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Posts tagged: Big Sky Conference

Eastern and Big Sky links

Here are a few links to start your morning. First, there's my story on an Eastern running back corps that could be one of the best ever. … Sam Houston State already has a week of practice under its belt, while Western Montana has yet to begin. … Look out, EWU secondary: Husky WR Kasen Williams said he's healthy and focused…. That's funny, Montana safety Matt Hermanson said the same thing to the Missoulian. I'd do more, but I need to catch an EWU basketball session (that's right, basketball, then some football).

Eastern and Big Sky links

With the Eastern Washington football season barely two weeks away, it's time to start my (almost) daily EWU/opponents/Big Sky links column. Here goes:

First off, here's my story from Monday's practice, focusing on the kickers, specifically the feel-good story of Roldan Alcobendas. I also have a short story in the first FCS coaches poll, which offers a mild surprise at the top. … Meanwhile, Sam Houston State held its first scrimmage, and the results weren't pretty, according to this story in the Huntsville (Texas) Item. Even the school's official web site doesn't try to sugarcoat the results. … There's not much football news out of Western Montana (EWU's opponent on Aug. 30), but here's a link  to the school's football web site. … The Eagles play Sept. 6 at Washington, which opened camp Monday. Here's a report from the Seattle Time and another from the Tacoma News Tribune. … Montana State also opened camp Monday, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle was there. … Montana opens camp today, and the Missoulian has this preview.

Eastern No. 2 in first FCS coaches poll

Eastern Washington is ranked second behind North Dakota State in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll, the NCAA announced Monday.

The other major poll – The Sports Network Top 25 – is set to be released on Friday.

The Eagles, who won the 2010 FCS title, received 615 points and six first-place votes in rankings. The Eagles finished third a year ago in the final coaches poll after finishing 12-3 and advancing to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs for the second-straight season.

EWU sets 2017 game at Texas Tech

In a repeat engagement of Beau Baldwin’s head coaching debut at Eastern Washington, the Eagles will play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

The game will come nine years after the Eagles lost to 49-24 in Lubbock, Texas, to current Washington State coach Mike Leach. The Eagles finished 6-5 that season, while Texas Tech finished 11-2 and shared the Big 12 title with Oklahoma and Texas.

Eastern now has games against FBS foes scheduled for every year through 2019. The Eagles will play at Washington on Sept. 6, in just the second meeting with the Huskies, then will return to Seattle on Aug. 31, 2019.

Next season, Eastern will play at Oregon on Sept. 5, 2015, in the first meeting between those two schools. The Eagles also have scheduled games against Washington State for Sept. 3, 2016 and Sept. 15, 2018.

Including a season-opening 20-3 win at Idaho in 2012 and a 33-21 loss at Toledo in 2013, Eastern is now 9-22 all-time against FBS teams.

EWU’s Harvey named first-team all-Big Sky

Big Sky Conference scoring leader Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington has been named a first-team all-star selection, the league announced Monday.

Harvey, a sophomore from Torrance, Calif., led the league in scoring and free-throw shooting while finishing among the nation's top 3-point shooters.

Harvey averaged 21.8 points, 89.7 percent at the free-throw line and made 109 3-point shots - second most in Big Sky history.

Eagle forward Venky Jois earned honorable mention honors.

Weber State guard/forward Davion Berry was named the conference's Most Valuable Player.

Eastern linebacker Hamlin gets sixth year of eligibility

The NCAA has granted Eastern Washington linebacker Ronnie Hamlin a sixth year of eligibility, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

Hamlin, whose 361 tackles rank third in school history, was given the extra year because he missed the 2009 and 2010 seasons with an ACL injury.

Hamlin, a team captain last year, was an all-Big Sky Conference performer last season with 140 total tackles.



Eastern playoff links

The first thing I did this morning was look out the window - no snow on the South Hill since Friday evening. That's just one of many factors that could play into today's semifinal between Eastern Washington and Towson. The winner will play North Dakota State - an easy winner Friday night over New Hampshire - in the FCS title game on Jan. 4. … Don't know enough about today's game? There's plenty of info from Eastern and from Towson, and the Baltimore Sun.

Eastern sports chat replay

Here is the full transcript of our live chat from Thursday. Spokesman-Review beat writer Jim Allen is answering questions:

Jim: Let's talk Eastern sports!

 Ryan_31088: Ok, I'll ask the first question. What's the health situation for both teams?

 Jim: Hello, Ryan. Eastern is healthy, apart from safety Tevin McDonald. The same for Towson, but they lost their two top receivers a few weeks ago.


Eastern and Big Sky links

Eastern Washington is running the ball with authority - and with the authority of head coach Beau Baldwin, whose tailback-by-committee approach is paying big dividends in the playoffs. The biggest beneficiary is tailback Quincy Forte, who appreciates what his teammates have done.

