Just three years removed from his stint as a Cal Poly assistant, Ena knew the chore the Eagles’ defensive line would have in stopping the Mustangs’ triple-option offense, an old-school look capable of moving the chains on the staunchest of FCS defenses.
Eight guys packed it for 19 yards or more on a single play Saturday – and this against a team that’s supposed to be the runningest thing this side of a toddler’s nose on a 20-degree afternoon.
Cole Karstetter and Jim Townsend cashed in on a pair of first-half Cal Poly fumbles, sparking the sixth-ranked Eagles’ 70-17 rout of Mustangs in their Big Sky Conference opener.
As college football continues its high-octane, throw-it-all-over-the-field evolution, Cal Poly’s triple-option offense offers a rare, throwback look for modern defenses. Sixth-ranked Eastern Washington (2-1), which opens Big Sky Conference play Saturday against the Mustangs at 1:05 p.m. at Roos Field, has had the chore of preparing for the run-it-all-day scheme, just days after trying to slow down a vastly different foe – Washington State and its Air Raid offense.
Predictions for the opening week of Big Sky Conference play.
The quarterback pipeline that runs between Eastern Washington and the Canadian Football League wasn’t excavated by Bo Levi Mitchell or Matt Nichols, two of the league’s veteran arms.
EWU beat writer Ryan Collingwood looks ahead to the Eagles' Big Sky Conference opener with Cal Poly.
The balanced Eagles (2-1), who rank third in the FCS in total yards, have 110 carries to 94 pass attempts, totaling an impressive 723 yards on the ground and 910 through the air. Junior scatback Antoine Custer, a second-team All-Big Sky Conference selection in 2017 and a preseason first-team pick this summer, hasn’t played a down.
Former Eastern Washington standout Aaron Neary, a center on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad, has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and damaging property.
Its offense flummoxed and its defense on skates most of the first half, Eastern Washington had finally strung together a sequence of yard-churning drives.
Since 2011, the Eagles’ six games against the likes of Washington State, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State have been decided by an average of 6.3 points.
EWU beat writer Ryan Collingwood predicts this week’s Big Sky Conference games