Eastern Washington, on the heels of its loss to North Dakota State on Saturday in the FCS Championship, finished second in both the American Football Coaches Association poll and the STATS media poll released on Monday.
By the time Eastern Washington reached the program’s second FCS national title game Saturday at Toyota Stadium – it fell 38-24 to juggernaut North Dakota State – the Eagles’ best redshirt freshmen and sophomores were seasoned commodities. Couple that with a proven junior class and key players returning from injury, and the 2019 Eagles should have the means to make another deep postseason run.
Easton Stick had a hand in all five touchdowns that reigning champion North Dakota State scored on a sunny afternoon in Frisco, Texas. He ran three into the end zone and threw for two more. The Omaha, Nebraska, native finished with 121 yards on 18 carries and completed 13-of-19 passes for 198 yards.
Sam McPherson, who rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown in Eastern Washington’s 38-24 loss to North Dakota State in Saturday’s FCS title game, is fleet-footed, but not “elite fast” by his own admission.
As sure as your teenager brought the family car home with the gauge on “E” again, North Dakota State rules the clubby little realm of the Football Championship Subdivision, thanks to Saturday’s 38-24 victory over Eastern Washington. That’s seven times in eight years for America’s spoilsports.
With every yard-churning, clock-eating drive Saturday in Frisco, Texas, the Bison took away opportunities – and ultimately hope – from an erratic Eastern Washington offense working for a lead that wouldn’t come.
Eastern Washington nose tackle Jay-Tee Tiuli, the Big Sky Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, did not play in Saturday’s FCS national championship game against North Dakota State.
Seven times in the last eight years, various opponents have tried to stand in the way of the green and gold FCS machine known as North Dakota State.
The stars in Texas, big and bright as they say, aligned somewhat perfectly this weekend for one former Eastern Washington football player.
Nobody could have envisioned the stupefying way they won their 2010 national championship – unless, of course, they’d reviewed the tapes of all the other games Eastern Washington’s Eagles won that season. It was, in fact, the only way they could win it.
It’s not Fargo, but it might as well be.
Eastern Washington wasn’t expected to win a Big Sky Conference title – let alone reach the FCS national championship game – when its most recognizable figure, All-American quarterback Gage Gubrud, suffered a season-ending injury in late September.