More links after the jump …

Eastern and Big Sky links

The honors keep rolling in for the Eagles, especially for freshman wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who was named a first-team All-American.  Here's a video of Cooper Kupp, and we also have an overall story from The Sports Network … Of course, Towson running back Terrance West is no slouch either. … From Maryland, here's a feature on Towson All-American offensive lineman Eric Pike. … Towson held a special graduation ceremony Wednesday night.

Kupp named first-team All-American

It’s been a freshman year to remember for Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Just two days after winning the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Kupp was named to The Sports Network All-America first team on Wednesday.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Another year, another big award for Eastern Washington football. On Monday night, wide receiver Cooper Kupp took center stage by winning the Jerry Rice Award for top FCS freshman, while quarterback Vernon Adams finished second in the Walter Payton Award balloting. A bigger prize would be a spot in the title game, but Towson stands in the way. … Another Big Sky Conference player took home one of the big prizes Monday night, and the conference also has a roundup of the awards.

Kupp is FCS freshman of the year

Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp has won the Jerry Rice Award given to the top freshman in the Football Championshp Subdivision, The Sports Network announced this morning.

The award will be presented later today at The Sports Network's FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation in Philadelphia. The winners of the Walter Payton Award (FCS outstanding player), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS outstanding defensive player) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) also will be awarded.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Eastern Washington is in the FCS semifinals partly because of some clutch plays against Jacksonville State. Here is our follow-up story, along with a preview of tonight's FCS awards in Philadelphia. I'll be standing by tonight with a story on the awards. Meanwhile, the Eastern men's basketball team came up short Sunday against UC Irvine. … Elsewhere in FCS football, two-time defending champ North Dakota State hired a new coach. … Here's a roundup of the four quarterfinal games. …The Baltimore Sun had a nice piece on Towson's win at Eastern Illinois.

Eastern and Big Sky links

A big reason for Eastern Washington's football success is the offensive line, which includes senior guard Brandon Murphy. Here's our feature, and a transcript from yesterday's live chat. We also have a look at the Eastern men's basketball team going into Sunday's game against UC-Irvine. Back to football: The Eagles face Jacksonville State on Saturday, who are embracing an “us against the world” mentality. … Elsewhere, Weber State has hired a new football coach…. The Missoulian wraps up the Montana season.

Eastern playoff links

The Jacksonville State football coaches are trying to prepare for Eastern Washington, but it's not easy, as our story shows … We can talk about that and more in today's live chat, right here at noon. … Eagle defensive coordinator John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching job at his alma mater, Central Washington. … Back to the FCS playoffs:  here's the official release from Eastern, and here's a feature on JSU's tight end, courtesy of the Birmingham News. … The Sports Network offers this preview of all four quarterfinal games.

EWU assistant Graham a finalist for Central Washington head coach

Eastern Washington University defensive coordinator and associate head coach John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching position at Central Washington, Graham said Wednesday.

Graham, 44, a defensive back at Central in 1990-91, graduated in 1992 and was an assistant for the Wildcats for 13 years under Mike Dunbar, Jeff Zenisek and John Zamberlin.

“It's always been a dream of mine to be a head coach,” said Graham, who applied for the position when Zamberlin was hired by Idaho State in 2006, and was a finalist at CWU before his current head coach, Beau Baldwin was hired. When Baldwin was hired a year later by Eastern Washington a year later, Graham followed him to Cheney.

Eastern playoff links

Talk about peaking at the right time: The unranked Jacksonville State Gamecocks have knocked off two straight ranked opponents in the FCS playoffs, and they'll try to do it again this week at Eastern Washington. Here's our first look at Jacksonville State, and here is the official release from Eastern. (And by the way, Eagle cornerback Ronald Baines is listed as probable this week after suffering a concussion against South Dakota State.)  … Jacksonville State - soon to be known as “Jax” in my Tweets to save space - had a dominating performance last week at McNeese State, but head coach Bill Clark and the Gamecocks have plenty of respect for Eastern Washington. … Want more on Jacksonville State? Go to, a Birmingham-based web site that covers college football like nothing you've ever seen. (It is Alabama, after all.) Here's their Jacksonville State page.

Eastern and Big Sky links

The over/under on today's Eastern Washington-South Dakota State playoff game: 11, and I didn't get that from the boys in Vegas. That comes from the guys at the National Weather Service. A high today of 11, with a wild-chill factor of minus-5. Here's my game preview, plus the official preview from Eastern, which also made warm gesture this week. Meanwhile, here's everything you want to know about South Dakota State. … Two former Eagles won recognition from the Big Sky Conference. … Meanwhile, it'll be even colder in Missoula, where the Grizzlies know that weather alone doesn't win football games. … Stay warm, my friends.

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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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