The Colonels (2-2) will have a new starting quarterback this weekend when they open Ohio Valley Conference play.

EKU coach Mark Elder announced on Monday that redshirt freshman Parker McKinney has been elevated to the top of the depth chart. The Coalfield, Tenn., native will start against Tennessee State (1-3) on Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium.

"Right now, we think he gives us the best chance to win," Elder said of McKinnney. "He played really well in the last game. He was very efficient."

Oregon State transfer Conor Blount started the first four games of the season.

On Saturday in a win on the road over Presbyterian College, Blount completed just three-of-seven passes for 38 with a touchdown before being replaced by McKinney.

The Colonels trailed 10-7 after the first quarter, but rallied after the QB change.

McKinney was 14-of-20 for 155 yards two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also added a 5-yard TD run.

Through four games, Blount had completed 56 percent of his passes (30-of-53) for 226 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes.

McKinney has appeared in three games this season. He has completed 72 percent of his passes (23-of-32) for 187 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Tennessee native jump-started the offense in the first half against Presbyterian College. He hit Keyion Dixon on a 45-yard pass on the last play of the first quarter.

It was EKU's longest pass play of the season by more than 20 yards (24).

On the first play of the second quarter, McKinney connected with the receiver on a 10-yard TD pass.

McKinney scored on an 11-yard run with 26 seconds left in the half to give the Colonels a 21-10 lead.

Daryl McCleskey had a 63-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and McKinney hit Jaelin Carter on a 1-yard TD pass moments later.

"We are just focused on doing our job," McCleskey said of the QB change. "We can't control who is starting. We want to roll with who is hot."

McKinney has been in this position before.

The quarterback played in the final three games last season and started against Robert Morris and Tennessee Tech.

He led the Colonels to three-straight wins while completing 55-of-84 pass attempts (608 yards) with four touchdowns and just one interceptions.

Because he played in fewer than four games, McKinney was able to keep his redshirt and gain another year of eligibility.

Dixon, a 6-foot-3, 185 pound redshirt junior, had only four catches for 21 yards through the first three games of the season.

Against Presbyterian College, he had six catches for 101 yards.

"Keiyon did a nice job and got the ball up the field," Elder said.

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