Eastern Kentucky University opens its third football season under head coach Mark Elder by taking on Morehead State for the first time since 2014 on Thursday night.
The Colonels, who went 3-8 in 2016 and 4-7 last year, will be looking for their first season-opening win under Elder after falling to Purdue and Western Kentucky the past two seasons.
The odds are in favor of the Colonels, who have won 27 of the past 28 meetings with Morehead State and own a 52-16-4 record against their in-state rivals dating to 1924.
Morehead State has not beaten EKU since 1990, a streak of nine losses.
The Eagles also finished 4-7 last season and are 28-39 in five seasons under Coach Rob Tenyer.
EKU returns seven starters on offense and seven on defense. Morehead State has five returning on each side of the ball.
Players to watch for the Colonels include defensive end Aaron Patrick, kick returner LJ Scott and tight end Dan Paul, who all received preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference honors.
Morehead State is led by senior quarterback Lawson Page, who passed for almost 2,700 yards last season, receiver Jarin Higginbotham (48 catches) and safety Kanu Sayyid (63 tackles).
Morehead State at Eastern Kentucky
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond
Radio: WCYO-FM 100.7
Live video broadcast: ESPN Plus (subscription required)