Gameday: Colonels Open NCAA FCS Playoffs vs. Gardner-Webb

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

RICHMOND, Kentucky— 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 be broadcast live on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. with Noah Reed serving as play-by-play announcer and Marcus Ray as analyst.

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

WITHIN THE SERIES
– On Saturday the very first meeting between EKU and Gardner-Webb takes place.


– The Colonels play their 17th playoff game and first since 2014. EKU is aiming for their first playoff win since 1994.

THE TOP
– Eastern Kentucky goes Saturday with a 7-4 record. The Colonels earned the ASUN-WAC Automatic Qualifier as co-champions of ASUN and the top team in the ASUN-WAC Performance Ranking.


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


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


– Offensive lineman PaytonCollins will start his best 32nd straight game on Saturday. Collins was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team this week.

– defender TK McLendon Jr. leads the EKU defense with a team strength of six sacks. McLendon has posted at least five tackles in five different competitions.


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


– The Colonels average 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 Great South.


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


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


– Linebacker Ty Anderson became Big South Freshman of the Year after having 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 and surpassed the 100-yard mark in five different competitions.

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