Jim Allen's live chat about Eastern Washington football.
Oct 3 2013, 11:58 AM
Jim Allen: Let's get this thing going!
SE174: Hi Jim. How soon is Jake Rodgers from returning to the field?
Jim Allen: Hello, SE 174: No word from the coaches yet on Jake, who didn't practice when I was was practice on Tuesday.
SE174: Are there any other injuries we need to worry about?
Jim Allen: For one, RB Jabari Wilson is still questionable with a shoulder injury.
fifthalder: Hi Jim - Congrats on your son's wedding! Curious about the Eags defense against the running game. I know we've faced great running backs (nfl potential?) the last two games, but I'm wondering if it's the skill of the opposing RBs, the offensive lines we've faced, or as some have suggested elsewhere, our defense scheme? Thanks.
Jim Allen: Thanks for that! I think the defensive struggles are a combination of both. In fact, I don't think the Eagles will face the same skill set across the board that they saw against Toledo and SHSU
GOEWU: Jim, any word how many tickets have been sold? Got my tickets a month ago and best I could get was on visitors side?
Jim Allen: I don't have numbers, but sales are brisk. End zone bleachers have been set up for this week.
fifthalder: I took to noticing Cassidy Curtis last year for his sideline enthusiasm, not to mention the size of this kid! How did the OL function with him playing in place of Rodgers?
Jim Allen: Cassidy is a solid player, and was in the mix last year. I think the OL did OK last week against a very physical Sam Houston D-line, but as a group, they needed to do a better job of pass blocking in that game.
Guest552: Your score prediction for Sat.'s game? Please be precise...
Jim Allen: This game will not be close. Weber State HAS played some tough opponents, but last week lost 31-3 at home to a mediocre Sacramento State team. They start a true freshman at QB and probably lost their leading tackler
Jim Allen: Oh, you want a score prediction. At haltime, it will be 34-7 Eastern, with the Eagles substituting freely in the second half to win 51-17
fifthalder: There was a future player that I believe was heavily recruited by PAC12 schools that was attending EWU as a "prop"...a running back if I recall correctly? Any word on how that is working out for the young man?
Jim Allen: That would be D.J. Martin, who is a Prop 48. I must admit I haven't checked on his progress. will do!
SE174: Jim, do you think we'll see more blitzing going forward? It seems we've been too conservative on defense, and we certainly have a talented enough secondary to play man coverage while sending an extra guy to pressure.
Jim Allen: Firstly, Eastern's defense is basically read and react. I think the schemes already take into account the inexperience at linebacker, and you can only do so much. It also depends on the opponent; I expect to see plenty of blitzing against Weber's true freshman QB
Jim Allen: Bring on your questions. As you may notice, we're using a new chat service. If you're having any problems accessing the site, please email me. - Jim
ewufan: 2-2 going into October... Am I optimistic in thinking that we've already played the toughest teams on our schedule until (hopefully) the playoffs?
Jim Allen: As I wrote earlier this week, I think 2-2 is a satisfactory outcome considering the schedule. Obviously it's less than people hoped for after Oregon State, but the Eagles ar in great position for a run to the playoffs.
Jim Allen: To answer the main part of your question, the Eagles will be big favorites in the next 3 games (Weber, ND and So. Utah), but big tests await on 10/26 at Montana, then back to back in November against MSU and Cal Poly.
fifthalder: Any observations from the Montana NAU game? Where does EWU play the Griz this year?
Jim Allen: Folks are still trying to figure out the Griz, who struggled last year and seemed pretty tough until it all fell apart at NAU. They're very good, though, and they were unlucky too, with a 98-yard fumble return by NAU for a score.
Jim Allen: I think the Big Sky race is a five-way contest, including Eastern, UM, MSU, NAU and Cal Poly. The Eagles face three of them, with two on the road.
Jim Allen: If you're talking playoffs, the Eagles will need to go 6-2 in conference play to reach the postseason. Others may disagree, but I think the schedule is tough enough that if they go 7-1 (9-3 overall) they will certainly host at least one game, perhaps two.
