OVC releases football schedule for Spring 2021

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

After canceling the football season this fall, the OVC has announced that the season will now begin on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Eight OVC teams will take part in this spring season, each playing seven conference games before the FCS playoffs, which are scheduled to begin April 24, 2021.

Eastern Kentucky will not be participating in the spring. The Colonels are currently four games in to a nine-game non-conference season this fall.

Eastern will have four home games and three on the road. Six of the seven games will take place on Sundays with one exception being a game played Saturday, April 3, as a result of the Easter holiday.

Each game will be available to watch on ESPN+.

Here is a brief breakdown of each game scheduled for the Panthers.

 

Feb. 21 at Tennessee-Martin, 1 p.m.

Eastern lost its 2019 game to Skyhawks on the road on Oct. 19 by a score of 27-18. Isaiah Hill led the Panthers with 15 receptions for 157 yards and 1 touchdown in the game.

Tennessee-Martin finished the season in third place in the OVC with a conference record of 6-2 and overall record of 7-5.

 

Feb. 28 vs. Southeast Missouri, 1 p.m.

The Panthers’ home opener  comes against the RedHawks, who beat Eastern at O’Brien Field on Nov. 16 last season.

Hill shined in this game as well for Eastern, catching 13 passes for 152 yards and 1 touchdown.

Southeast Missouri finished second in the OVC with a 7-1 conference record and 9-4 overall record.

 

March 14 at Tennessee State, 1 p.m.

Eastern’s lone win last season came on the road against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 9. It was Eastern’s highest-scoring game of the season, winning by a score of 49-38.

Darshawn McCullough rushed for 155 yards for 1 touchdown and Jaelin Benefield 105 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Tennessee State finished eighth in the OVC with a conference record of 2-6 and an overall record of 3-9.

 

March 21 vs. Tennessee Tech, 1 p.m.

Eastern’s second highest-scoring game last season came against the Golden Eagles on Sept. 28.

Quarterback Harry Woodbery threw 68 passes in the game, collecting 334 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Tennessee Tech finished the season with a conference record of 3-5 and overall record of 6-6, tying for fifth in the conference.

 

March 28 at Murray State, TBA

This will be the Panthers’ final road game of the season and it comes against an opponent that narrowly beat Eastern last season.

The Panthers were just inches short of a potential game-tying touchdown as time expired, falling 24-17.

The Racers finished the season in seventh place with a 2-6 conference record and overall record of 4-8.

 

April 3 vs. Jacksonville State, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville State beat Eastern on Oct. 12 by a score of 28-80. Linebacker Dytarious Johnson stood out for Eastern, recording 12 total tackles including 2 tackles for loss.

The Gamecocks tied with Tennessee Tech last season in the standings and have already played one game this season with three more scheduled this month.

 

April 11 vs. Austin Peay,     1 p.m.

Eastern’s regular season finale will come against last season’s OVC champions in Austin Peay. The Governors beat Eastern 35-7 in the final game of last season, going 7-1 in conference and 11-4 overall.

Austin Peay played three non-conference games earlier this season but has no more scheduled this fall.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]