Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

September 20, 2013

Colonels come calling

Eastern Kentucky visits struggling Morehead State

MOREHEAD — After two grueling weeks on the road, the Morehead State football team returns to Jayne Stadium this weekend to host longtime rival Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday night at 7.

The Eagles are 0-3 on the year and most recently lost to Pioneer Football League member Jacksonville, 69-19.

While the loss was lopsided, MSU coach Rob Tenyer said his players still believe in the program and it has shown in practice.

“It’s been really good and we’ve had some good leadership with some guys stepping up and being very vocal,” Tenyer said. “They assured us our team morale is very good and they’re on board and follow the plan.”

The Eagles and Colonels hold a rivalry that stands the test of time. Tenyer and his players are looking forward to going up against EKU.

“I’ve been here long enough at MSU to understand what this rivalry means,” Tenyer said. “There’s a strong tradition regarding football. Overall they have a big lead in the series but it’s always been ‘the game.’ … We understand what this rivalry means.”

EKU holds a 50-16-4 overall advantage in the series, including a 22-7-3 advantage in Morehead.

 The Colonels have won 25 of their last 26 games against the Eagles and have not won a game in the series since Nov. 17, 1990. To take it even further, their last home win in the series came on Nov. 20, 1971.

Tenyer, while focusing on the significance of the MSU/EKU conflict, is centering his team’s attention on getting their first win of the season.

“This game for me is more than the rivalry,” Tenyer said.  “It’s us going out and executing to win a football game.”

The Colonels (1-2) pose a very big challenge for MSU. They average 361 yards of total offense, including 166 on the ground. Their quarterback, sophomore Jared McClain, is not only their leading passer (157.7 yards per game) but also their leading rusher at 54.7 yards per game.

Morehead State’s last two opponents have tallied school records for total yards — Youngstown State recorded 718 yards on Sept. 7 en route to a 67-13 win, while Jacksonville collected 719 yards last week.

“Priority No. 1 is to stop the run,” Tenyer said. “They are more two-dimensional this year than in the past years we’ve played them. (McClain) is a dual threat.  They have three or four guys who carry the football for them and they’re difficult to defend. We have to limit big plays which has hurt us the first few weeks of the season.”

Morehead State finished with a season-best 223 ground yards in last week’s loss to Jacksonville. Tenyer wants to increase the running game’s efficiency this Saturday.

“We just need to be balanced,” Tenyer said. “The last time we played them, we didn’t run the ball efficiently.  …We need to have runs that will be effective and have positive plays.”

Once again, freshman Austin Gahafer will get the start at quarterback but opening-game starter Logan Johnson could be used during the game. The duo combined on 123 of MSU’s 124 pass attempts this season.



But the bugaboo for the Eagles has been on offense when they have a third-down situation. MSU has converted just 29 percent (14-of-49) of its third-down attempts in 2013.

“We’re not very good in that area and we have to have plus yards on first and second (downs),” Tenyer said. “We need to be better and more efficient on third downs.”

In a rivalry game, anything can happen. The Eagles hope what happens will help MSU earn its first victory in the Rob Tenyer era.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Ellis on 'leave' for Fairview volleyball

    Lauren Ellis is stepping aside as Fairview’s volleyball coach for this fall in order to complete coursework on her master’s degree, she said Tuesday.

    July 16, 2014

  • KHSAA board recommends use of protective head gear in softball

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association's Board of Control conducted its first meeting of the 2014-15 academic year at the Bank of Kentucky Center in Northern Kentucky on Monday morning.

    July 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone