MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The start of Faulkner's football season is 10 days away, but it'll be a month before Brent Barker's Eagles enjoy the friendly confines of their new on-campus stadium. A pair of trips to Virginia sandwich a visit to Kentucky the first three weeks of the season prior to Faulkner's home opener against Lindsey Wilson on Sept. 22.
The Eagles play at UVA-Wise, Georgetown and Bluefield to open the Barker Era, and the new head coach is excited about the road challenges ahead.
"Playing on the road is always difficult, no matter what the sport," he said. "And these are really long trips, but we'll adjust to the travel and be ready on game day. For the trip to UVA-Wise, the plan is for us to stop in Knoxville and have a walk-thru at the University of Tennessee. That'll help break it up a bit for us. I do know this – our guys are excited about playing a game. Where it is and who it's against really doesn't matter to them."
Barker and his staff put the Eagles through a two-hour workout in helmets and shoulder pads Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Thursday night's final intersquad scrimmage. Assistant coaches have already prepared the scout team to give the Eagles at least a generic look at what UVA-Wise will present both offensively and defensively. In addition, Barker says the short week will include extensive work on special teams.
"We'll play the scrimmage Thursday night then give them the weekend off," he said. "We'll pick up game week preparations Monday."
The Eagles will leave early Friday morning, Aug. 31, for Wise, Va. The game against the Cavaliers will kickoff at 5 p.m. central time on Sept. 1.