(STATS) - Eastern Kentucky will open the Mark Elder coaching era with a visit to Purdue and play five times at home as part of an 11-game 2016 schedule announced Tuesday.
The Colonels have won a record 21 Ohio Valley Conference titles and hope to compete for another one just a year after finishing with a 6-5 record.
Two of Elder's first three games are against FBS opponents, the Sept. 3 visit to Purdue as well as a Sept. 17 matchup at Ball State. In between, EKU will host Pikeville at Roy Kidd Stadium.
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Pikeville is coached by former EKU quarterback Allan Holland Jr., who led the Colonels to OVC titles in 2007 and '08.
The Colonels will host four OVC games - against Southeast Missouri State (Oct. 8), defending champion Jacksonville State (Oct. 22, Homecoming), Murray State (Nov. 5) and Eastern Illinois (Nov. 19).
Their road conference games are against Tennessee Tech (Oct. 1), Tennessee State (Oct. 15), UT Martin (Oct. 29) and Austin Peay (Nov. 12).
2016 Eastern Kentucky Schedule=
Sept. 3, at Purdue
Sept. 8, Pikeville
Sept. 17, at Ball State
Oct. 1, at Tennessee Tech*
Oct. 8, Southeast Missouri State*
Oct. 15, at Tennessee State*
Oct. 22, Jacksonville State* (Homecoming)
Oct. 29, at UT Martin*
Nov. 5, Murray State*
Nov. 12, at Austin Peay*
Nov. 19, Eastern Illinois*
* - Ohio Valley Conference game