Colonels led by senior leadership and Preseason All-OVC selections


Eastern Kentucky faces University of Kentucky during the game against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Kentucky defeated Eastern Kentucky 34-27 in overtime. Photo by Lexi Baskin | Staff

Coming off a 31-17 loss to Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky will seek to bounce back and get their first win of the season over UK this Saturday.

Kentucky has a 4-0 all-time record versus EKU. Their last meeting was in October 2015, when the Cats sealed their 34-27 victory in overtime.

EKU welcomes 62 new players to their 115-man roster. Of those 115 players, 65 are either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

While their roster consists of mostly young players, the Colonels return five offensive starters and seven defensive starters. 

EKU will look to tackle their first victory with the leadership of team captain and quarterback Tim Boyle. The senior threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in their loss to WKU, which was also the Connecticut transfer’s first game as a Colonel.

Expect a strong connection from Boyle and senior standout wide receiver Ryan Markush, who tallied a career-best 107 yards from seven catches, including two touchdowns against WKU.

Markush started every game last season as a wide receiver, averaging 13.6 yards per reception, which was 14th in the Ohio Valley Conference. Over the course of the season, Markush finished 41 receptions and 556 receiving yards.

Defensive end Aaron Patrick and punter Keith Wrzuszczak are two more Colonels to keep an eye out for this Saturday. Both were chosen to the Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference team by league coaches and media relations contacts.

Patrick, a junior, earned first team postseason all-conference honors last season after finishing with 53 tackles. The defensive end also led the Colonels with 7 sacks for a loss of 48 yards.

Wrzuszczak, an Australia native, also earned post-season honors last year as a selection for second team all-conference.

Mark Elder is a former University of Tennessee special teams and tight ends coach in his second season as head coach for EKU. Expect Elder’s Colonels to run a spread offense and multiple defenses.

He’ll be facing EKU’s former head coach Dean Hood, who is currently Kentucky’s special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.

The Colonels have a load of talent to offer this season, and will likely have an upset on their mind as they take the field against the Cats. Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday.