Football

OVC media pick Eastern Kentucky to finish second in football

Eastern Kentucky running back Ethan Thomas is tackled by Kentucky defensive back Chris Westry during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 34-27 in overtime.
Eastern Kentucky running back Ethan Thomas is tackled by Kentucky defensive back Chris Westry during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 34-27 in overtime. AP

The Eastern Kentucky University football team, entering its first season under new head coach Mark Elder, was voted by media who cover the Ohio Valley Conference to finish second in the league this season.

Defending champion Jacksonville State was voted to repeat as champion, receiving 144 points and all 16 first-place votes. Eastern Kentucky was next with 119 points, followed closely by Eastern Illinois with 112.

The OVC coaches will release their preseason poll and name all-league teams during the conference’s media day activities Monday in Nashville.

The media named Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins their preseason offensive player of the year on Friday and Tennessee State end Ebenezer Ogundeko their defensive player of the year.

Eastern Kentucky finished 6-5 overall and 5-3 in league play last year and fired head coach Dean Hood after the season.

Following Jacksonville State, EKU and Eastern Illinois in the preseason voting were Tennessee-Martin (99), Southeast Missouri State (66), Tennessee State (65), Murray State (56), Tennessee Tech (38) and Austin Peay (21).

The Colonels open the 2016 season Sept. 3 at Purdue.

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