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Thu., Oct. 17, 2013, noon

Eastern Sports chat, noon (Oct. 17)

Here's the replay of Thursday's on Eastern Washington football.

Oct 17 2013, 11:57 AM
srchat: OK, let's get this going ... Homecoming week, Eagles vs. T-Birds.

Oct 17 2013, 11:59 AM
srchat: By the way, the Big Sky men's hoop poll just came out this morning, with Eastern picked sixth by the media and fifth by the coaches. Anybody out there want to talk hoops in addition to football?

Oct 17 2013, 11:59 AM
SE174: Will either Jake Rodgers or Jabari Wilson play, or are they still a week away?

Oct 17 2013, 12:01 PM
srchat: Hell again, SE174. I watched practice on Tuesday, and both looked ready to go. Both positions are deep, so I think they'll see limited action against SUU.

Oct 17 2013, 12:02 PM
srchat: To me, Wilson looked very strong in fall camp, it's too dad he's missed so many games to this point.

Oct 17 2013, 12:04 PM
srchat: It's too BAD, actually, that Wilson has been sidelined.

Oct 17 2013, 12:06 PM
SE174: SUU is one of the top teams in FCS at creating turnovers... is it the athletes, scheme, or both, and what does EWU need to do to not lose the turnover battle?

Oct 17 2013, 12:08 PM
srchat: This team seems almost the opposite of North Dakota; a careful, plodding offense that takes few chances, and an aggressive defense. This is a game that Eastern can win even it loses the turnover battle by one or even two. The defense needs to continue putting pressure on the QB.

Oct 17 2013, 12:10 PM
srchat: Eastern faces an inexperienced QB in Aaron Cantu. The key is to get an early lead and force their offense to come out of its shell.

Oct 17 2013, 12:12 PM
srchat: They're mostly on defense, with 2012 Big Sky defensive freshman of the year, LB Zak Browning (116 tackles last year, 53 so far this season) and LB Matt Holley (56 tackles this year).

Oct 17 2013, 12:12 PM
SE174: Who are the key playmakers for the T-Birds?

Oct 17 2013, 12:14 PM
srchat: On offense, the T-Birds lost QB Brad Sorensen to the NFL. Cantu is solid, but SUU coach Ed Lamb told me yesterday that "our offense isn't going to be chuck it downfield and see what happens - that's not us."

Oct 17 2013, 12:16 PM
srchat: RB Raysen Martin has 87 carries for 352 yards and five scores; the receivers are mostly possession guys; leading WR Fatu Moala is averaging only 11.2 yars per catch.

Oct 17 2013, 12:16 PM
SE174: Will EWU (5th in the BSC, 4.6 ypc) be able to run the ball on SUU's D (3rd, allows 3.6 ypc)?

Oct 17 2013, 12:18 PM
srchat: This will be a tough team to run against, in my opinion. SUU is giving up less than 120 yards a game on the ground. Baldwin would like to keep running the ball as in the last three games, but I think the T-Birds will take that away.

Oct 17 2013, 12:18 PM
SE174: Or will we look to go to the air a higher percentage than normal?

Oct 17 2013, 12:18 PM
srchat: Nice two-part question, SE174. And they answer is yes, a lot of passing from the Eagles this time.

Oct 17 2013, 12:19 PM
srchat: Don't be bashful out there, folks

Oct 17 2013, 12:20 PM
srchat: I have till the top of the hour, when I finish my feature of the week on an Eastern football player. I also will have a story on the Big Sky preseason basketball poll, with reaction from Eastern coach Jim Hayford.

Oct 17 2013, 12:22 PM
SE174: With how stout SUU's D has been, is this the game Baldwin digs into his bag of tricks a little (Halloween IS coming up)? Shaq Hill mentioned on the UND pregame show that they have a nice set to choose from.

