The Colonels (1-3) put together their best all-around performance of the season following an open week last month.
That extra time off, paid off.
EKU rolled to a 37-14 win over The Citadel on the road.
The Colonels are hoping they can repeat that kind of effort again this week.
EKU is set to travel to Alabama today to face Troy University. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
EKU coach Walt Wells said he gave his team last Saturday and Sunday off to rest up, study up and heal up heading into to another match-up with an Football Bowl Subdivision team.
“There’s some wear and tear. There’s mid-terms,” Wells said. “All that stuff had started to wear on them a little, so I wanted to give them some time off.”
The Colonels haven’t been on the field since a 33-30 loss to Houston Baptist at home on Oct. 3. EKU battled back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to nearly pull even, but a blocked extra point helped the Huskies escape with a victory.
The Colonels had two interceptions and a fumble, while not getting a takeaway.
Through four games, EKU has a -2 turnover margin (five lost, three gained).
“The biggest thing is we can’t turn the ball over and we’ve got to start creating some turnovers,” Wells said.
That won’t be easy to do this weekend.
The match-up with former rival Troy is the final of three games EKU has with FBS opponents this year. The Colonels opened the season with a loss at Marshall (59-0) and West Virginia (56-10).
“Going into every game, I try to preach that the scoreboard is not our opponent,” Wells said. “Our opponent is the play we are playing and you’ve got to play the play that you are playing to the best of your ability. Once that play is over, you’ve got to move on to the next play.”
Troy has won three of the four all-time meetings with EKU, but the teams have not met since 1997.
The Trojans are 2-1 on the season after a 37-17 win last week at home over Texas State.
Troy averages 30 points and 388 yards of offense per game. The Trojans average 252 passing yards per game.
Sophomore quarterback Gunnar Watson has completed 69 percent of his passes this season for 748 yards. He has six touchdown passes and just one interception. He was 33-for-46 with 338 yards and four touchdown passes in the win over Texas State.
Kaylon Geiger has a team-high 15 receptions for a team-best 160 yards. Kimani Vidal leads the team in rushing with 158 yards to go along with one touchdown.
Linebacker Jayden McDonald leads the Trojans with 19 tackles. Cornerback Reddy Steward has two sacks.
EKU has several players among the national Football Championship Subdivision statistical leaders.
Parker McKinney has thrown seven touchdown passes in the last two games. He ranks third in the FCS with eight passing touchdowns this season.
After registering his first 100-yard rushing game of the season against Houston Baptist (108), Alonzo Booth is second in the FCS with 277 rushing yards. He is fourth in yards per carry (4.86).
Matthew Jackson registered 15 tackles against Houston Baptist. He is fourth in the FCS with 11 tackles per game.
The trio of Keyion Dixon, Jacquez Jones and Jackson Beerman are among the nation’s receiving leaders. Dixon is fourth in receiving touchdowns (three), sixth in receiving yards (280), sixth in receptions per game (4.3) and eighth in yards per reception (16.47). Jones is fourth in receiving touchdowns (three). Beerman ranks third in yards per reception (21.78) and ninth in receiving yards (196).
“Those are guys who are playing at a high level for us. They are developing confidence,” Wells said.
The Colonels are set to return home next weekend to face Central Arkansas.