In past summers, Eastern and Kentucky played 7-on-7 games against each other. That didn't happen this year because of Saturday's game, which is only the second meeting between the two state schools.
"When we did play them, it was very competitive in the summer. But now we both have a chance to put a line down and be physical. That's a lot different from 7-on-7," Burton said.
Eastern has a veteran team led by 19 seniors that hopes to help the Colonels get back to the Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
Eastern will bring an offense into Commonwealth Stadium led by quarterback Josh Greco that averaged 354.5 yards and 30 points per game in its final six games last year. The Colonels' biggest problem last year was turnovers, as they had 16 in their five losses.
"Eastern has a mulitiple offense. They do a lot," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "They do some shotgun option stuff that we struggled with late in the year last year. I am not certain what we will see. They do throw the ball well.
"They have an outstanding quarterback who had an off year last year based on him being beat up and injured. He had a phenomenal year the year before.
"They have two good running backs. They have good size, good speed and they break tackles. I hope we are going to be a much better defensive tackling team. If we miss tackles against these guys, it will be a long night."
Former Harrodsburg High School standout Mark Dunn is Eastern's top returning rusher. He can't wait to play Kentucky.
"We know this is a big opportunity for our team," Dunn said. "We want to make the most of it and show we have a good team, too."
The Wildcats will not be at full strength on defense. Tackle Myron Pryor is suspended, middle linebacker Braxton Kelley is still slowed by an ankle sprain and linebacker Wesley Woodyard has only been released this week to play without a cast on his injured hand.
Still, Brooks expects the defense to be vastly improved.
"I will be very surprised if we are not better, and maybe significantly better," Brooks said.
Kentucky returns a potent offense led by quarterback Andre Woodson, a preseason All-America pick. He threw for 3,515 yards and 31 touchdowns last year with only seven interceptions. Burton caught 77 passes for 1,036 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Dicky Lyons had 50 catches for 822 yards and nine scores.
Burton says the Wildcats are embracing the higher expectations fans have for them this year.
"There is always pressure. Even if you have a losing season, there is pressure to win," he said. "I think we are going to have a lot of players rise to the occassion this year . A lot of us want to go out together with a bang. We don't want to let the coaches or fans down.
"But the best way to prove ourselves is to get on the field and get it done. We can talk about winning all we want. Talking and hype are great, but let's go do it on the field and show what we can do. That's what we get to do starting Saturday."