EKU: Five Numbers to Note

Hoosier Nation begins its day-by-day preview of the Hoosiers' season-opening football match-up against Eastern Kentucky. Today, we start off with "Five Numbers to Note" about the Colonels...

31 – consecutive winning seasons for the Eastern Kentucky football program dating back to 1978. That's the second-longest streak among all Division I schools, trailing only Florida State's run of 32 straight (note: Eastern Kentucky is part of the FCS, formerly I-AA). By contrast, Indiana's longest run of consecutive winning seasons is seven (1895-1901), and it has only 34 winning seasons in its 121-year history. In the last 65 years of Indiana football, the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons is only two (1967-68; 1979-80; 1987-88; 1990-91; 1993-94).

8 – consecutive seasons that Eastern Kentucky has lost its season opener. That's largely because the Colonels have opened the year against a FBS (formerly Division I-A) team in six of those eight years. The two exceptions were in 2004-05 when EKU lost back-to-back openers against FCS powerhouse Appalachian State. Their other season-opening losses have come against Central Michigan (2001, 42-28), Oregon State (2002, 49-10), Bowling Green (2003, 63-13), Cincinnati (2006, 31-0 and 2008, 40-7) and Kentucky (2007, 50-10). Indiana, meanwhile, is looking for its fifth straight win in a season opener.

5 – years that current Purdue head coach Danny Hope coached at Eastern Kentucky before returning to West Lafayette to replace Joe Tiller. Hope was at the Richmond, Ky., school from 2003-07 and amassed a record of 35-22. His final season was easily his best, as he led EKU to a 9-3 record, an 8-0 mark in conference, and a final national ranking of No. 13.

16 – out of IU's 22 projected starters have starting experience. The lone exceptions are center Will Matte, right tackle James Brewer, wide receiver Tandon Doss, tight end Brian Zematis and defensive tackles Nick Sliger and Mick Mentzer. In addition, starting cornerback Ray Fisher will be making his first career start in the secondary after being a starter the past two seasons at wide receiver. The most experienced players on IU's roster are defensive end Jammie Kirlew (30 career starts), offensive tackle Rodger Saffold (29), safety Nick Polk (29), guard Pete Saxon (28) and outside linebacker Will Patterson (28).

55,000,000 – the amount of money spent on IU's Facility Enhancement plan, with the large majority of that going to the renovation of Memorial Stadium. Thursday's game against Eastern Kentucky will be the first played at the venue since the project has been completed. To put the renovation project in context, the original construction of Memorial Stadium only cost $4.56 million (admittedly in 1960 dollars). It's easily the most comprehensive overhaul that the facility has seen since it was constructed nearly 50 years ago.

Coming Up
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Monday – Four Names to Know
On Tuesday – Three Big Concerns
On Wednesday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – One Bold Prediction

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