RICHMOND, Ky. (EKU Athletics) – Eastern Kentucky University’s football team will play six home games as part of its 11-game 2021 schedule. The Colonels will face four teams for the first time ever – Tarleton State, Abilene Christian, Lamar and Sam Houston.
Beginning July 1 all 16 EKU sports will be members of the ASUN Conference. The ASUN Conference and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) have agreed on a one-year football scheduling alliance for the 2021 fall football season. Presented as the ASUN-WAC Challenge, the agreement will allow for seven institutions – three ASUN members and four WAC members – to be eligible for automatic qualification into the 2021 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs.
The alliance will feature Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State from the ASUN Conference, and Abilene Christian, Lamar University, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin from the WAC. The seven schools will play a single round-robin, with each institution having three home contests and three road contests. The team with the highest winning percentage shall receive the automatic qualification to the FCS Playoffs.
New season tickets for the 2021 campaign can be reserved now by placing a $25 deposit toward the purchase, locking in seats during the inaugural season for EKU in the ASUN Conference. Fans can place their deposit online at EKUSports.com/FootballTix. Renewals are currently being accepted for loyal season ticket holders with the early renewal deadline being March 31 and final deadline being April 30. Complete renewal instructions are available at EKUSports.com/Renew. Please contact the EKU Ticket Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-3-GOBIGE with additional questions.
Additionally, fans can support the future of EKU football through the Matter of Pride Boosters. The Matter of Pride Boosters is the philanthropic giving outlet of EKU football where members are Colonel football loyalists whose collective commitments are a key part of the success of our tradition rich football program. Fans can learn more at EKUSports.com/MatterOfPride.
Eastern Kentucky will open the 2021 season at Western Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 4. Eastern will play at Louisville one week later on Sept. 11.
The first home game of the 2021 season will be on Sept. 18 against Indiana State.
Austin Peay will visit Roy Kidd Stadium on Sept. 25. The game is the first of a two-year home-and-home series between the two historic rival institutions. EKU will play in Clarksville in 2022. One week later, Eastern Kentucky will host Tarleton State for the first-ever meeting with the Texans. Tarleton is located in Stephenville, Texas.
The Colonels’ first game in the ASUN-WAC Challenge will be at home against Abilene Christian on Oct. 9.
Nothing gets a football rivalry going like playing twice in one season. EKU faced Central Arkansas in a home-and-home series in 2020. The two teams will meet just once in 2021, on Oct. 16 in Conway. The Colonels and Bears split the series last season.
Eastern Kentucky will host Lamar on Oct. 30. Two straight road games in Texas will follow that contest. EKU will play at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches on Nov. 6 and at Sam Houston in Huntsville on Nov. 13. Nacogdoches is about two hours north of Houston. Huntsville is about an hour north of Houston. The Colonels hosted Stephen F. Austin at Roy Kidd Stadium in 2020. It will be the first meeting ever with the Bearkats.
The 2021 regular season ends at home against Jacksonville State on Nov. 20.
Eastern Kentucky was one of only three FCS programs to play more than six games during the fall of 2020. EKU constructed a 9-game schedule that featured games against three Football Bowl Subdivision teams, including a near upset of Troy, and six FCS teams.
The Colonels and Western Carolina have met six times with EKU holding a 4-2 edge in the series. The first meeting was in 1988. EKU beat the Catamounts 49-17 in the 2020 Opportunity Bowl. WCU was 0-3 this fall and will play an eight-game spring schedule.
Eastern Kentucky and Louisville will be meeting for the 29th time. The most recent meeting against the Cardinals came on Sept. 7, 2019. UofL went 4-7 in 2020.
Indiana State and EKU will face each other for the 10th time. The Colonels lead the all-time series 6-3. The first meeting between the two programs was in 1926. The most recent encounter came on Sept. 14, 2019. The Sycamores did not play any games in the fall. They are scheduled to play eight games this spring beginning at Southern Illinois on Feb. 27.
Eastern Kentucky holds a 45-7 record against Austin Peay, but the Governors escaped Roy Kidd Stadium with a 28-21 overtime victory in 2019.
Jacksonville State has won 10 of the 17 meetings with the Colonels, but EKU edged the Gamecocks on their home field, 29-23, the last time the teams met in 2019.
All game times will be announced at a later date.