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Eastern Sports chat (noon, Oct. 24)

Read the full replay of this chat in this extended post …



Oct 24 2013, 11:59 AM
srchat: OK, folks, let's talk Eastern football!

Oct 24 2013, 12:03 PM
srchat: Obviously, this is the biggest game of the year so far for both teams, Eastern and Montana.

Oct 24 2013, 12:03 PM
Joemon10 (guest): Jim, who wins the physical battle between the OL's and DL's of both teams?

Oct 24 2013, 12:04 PM
srchat: I think Eastern's O-line prevails on Saturday, giving Adams time to do his thing. I'm interested in how much Baldwin will try to run the ball to slow down the pass rush.

Oct 24 2013, 12:06 PM
srchat: On the other side of the ball, Montana had the better of it last year, but Eastern's run defense is stouter than a year ago. The pass rush is improving, but that may be because of the opposition.

Oct 24 2013, 12:06 PM
SE174: Jim, with EWU clicking on all cylinders and getting injured starters back, and the Griz struggling to put away an average Cal Poly team in front of their home crowd in addition to losing their best RB, do the Griz even stand a chance to win?

Oct 24 2013, 12:08 PM
srchat: First, I think Cal Poly is better than average, at least on defense, while Montana played poorly on offense for 58 minutes. That won't happen again, and Eastern will have to play very well in all phases to get their first win in Missoula since 2005.

Oct 24 2013, 12:09 PM
SE174: Will Shaq Hill be 100%, or is he coming back early because of the big game?

Oct 24 2013, 12:10 PM
srchat: He looked good to me at practice, but that's not someting the coaches will discuss in detail.

Oct 24 2013, 12:11 PM
srchat: Any guesses as to what defensive scheme Montana will use to contain Adams?

Oct 24 2013, 12:12 PM
srchat: Sam Houston did a good job with what looked at times like an alternating 4-1-6 and 4-2-5, stressing outside contain and conceding the short routes in the middle. Adams doesn't always look for those crossing routes.

Oct 24 2013, 12:12 PM
SE174: Hope and Pray?

Oct 24 2013, 12:13 PM
srchat: That's one idea!

Oct 24 2013, 12:13 PM
SE174: Wait, trick question; Adams cannot be contained.

Oct 24 2013, 12:14 PM
Guest123 (guest): Is Rogers back at 100% or is Curtis still the starter for this Saturday?

Oct 24 2013, 12:16 PM
srchat: Both, sort of! Rodgers is listed as probable for Montana. Curtis is the starter at right tackle

Oct 24 2013, 12:16 PM
Guest123 (guest): Jim, I missed the chat last week - will you have the replay of it posted soon?

Oct 24 2013, 12:16 PM
srchat: As you may know, we have a new chat provider, and we're having some problems getting the entire replay available. I'll check on it!

Oct 24 2013, 12:16 PM
GE1963 (guest): I think they will only use a spy if they can't contain VA or get enough base pressure on him. I don't think they have a good spy matchup.

Oct 24 2013, 12:18 PM
srchat: This is huge issue: can Montana bring enough pressure with a four-man front and at the same time keep Adams from rolling out and extending the play. This will evolve during the game, I think.

Oct 24 2013, 12:18 PM
SE174: Jim, will this be the game that Baldwin digs into his bag of tricks? What about on the other side of the ball? Evan Day's quote in your latest article suggests some difference schemes than we've put on film. “We’ve got some stuff in mind, but I’m not going to say much about that right now.”

Oct 24 2013, 12:21 PM
srchat: I've got to think there will be some trickery; there's been little to date since Oregon State. On defense, there will have to be some changes to improve the run defense. Montana RB Travon Van is injured and may not play, so Jordan Canada will get most of the carries on Saturday. He's the guy who got most of the rush yards last year at Eastern.

Oct 24 2013, 12:21 PM
Guest123 (guest): Glad to see they have so much depth on the o-line. What a difference from the 2011 season!

Oct 24 2013, 12:21 PM
srchat: This is a deep unit, and largely injury-free, apart from Rodgers.

Oct 24 2013, 12:22 PM
SE174: You honestly believe that CP is better than average? They're 3-4 and got dominated at home by Yale.

Oct 24 2013, 12:25 PM
srchat: I think they are better than the record shows, and lead the Big Sky in both total offense and defense

Oct 24 2013, 12:25 PM
GE1963 (guest): That is why the EAGS OLine play is key. If the OLine can handle the griz DLine and LB blitzes, their secondary might as well be chasing greased pigs.

Oct 24 2013, 12:26 PM
srchat: Absolutely true!

Oct 24 2013, 12:28 PM
srchat: Seven games into the season, some of these teams are a quandary. How else to explain MSU struggling at Weber, or Montana losing by 18 at an NAU team that struggled to beat Idaho State?

Oct 24 2013, 12:28 PM
SE174: Will the offense be able to run the ball against the Griz, or will we go to the air, much like in years past?