SE174: What's the biggest concern this Eagles team needs to address before facing the UM's, MSU's, and Cal Poly's of the Big Sky?
Jim Allen: Before practice on Tuesday, Baldwin mentioned run defense on the edge, keeping the RBs contained and forcing the action into the middle. Also, not overcommiting and leaving the backside open, as they did on Flanders' 60-yard TD run last weekend.
Jim Allen: The offense has some work to do as well, mostly Adams' throwing mechanics. Defense are adjusting; witness Sam Houston stressing outside contain and keeping Adams from rolling outside. That should mean more chances for shorter passes up the middle, however.
Guest552: Jim, do you think they are keeping Adams from running the ball to keep him from taking hits?
Jim Allen: Hello, Guest 552, and the answer is no. Baldwin said before the season that Adams is free to run, but needs to make sound choices about when to take off. Last year, as as freshman, he had a case of happy feet, but has shown more patience this year. But if opponents force the action inside, he may have fewer running options. It's interesting, too, that last week, Eastern ran the ball 35 times and passed only 31 times.
Jim Allen: It's interesting to note that Eastern averaged just 3.5 yards per rush last week, which raises the question: will this pay dividends down the road, or did Sam Houston force the Eagles out of their game?
Jim Allen: OK, bring em on - this isn't a live monolgue
Jim Allen: that should be spelled 'monologue'
Jim Allen: Ask away, or I'm going to tell everyone about my son's wedding in Hawaii during the bye week... the oceanside ceremony, the crying, especially after the credit card statement game this week...
SE174: MSU vs. NAU, UW vs. Stanford. Who you got?
Jim Allen: Hello again, SE174: I think that with McGhee back, MSU is the front-runner (better get any ticket for that game on 11/7, even if it is in the endzone)
Jim Allen: As far as UW-Stanford, that should be a good one. I like the Cardinal, who will shove the Dawgs around a bit on the lines
GOEWU: What's your best guess for attendance this Sat.?
Jim Allen: I think we'll see 9-10,000.
Jim Allen: Yes?
SE174: Have we seen the whole playbook, or has Baldwin been reserving a lot of looks for conference play?
Jim Allen: I donlt think we'll ever see the entire Beau Baldwin playbook, but remember, it's still game by game, and those plays will be practiced on game week for UM, MSU, etc.
WeberAlum: Do you think our Head Coach, Jody Sears, will take it easy on EWU since they use to sign his paycheck?
Jim Allen: Sears is a class act. I spoke with him yesterday, and he's looking forward to the trip. He really needs a win though.
Clawman: Jim; In the game last week it seemed to me Sam blitzed almost every down and left a middle backer to "spy" on Adams so he could not scramble and the heavy blitz overwhelmed our o-line so there was not much protection or holes to run through, your thoughts? And if so what did we learn from that? If I am correct we will see a lot more of that defensive scheme.
Jim Allen: That wasn't surprising (this is what Sam H does), but with my limited Xs and Os knowledge, I don't know how that differed from how they tried to defend Adams in the second half of last year's playof game
Jim Allen: And yes, you'll see more of that. But you can't cover everything; the short passing routes should be there
GE1963: Our receivers have played excellent this year. It seems the YAC is higher than the last few years. I would think that should make the shorter passing game even more productive if defenses make containment of VA a priority.
Jim Allen: Exactly! Yards after catch were huge at Oregon State. The difference seems that Adams needs to stay in the pocket a bit longer
Jim Allen: Five more minutes, and I'm off to interview center Ashton Miller for a feature story next week...
Clawman: I enjoy your personal interest articles featuring our players. Who do you have coming to be featured?
Jim Allen: Thanks for asking. I just finished a piece on DL Will Katoa that will run tomorrow.
Clawman: Good, hope you keep them coming
Jim Allen: Count on it!
Clawman: I heard we had another verbal commitment. Do you know who that is?
Jim Allen: nope, sorry. But I'll check
Jim Allen: Thanks, everyone - we'll do again next Thursday