RICHMOND, Ky. – The two major NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) polls released their final rankings of the 2014 season today. The Eastern Kentucky University football team was ranked No. 21 in both The Sports Network (media) and FCS coaches polls.
This past fall, Eastern Kentucky (9-4, 6-2 OVC) reached the FCS playoffs for the third time in seven seasons under head coach Dean Hood and finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. The Colonels won their first six games, including a win at FBS opponent Miami (Ohio), to mark their best start to a season since 1990 and make a splash in the national polls.
Eastern’s offense averaged more than 30 points per game for the second time in the last three years. EKU leaned heavily on OVC Offensive Player of the Year Dy’Shawn Mobley. The junior running back was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award (FCS top player) and led the league with 1,491 yards rushing (5.8 yards per carry).
On defense, Eastern Kentucky was one of the best nationally in forcing turnovers (2nd – 33). The Colonels forced multiple turnovers in 10 of 13 games, including a whopping six turnovers in the 17-10 upset win at Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 6. Senior defensive back Brandon Stanley had a stellar season, as he was just the sixth Colonel this century to record at least 100 tackles in a season (124).
EKU is poised to return eight starters on both offense and defense for 2015. The Colonels kick off their 2015 schedule with a home Thursday night contest against Valparaiso on Sept. 3.