Oct 24 2013, 12:30 PM
srchat: That will be Montana's choice. The Eagles have been running MUCH more lately, but Baldwin is astute enough to make adjustments if UM packs the box. I still think UM will try to force the action - run and pass - to the inside.

Oct 24 2013, 12:30 PM
GE1963 (guest): I think a big strength of the EAGs is that many young players have played this year and experienced backups can be especially important in a tough game like this.

Oct 24 2013, 12:32 PM
srchat: Good point, and that's especially true on the d-line, where the future looks bright thanks to some talented newcomers such as Samson Ebukam, Matthew Sommer and Joe Douglas; also the LB corps with Havili and Zamora.

Oct 24 2013, 12:35 PM
SE174: UM's OL has been less than stellar so far this year, at least compared to year's past. Will our DL/LBs be able to get pressure on Jordan Johnson, like we were able to against SUU's QB?

Oct 24 2013, 12:37 PM
srchat: I think so, but Johnson is very savvy. He didn't throw a pick this year until last week. But you have to like the Grizzlies' balance on offense - 215ypg rushing and 236 passing.

Oct 24 2013, 12:37 PM
SE174: Rank the importance of the following in order for EWU to come away with a win Saturday:

Oct 24 2013, 12:40 PM
srchat: 1. Win the edge on defense against the run. 2. Adams seeing the entire field, especially the middle routes that will be open 3. A decent running game inside

Oct 24 2013, 12:40 PM
SE174: Effective pass rush, winning the turnover battle, running the ball effectively

Oct 24 2013, 12:40 PM
GE1963 (guest): I have noticed the griz OL has problems with quick defensive fronts. NAU had the griz OL on their heels the entire game.

Oct 24 2013, 12:41 PM
srchat: That's another reason for the Griz to grind it outside, off-tackle, as they did last year.

Oct 24 2013, 12:42 PM
GE1963 (guest): I think another big factor will be our secondary. I don't think the griz offense, especially the QB have seen a secondary with as much closing speed as ours.

Oct 24 2013, 12:42 PM
srchat: Agreed, this is one of the best secondaries in recent memory for the Eagles.

Oct 24 2013, 12:46 PM
srchat: One more thought: let's be real about what this means for the loser. If it's Montana, that's two conference losses with little chance of getting a home game in the playoffs. If it's Eastern, it means three overall losses and probably the same scenario unless it can win out.

Oct 24 2013, 12:46 PM
SE174: What's the best way to contain the Griz offense: 4-3, 3-4, or handcuffs?

Oct 24 2013, 12:47 PM
srchat: No smack, now!

Oct 24 2013, 12:47 PM
srchat: There's plenty of smack already for this game - on both sides.

Oct 24 2013, 12:47 PM
srchat: But that was a good joke, SE174

Oct 24 2013, 12:48 PM
srchat: 12 minutes to go, and no one has asked me for a score prediction?!

Oct 24 2013, 12:48 PM
SE174: Couldn't resist. Alright, it's getting to be that time. Score prediction? I'll go with 42-31.

Oct 24 2013, 12:49 PM
srchat: I like that 11-point spread for Eastern, but I'm thinking more like …. 34-23

Oct 24 2013, 12:49 PM
GE1963 (guest): Here is mine.

Oct 24 2013, 12:50 PM
srchat: You're going to make us wait, right, GE1963?

Oct 24 2013, 12:50 PM
GE1963 (guest): Eags 35 Griz 14Only sounds in WAGrizz stadium are EAGS fans cheering and griz fans weeping.

Oct 24 2013, 12:51 PM
srchat: There you have it. It certainly could happen that way. I think Eastern is the better team this year, but Montana usually finds a way to win the big ones. I can't wait.

Oct 24 2013, 12:53 PM
srchat: FYI, I plan to drive to Missoula tomorrow morning and watch the walkthrough. I'll file a story after that, for Saturday's paper.

Oct 24 2013, 12:54 PM
srchat: And on that subject, most of my Saturday preview stories (not this one) are running online only, so be sure to go to our EWU football page online. That's the way of the business these days.

Oct 24 2013, 12:54 PM
SE174: *Montana used to find a way to win the big ones.

Oct 24 2013, 12:54 PM
srchat: Time will tell.

Oct 24 2013, 12:54 PM
GE1963 (guest): Thanks Jim for all of your articles and this talk show.

Oct 24 2013, 12:55 PM
srchat: My pleasure. More fun awaits at 1, when I finish my feature for tomorrow on the life of Cooper Kupp.

Oct 24 2013, 12:57 PM
srchat: October is the best sports month of all, you have to admit. World Series, football is going full-blast, basketball is almost here, and I've already blown out my sprinklers

Oct 24 2013, 12:57 PM
GE1963 (guest): You gotta be good with the name Cooper Kupp.

Oct 24 2013, 12:58 PM
srchat: It kinda rolls off the tongue. Great kid, too: humble, hard-working, 4.0 GPA.

Oct 24 2013, 12:59 PM
srchat: Thanks, everybody. We'll do it again next week, same time, same web site!

 


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