EKU heads to Texas with shot at A-Sun football title on the line

Fifth Texas team the Colonels have faced this season

HUNTSVILLE, Texas. (WTVQ/EKU Athletics) – Eastern Kentucky battles for first-place in the ASUN-WAC Challenge on Saturday afternoon as the Colonels face No. 1 Sam Houston.

The game will air live on ESPN+ with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Tom Franklin will handle play-by-play duties with John Harris serving as the analyst.

The live radio broadcast of the game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on EKUSports.com. Greg Stotelmyer and Jim Tirey will be on the call.

–  Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between EKU and Sam Houston.

–  EKU is facing its fifth opponent from Texas this season. The Colonels are 3-1 this year against Lone Star State schools.

–  Eastern Kentucky enters Saturday with the fourth-ranked red-zone offense in the nation. EKU has scored 18 touchdowns and kicked seven field goals in 27 red-zone trips this season.

–  Jyran Mitchell is coming off his best game as a Colonel, setting career highs against Stephen F. Austin with eight catches for 69 yards. Parker McKinney also ran for a career-high 100 yards against the Lumberjacks.

–  EKU’s defense ranks 10th nationally with 12 interceptions on the season. The Colonels have returned 33.3 percent of their interceptions for touchdowns this season, the highest percentage of any team with at least five picks.

–  Eastern Kentucky is averaging 4.5 yards per carry on the ground, led by McKinney’s 6.8 yard average. Da’Joun Hewitt leads the ground game with 581 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

–  Kyle Bailey leads the Colonel defense with 5.2 solo tackles per game and ranks 17th nationally in that category. Bailey made a season-high 12 stops against Stephen F. Austin.

–  Eastern Kentucky’s offensive line has allowed just nine sacks on the season and has held three different opponents without a sack.

–  Eight different Colonels have caught touchdown passes this season, led by three each from Dakota Allen and Jayden Higgins.

–  Sam Houston has won 19 consecutive games, including the program’s first FCS national championship in May.

–  The Bearkats have won 11 in a row at home.

–  Sam Houston rushed for 403 yards in a win last weekend over Dixie State, the most for the Bearkats in a game since 2013.

–  Defensive back Zyon McCollum has 50 passes defended in his career, which leads all active FCS players.

–  Quarterback Eric Schmid sits third on SHSU’s career passing yardage, completions, touchdowns, and total offense charts.

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