Oct 17 2013, 12:23 PM
srchat: Perhaps, but not unless the Eagles are still struggling in the second half and need a lift. Better to spring that on Montana or MSU, methinks.

Oct 17 2013, 12:26 PM
srchat: Bring em on, or I'm going to wax non-poetic about my trip last week to Grand Forks, where I had the finest Austrian schnitzel since my trip to Germany five years ago ... and let me tell you about the UND hockey program ...

Oct 17 2013, 12:26 PM
SE174: Will anyone else post questions, or am I gonna have to hold down the fort today?

Oct 17 2013, 12:27 PM
srchat: I'm wondering the same thing, SE174. We have a new chat provider, and I think there are some glitches. So, tell us more about yourself and why you're an Eagle fan.

Oct 17 2013, 12:30 PM
srchat: Now I'm not a fan (that's not allowed when you cover the team), but some of my best friends are Eagles.

Oct 17 2013, 12:30 PM
srchat: Anybody out there feel pretty confident about the Eagles' chances right now in a game against WSU?

Oct 17 2013, 12:31 PM
SE174: Ha, good one. I will say that before this year, I had only missed one EWU game since I became an Eagle fan my freshman year in 2004 (Weber State, 2008... a 31-13 loss, IIRC). Missing the games this year because I moved away from the Spokane area.

Oct 17 2013, 12:32 PM
srchat: That's impressive.

Oct 17 2013, 12:32 PM
SE174: *EWU home game, that is. Score prediction for this weekend?

Oct 17 2013, 12:33 PM
srchat: I think Eastern goes to air with success, pulling away after a slow start to win 34-17

Oct 17 2013, 12:33 PM
markako (guest): Jim, what happened on that 1st & goal situation vs UND when we couldn't pound it in from a couple yards out and Adams had to throw it? If Souther Utah is supposed to be good against the run, what does it say that we couldn't get it in there vs. UND

Oct 17 2013, 12:36 PM
srchat: Hello, Markako and welcome to the chat. I think you're referring to the first drive of the second half. Eastern had 1st-goal at the 1. Bronson got stuffed, then Adams threw incomplete before finding Kupp. There was another drive like that in the second quarter. Yes, short yardage can be an issue with this team

Oct 17 2013, 12:37 PM
markako (guest): The Montana State game will be my first time seeing my Eagles at the Inferno. There seems to be conflicting game times I'm seeing out there. What is the official start time for that game?

Oct 17 2013, 12:38 PM
srchat: I just checked the official EWU site, which says the kickoff is at 12:10 p.m. Pacific Time.

Oct 17 2013, 12:39 PM
markako (guest): Is it fair to say that Adams comes out a little flat against lower tier teams until things get a little tight and he needs to step it up?

Oct 17 2013, 12:40 PM
srchat: I think every game is different. Adams admitted that he's struggled with his mechanics in a couple of games, including Toledo (which is hardly lower-tier). I thinks it's mostly feeling out the defense, and taking a bit of time to see what they're giving him.

Oct 17 2013, 12:41 PM
clawman (guest): Injury report? Is Shaq Hill going to be able to play?

Oct 17 2013, 12:42 PM
srchat: Hello, Clawman. Hill is questionale with a knee sprain suffered at UND. I will bet that he doesn't play, but I've been wrong before.

Oct 17 2013, 12:42 PM
SE174: Will EWU basketball make the BSC tourney this year, or are we destined for pepertual mediocrity under Hayford?

Oct 17 2013, 12:44 PM
srchat: I believe the Eagles make the tourney, provided JC transfer Drew Brandon lives up to expectations. The Eastern front court is one of the best in the Sky, and everyone is a year better.

Oct 17 2013, 12:44 PM
clawman (guest): Any idea how many recruits have been to games? and any more verbals?

Oct 17 2013, 12:45 PM
srchat: I'm gonna admit I have no idea on that. I've been meaning to check on verbals, and I'll try to find out.

