Kentucky has played Eastern just once in the history of the two programs, with the Wildcats claiming a 52-7 win in 1998, with Tim Couch calling the plays at quarterback.
A lot has happened since the last time the two neighboring schools met. Eastern's football team is headed by Danny Hope, a former Louisville assistant, who succeeded legendary coach Roy Kidd five years ago.
While Hope is busy retaining the program's legacy, not to mention trying to restore the program as one of the elite programs in the I-AA ranks, Kidd is enjoying retirement, mostly playing golf these days at Battlefield Golf Course. Kidd and his wife Sue are living in a spacious home near the No. 9 tee box that overlooks the course located between Richmond and Berea.
I recently ran into the legendary coach while preparing to play a round at the course and he looked fine and in good spirits. As always, coach, as I call him, was smiling and cutting up with his buddies in the clubhouse and preparing to hit the links.
It seemed like only yesterday when I was covering Kidd and the Colonels in my first job as a sports editor in my hometown.
The first time Eastern and Kentucky met, I have to admit it was weird seeing the two teams play on the gridiron, considering Eastern's tradition as of the elite programs in I-AA, taking on the state university located minutes within each other. One was king of the Ohio Valley Conference and the other a key player in the Southeastern Conference.
In reality, the game is probably more beneficial to Eastern money-wise, rather getting a chance to beat the Wildcats on the football field to earn some bragging rights. However, Eastern has been known to beat the big boys.
Kidd and the Colonels defeated Louisville back in the day and proved that anything is possible on the gridiron. Just like it was nine years ago, it may prove to be a difficult task.
Although Couch has since departed, Kentucky has Andre Woodson.