Morehead State to host six, but face tough road schedule

Morehead State football will play six home games for the first time in four years and make a trip to Eastern Kentucky as part of a 2012 schedule announced Tuesday.

The Eagles, who were 3-8 a year ago, last played six home games in 2008. Rival Eastern Kentucky was a 2011 FCS playoff qualifier.

"We've been working extremely hard this offseason and we're excited about the 2012 campaign," said Matt Ballard, who enters his 19th season as Morehead State's head coach. "It will be nice to have six home games overall and two out of our first three at Jayne Stadium."

Morehead State opens the season on Aug. 30 by hosting Southern Virginia.

The Eagles then travel to Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 8 for the 68th meeting in the series before wrapping up their non-conference schedule at home against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 15. Last season, the Eagles dropped a 50-49 game at Saint Francis.

The Eagles' final eight games will be within the Pioneer Football League. They will host Jacksonville (Oct. 6), Campbell (Oct. 27), Davidson (Nov. 3) and Valparaiso (Nov. 17).

The Eagles also will go on the road to face Drake (Sept. 22), Dayton (Oct. 13), Butler (Oct. 20) and San Diego (Nov. 10). Drake and San Diego shared the 2011 PFL title.

"There are a lot of good football teams in the PFL and each game is a challenge," Ballard said. "Drake, Dayton and San Diego all finished in the top half of our conference last season, so we'll definitely have our work cut out for us on the road this year."

Quarterback Zach Lewis will return as a senior after ranking fifth nationally in passing yards (325.9) and seventh in total yards (313.5).

2012 Morehead State Football Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 30, Southern Virginia, Morehead, Ky.

Saturday, Sept. 8, at Eastern Kentucky, Richmond, Ky.

Saturday, Sept. 15, Saint Francis (Pa.), Morehead, Ky.

Saturday, Sept. 22, at Drake*, Des Moines, Iowa

Saturday, Oct. 6, Jacksonville*, Morehead, Ky.

Saturday, Oct. 13, at Dayton* Dayton, Ohio

Saturday, Oct. 20, at Butler*, Indianapolis

Saturday, Oct. 27, Campbell*, Morehead, Ky.

Saturday, Nov. 3, Davidson*, Morehead, Ky.

Saturday, Nov. 10, at San Diego*, San Diego

Saturday, Nov. 17, Valparaiso*, Morehead, Ky.

* - Pioneer Football League game