Cincinnati adds Eastern Kentucky to 2023 football schedule

By Kevin Kelley -

The Cincinnati Bearcats have added the Eastern Kentucky Colonels to their 2023 football schedule, has learned.

A copy of the football game contract with Eastern Kentucky University was obtained from the University of Cincinnati via a state open records request.

Cincinnati will host Eastern Kentucky at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. The Bearcats will pay the Colonels a $400,000 guarantee for playing the game, according to the copy of the contract.

Cincinnati and Eastern Kentucky have only met twice on the gridiron. The Bearcats defeated the Colonels in both contests, 31-0 in 2006 and 40-7 in 2008.

Eastern Kentucky is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). With the OVC football season postponed to spring, the Colonels opted to play a full non-conference schedule this fall. EKU finished 3-6 overall and capped off their season with a 49-17 home victory over Western Carolina.

The addition of Eastern Kentucky tentatively completes Cincinnati’s non-conference schedule for the 2023 season. The Bearcats were scheduled to open the season at NC State on Thursday, Aug. 31, but the scheduling of EKU on Sept. 2 means that the NC State contest will be played on another date.

Other non-conference contests scheduled for Cincinnati in 2023 include Pitt on the road on Sept. 9 and Miami (Ohio) at home on Sept. 16.

Eastern Kentucky was previously scheduled to open the 2023 season at South Alabama, but it appears that game has been canceled as it is no longer listed on South Alabama’s official website.

In addition to playing at Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky is also set to play at Kentucky on Sept. 9 and host Western Carolina on Sept. 16 to complete their non-conference schedule in 2023.

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