A game it will be.
Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin confirmed as much Thursday morning, saying he and his staff were able to round up enough healthy bodies to assemble two teams for today’s annual Red-White Game that traditionally marks the end of spring practice.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Roos Field, and Baldwin hopes it will be exciting for coaches, players and fans, alike.
“When you break up into teams like this and play an actual game, it gives your guys one last chance to get out there and compete in a high-competitive environment,” said Baldwin, who originally had doubts about having enough healthy players to adequately man two complete teams. “I know our guys are really excited about it.
“And whether they take their game to another level on Saturday – or struggle with the situation – is going to be important heading into the summer.”
The Red-White Game will be the last live competition for the returning players from last year’s NCAA Division I championship until next fall. So how they perform could leave a long-lasting impression on Baldwin and his staff.
“It’s going to make a big different in our minds if someone’s out there missing tackles, or making tackles,” Baldwin said. “And the same holds true if you’re out there catching the ball over the middle, taking a hit and breaking a tackles, as opposed to dropping the pass or fumbling.”
Baldwin said the two teams for today’s game were divided as evenly as possible.
Running backs coach Chris Hansen will coach the Red team, while offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Best manages the White. The game is expected to consist of four 10-minute quarters, with quarterbacks operating under a tag-out rule rather than being subjected to live tackles.
EWU’s 30th-annual Orland Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction will follow the Red-White Game, with the social hour and auction starting at 4:30 and the dinner at 6:15.