Oct 17 2013, 12:45 PM
markako (guest): Will Rodgers play Sat, or is he still just practicing and getting healthy?

Oct 17 2013, 12:46 PM
srchat: Another guess, which is that Rodgers sees very limited action this week. But that's a step in the right direction. Cassidy Curtis is doing a solid job at right tackle, by the way

Oct 17 2013, 12:47 PM
markako (guest): What's the status of Blair Bomber? He had that great TD catch vs OSU, and then I haven't heard too much from him.

Oct 17 2013, 12:48 PM
srchat: I'm also surprised that he hasn't played more, but remember that he only got on the field at OSU because Kupp and another WR went down with cramps. It just illustrates the depth at that position.

Oct 17 2013, 12:48 PM
SE174: Hawks or Cards tonight?

Oct 17 2013, 12:48 PM
srchat: What sport is that?

Oct 17 2013, 12:48 PM
srchat: Ohh, the NFL. !!1

Oct 17 2013, 12:48 PM
SE174: NFL

Oct 17 2013, 12:49 PM
srchat: I'm not qualified to answer that, since I never watch NFL games. The Seahawks will roll, I think

Oct 17 2013, 12:49 PM
clawman (guest): Baldwin like to portray himself as a risk taker as far as play calling but I have not seen much originality thus far. Do you think he is keeping a few aces in his pockets until we get to the Montana's and Cal Poly?

Oct 17 2013, 12:50 PM
srchat: I think Baldwin thinks more in terms of risk vs. reward. The latter goes way up after this game, against UM, MSU and Poly. That's when youl'll see some tricks. Baldwin is a very well respected play-caller, by the way.

Oct 17 2013, 12:50 PM
markako (guest): What's the single biggest improvement EWU has made recently?

Oct 17 2013, 12:52 PM
srchat: If you're talking from last season to this one, I would say the consistency in the running game. That is, not just taking what the defense gives them in a dime package, but getting meaningful yards on first and 10 against a base defense.

Oct 17 2013, 12:52 PM
clawman (guest): Will next year be a 12 game schedule? Do we have a game scheduled for Aug 30 2014?

Oct 17 2013, 12:55 PM
srchat: Next year, the Eagles play a 12-game schedule, opening at home on Aug. 30 against Division II Western Montana, then going to UW. They also get Sam Houston at home, and MSU on the road in a non-conference game(!)

Oct 17 2013, 12:55 PM
markako (guest): I'm assuming that pass rush continues to be a major focus?

Oct 17 2013, 12:56 PM
srchat: It always is, but the first four opponents - especially Toledo and Sam Houston - ran option games that forced the Eagles to read and react rather than pin their ears back. Sacks and QB hurries have gone up since then - 5 sacks at North Dakota, if you didn't notice.

Oct 17 2013, 12:57 PM
markako (guest): I did notice that. The boys channeled their inner Jerry Ceja.

Oct 17 2013, 12:58 PM
srchat: Keep an eye on true freshman DE Samson Ebukam, a bigger version of Ceja, who already has two sacks and even wear's Ceja's #91 jersey.

Oct 17 2013, 12:58 PM
clawman (guest): Some of our experienced Dline does not seem to be much of a factor this year. Is Pulu, A. Larry and ?? as good as they were last year?

Oct 17 2013, 12:59 PM
srchat: Pulu is a run-blocker up the middle, and he's been solid but unnoticed by most fans. Larry was academically ineligible last year.

Oct 17 2013, 12:59 PM
markako (guest): Gotta run. Go Eags!!! Thanks, Jim.

Oct 17 2013, 12:59 PM
clawman (guest): Thanks for the chat Jim,

Oct 17 2013, 1:00 PM
srchat: Thanks, guys, back to work (which for me is anything but!)

Oct 17 2013, 1:00 PM
clawman (guest): GO EAGLES!!

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Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, Gonzaga Universtiy women's basketball and college and high school soccer.

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