State coming in on a 20 something losing streak a couple years ago–these guys have a winning tradition in their league, and would love to come in and make a name for themselves against a BigTen opponent.

    Anybody can get beat at home early in the year if they overlook somebody….ever heard of Appalachian State?

    There is a lot on the line here for the Hoosiers too. Lose this one, and it is going to be a very very long season.

  6. HuskyTom,

    Not to ruin your capitalized hyperbole on the Connecticut loss, but UConn has been DI since 2000. They’ve been full members of the Big East since 2004, and they’ve had a football program since 1896. In fact Lynch’s loss to UConn wasn’t even the first time they had beaten IU. That honor belongs to the Dinardo-led 2003 Hoosiers who lost the first-ever game at UConn’s new stadium 34-10.

    However that being said, the shame is that if Hardy had played in those two games in ’06 chances are IU is going bowling in that year and in ’07. But that brings me to my biggest issue with Lynch and Co.: Adjustments. They don’t seem to be able to make them very well in game, and they weren’t able to do it in ’06 very well game-to-game in that stretch.

    Now they have done a bit of adjusting in the off-season this year, and I expect them to come out and beat EKU. Could EKU beat IU? Of course, as has been pointed out Michigan can tell you all about that. I just don’t see it happening here.

  7. Also, Southern Illinois was Division IAA / Football Championship Subdivision in 2006 and part of the Gateway Conference. I don’t remember if the NCAA changed the designation before or after the 2006 season. But in any case Southern Illinois was not Division II. They finished 9-4 that year, making it to the playoff quarterfinals.

    Don’t get me wrong, losing to SIU and UCONN was pretty pathetic, but we might as well get the facts right in discussing just how pathetic it was.

  8. Indiana wins. The Hoosiers will be out to defend The Rock in full force of the newly renovated Memorial Stadium. I look for it to be close early but Indiana will storm past Eastern Kentucky in the 2nd half.

  9. Don’t ask me where I got that info about UConn; I have been believing it all along. Still, the point was taken, I think.

  10. cln: Eastern Kentucky is also not Division II, they are FCS, the former Division I-AA

    That being said, I still think IU will win, but right now we have no automatic wins. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost to any of the teams on our schedule this year, that’s where the team is in my mind. On paper this one should be a win, and more than likely will be, but it won’t be a 30-40 point blowout…more like a comfortable 15-20 point win, which should be all we ask for right now.

  11. I think this game is a win. If not then it’s going to be a long year. But I have many questions, Will the running game be better? Will there be a passing game? How will the D-line do? Since EKU runs the spread then that could cause problems for IU’s D. I think a win and hope for a win. 4-0 start Baby!!! Hopefully.

  12. Eastern won’t win the game but they are not afraid to play the big boys each year to get ready for the conference season. It has paid off in two straight conference championships while playing the likes of Kentucky, Cincinnati, and North Carolina State in recent years. This year three division I games dot the schedule with Indiana, Kentucky, and new D-I team Western Kentucky. Good luck this season IU fans!

  13. The EKU Colonels will not be a push over, we have a rich football tradition and treat each game as winnable! This football tradition, which solidified during the Roy Kidd era! We currently have one of the longest current winning season streaks in Division 1 with 31 consecutive. Second only to Florida State with 32.

    Good luck to the Hoosiers after September 3rd!

    Go Colonels

  14. Should be interesting to see who progresses quickest in this game. IU and their new offense (pistol like Nevada) or EKU and our new QB.

    I don’t see IU’s defense being as stout as Cincinnati’s last year, but it is still a FBS team with hostile, agile and mobile players.

    I’ll be happy if we keep it within 3 TDs.

  15. Win…a lot of excitement and momentum going into this game.

    **New Stadium * New Experience**

    The Team and coaches are ready to start new & afresh!!!
    Go Hoosiers!!!

  16. I think some credit is due to the EKU fans for being on their opponent’s message board a month out from the game. Impressive!! Could you maybe be raucous IU fans for the year, for a reasonable fee???

  17. I have family that are grads from IU, and have no problem rooting for IU this year except for against the Colonels, and the Boiler Makers.

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