It is often hard to find an opponent blog for an FCS team, but Bret Shroats does some excellent for a private enterprise known as Colonels Sports. Like many, he is getting a start on Wordpress, but that does not stop him from putting out solid content. he was nice enough to answer some questions about Eastern Kentucky in advance of Saturday's opener.
T-Mill: Purdue beats its FCS opponent 59-0 last year and they too were coming off of a playoff appearance. How will Eastern Kentucky be different, especially since you scare the bejesus out of a very good Kansas State team last year?
Bret: Purdue beat SEMO last 59-0 indeed. SEMO is a fellow Ohio Valley Conference team so I am very familiar with them. 2010 was a dream season for them, one they may never see again. In 2009, SEMO went 2-9. In 2008, they went 4-8. in 2007. In fact it was their first winning season since 2002. Last year SEMO fell back to the bottom of the OVC where they are usually found.
T-Mill: How do EKU fans view Danny Hope?
Bret: EKU fans still love Danny Hope and are very proud of what he has done at Purdue. We still follow him and love talking about him when he beats teams like Ohio State. We understand why he left for Purdue, not everyone can be like Roy Kidd for us. We wish him the best of luck in every game this year but week 1.
T-Mill: EKU appears to be a heavily run-oriented team. Against what should be one of the Big Ten's better defensive lines how do you expect to fare?
Bret: Yes we love to run the ball down an opponents throat and we are good at that. Last year, our RB, Matt Denham ran for 1,570 yards in just 8 games played last season. He is the our first player since 2002, to be named to the Walter Payton Award watch list. He also makes a deal with the offensive line that if he gets 100 yards in a game he will take the OL out to dinner that night or when they return to EKU.
T-Mill: Defensively how do you stack up against a team that, let's face it, has some major question marks on offense and likes to rotate QBs?
Bret: EKU has a senior at every position on this team and the seniors have been teaching the younger guys how to play Colonels defense. Justin Bell, cousin of Yeremiah Bell, is the leader of the defense along with Brooklyn Fox, both are DBs. Our head coach, Dean Hood, was the Defensive coordinator at Wake Forest before taking the EKU job. We are expected to have a great D this year. Last season we led the OVC in scoring defense and turnovers, a big part of that was because of Jeremy Caldwell, who signed a deal with the St. Louis Rams the day after the draft, but Bell and Fox were also big for us last season as well.
T-Mill: I have often said that a Big Ten team never has a valid excuse for losing to an FCS team. What needs to happen for EKU to pull the upset?
Bret: EKU needs to put the recent heartbreaks of K-State and Indiana out of their minds. We need to stick to our gameplan and play Colonel football. If we can keep the game close anything can happen.
T-Mill: Finally, do you have a score prediction for us?
Bret: I will not predict an exact score but I will say I think this will game will be within Purdue by 14 to EKU by 7.