The Richmond Register

Sports

September 11, 2013

OVC FOOTBALL: Colonels tough against the run, again

RICHMOND — In the past few years, the Colonels have had one of the top rush defenses in the Ohio Valley Conference.

And through the first two games this season, they have once again been very, very tough to run on.

EKU (1-1) is allowing just 66.5 yards a game on the ground, which ranks eighth in the nation among FCS schools.

The Colonels allowed just 55 yards rushing in the season opener against Robert Morris and gave up just 78 yards last week in a loss to Louisville.

Heading into this weekend’s showdown with Coastal Carolina at Roy Kidd Stadium, EKU is giving only 2.5 yards a carry (133 yards on 53 carries).

“You’ve got to give the credit to the guys up front,” EKU cornerback Stanley Absanon said. “They are hunting up there. They are fired up and ready to go. We all feed off each other. We just work on being in the right place at the right time in the run defense.”

So far this year, only one other OVC team allowing less than 100 yards a game is Tennessee State (92 ypg). Jacksonville State is third at 162 yards a game.

In the loss to Louisville, the Colonels allowed 2.8 yards a carry and did not allow the eighth-ranked Cardinals a rush of more than eight yards.

What makes that statistic even more impressive is that EKU did not have a sack in the game. Lost yardage on sacks count as negative rushing yards.

“That’s encouraging,” EKU coach Dean Hood said of the run defense against Louisville. “It’s not like they didn’t try to run it. It’s not like they can’t run it or don’t have guys who can block. That’s really encouraging that we held them that low (in rushing yards).”

Louisville had 199 yards on the ground the week before against Ohio.

In the win over Robert Morris, the Colonels allowed only 2.2 yards a rush. The Colonials longest rush in that game was just 14 yards.

“It’s something we take a great deal of pride in,” Absanon said.

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