There hasn't been much chance to get additional comments from Eastern Washington players about Saturday's upcoming first-round FCS playoff game agaisnt Stephen F. Austin in Nacagdoches, Texas, but I have post a few thoughts -- courtesy of EWU's sports information department -- from Eagles head coach Beau Baldwin below.
In addition, I've included this link to playoffs press release issued by the Big Sky Conference, and this link to what little SFA put on its website about the Lumberjacks' first-round matchup against the Eagles.
And make sure you check back during the week as we build up to the EWU-SAF matchup with a series of stories that will run in The Spokesman-Review. There was an interesting comment on an earlier post suggesting that Stephen F. Austin did not play the most difficult of schedules, and that would certainly appear to be the case.
Tell us what you think about the Eagles' chances.
EAGS TIRED, BUT STILL EXCITED
Here's some additional comments from Baldwin:
"They were excited . . . they were a little tired to be honest, but they were certainly excited. We felt pretty good about our chances with everything that transpired on Saturday. Our feeling was that we were just waiting to see who we would play.”
“It was a special year. This senior class dealt with more than any other senior crew has had to overcome. There were off-the-field distractions that were out of their control. And they still overcame that to keep fighting every day. I go all the way back to the off-season as being the most important time, because when you start the season it’s a little easier. And if you don’t have a good base of good leaders, that can really have an effect on how hard you work from February and March all the way to August. They did a great job leading the team and the whole team followed to prepare themselves for having a great season matter what the end result was of the sanctions.”
“When you get to your senior year you’ve played a lot of football, and sometimes things don’t go your way as far as injuries. Aaron and Kyle were fortunate to stay healthy, and it just so happened they were injured in their senior year. Those were injuries we had to overcome and our younger players had to step up. Aaron and Kyle have been great leaders even after their injuries, and they are a big part of this as well.”
“If you are one of the 16 teams in this playoff, you’re good. Every team is going to be a little bit different, but we know they are a very good team and play in a very good league. I know it will be a challenge for us.”
“Each game is its own and you don’t know how they are going to go. We got in a shootout against NAU, but we’ve been involved in other games where it’s been more of a grind. You just want to make sure that no matter what kind of game you are involved with, that the offense, defense and special teams are sticking together and making plays and pick each other up when things don’t right. We’ve done a good job all year when we’ve been in those situations, and hopefully we continue with that mindset this week.”