Eastern Washington staged its final scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday, but those in attendance didn’t get much of a read on how the Eagles might really look in next Thursday night’s season opener against Nevada in Reno.
Third-year head coach Beau Baldwin, in an effort to keep his starters upright and on fresh legs heading into next week, played primarily backups in the hour-long scrimmage, which featured early dominance by the No. 2 defense and some late atonement by the No. 2 offense.
“We’ve had a really good camp; we’ve worked hard,” Baldwin said. “And when you start hitting 19 or 20 practices, you want to make sure you get guys healthy and get their legs back going into next week. We’ve done a lot of live drills in practice, so it’s not as if a lot of our (number) ones on both sides of the ball – and definitely on offense – haven’t played in a lot of live situations already.”
With starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell watching from the sidelines, redshirt freshman Anthony Vitto and junior Nick Gauthier shared time under center. Both looked a little rattled in the early going, but settled down to do some good things.
Vitto completed 10 of 20 passes for 98 yards and connected with Alante Wright on a 7-yard touchdown pass. Gauthier finished 6 for 11 for 60 yards and a 25-yard scoring pass to Greg Herd, but was intercepted twice.
“They both had their moments where things weren’t going right,” Baldwin said of the two quarterbacks battling to be the backup to Mitchell. “But they were both able to come back and respond, make some plays, and lead some touchdown drives, which was good to see.
“Both of those guys are going to be in a situation where you never know – you never know when your number is going to be called – and they have to be ready for that.”
The Eagles will practice on the new red turf, which has been installed at Roos Field, on Friday afternoon.