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2017 Kentucky Wildcats Football Season Preview: EKU Colonels

The calendar says June, but football is just several summer weekends away. Let’s take an early look at the opponents that Kentucky will be facing on the football field this fall.

NCAA Football: Eastern Kentucky at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It will have been almost two years since the EKU Colonels almost shocked the college football world at Commonwealth Stadium. The Colonels, from the OVC, lead the SEC's Kentucky Wildcats 27-13 until deep into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats rallied and forced overtime and saved face with a 34-27 win, but this was definitely the one that got away for the Colonels.

These are totally different teams that will take the field for game two of the 2017 season at Kroger Field, but there always seems to be a plethora of storylines that follow this game. That 2015 game was overshadowed by the Drew Barker/Patrick Graffree drama. This game will feature former EKU head coach Dean Hood on the Wildcats sideline as an assistant.

These two teams have gone in different directions since that 2015 drama filled game. The Colonels struggled to a 3-8 season, which was just the Colonel's second losing season since 1973. The Wildcats made a return to postseason play, breaking a four season bowl drought.

The Colonels struggled with quarterback play all last year and UConn transfer Tim Boyle is expected to win the starting job. Boyle played parts of three seasons for the Huskies and has an underwhelming career stat line of one passing touchdown against 13 interceptions. Ethan Thomas appears to be the main ball carrier for the Colonels and he had 385 yards rushing and 2 TDs. Devin Borders also returns as the leading receiving target and had 48 catches for 739 yards and 6 TDs.

This is a team that is returning just 13 starters from last season and they have some holes that need to be filled in the trenches.

As with the Southern Miss game in week one, this is a tremendous opportunity for Kentucky to destroy the myth of "same old Kentucky football". There has been drama in the past, but this is a different Kentucky football team and this is a game that is basically a "paid win" game.

I'll have more of a complete preview of the Colonels before the game as this is just a "first look" at the team. For now, this is not a team that should give Kentucky any problems and look for the Cats to start out 2-0 with a 49-7 win.