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Eastern and Big Sky links

The Eastern football players are back with a vengeance - but they're not calling it that. According to head coach Beau Baldwin, it's only human nature - not revenge - to want a little payback against Sam Houston State. Here's my report from Monday's practice as the Eagles prepare for the trip to warm and  muggy Huntsville, Texas. The misting fans have already been ordered, I'm told, for this high-profile matchup, which if you go by this week's rankings is the biggest in FCS this year. … We can discuss all that and more in our weekly live chat on Thursday. … The Huntsville Item has several stories related to the game. Here's a link to the   school web site  , which includes a rundown of the Bearkats' 52-21 win last week over Incarnate Word. …

Elsewhere, the rest of the Big Sky Conference is opening league play. Weber State is coming off a 43-6 loss to McNeese State entering its conference opener against Sacramento State. … North Dakota and Montana State head into their game coming off losses. … A starting safety at Montana has been suspended  for Saturday's game against NAU following an incident of drunken vandalism.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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