1. Eagles QB Kyle Padron has the savvy to pick up the blitz and find his WRs. Brandon Kaufman, Greg Herd and Nick Edwards all have at least 3 inches on the shorter Sam Houston defensive backs and will make big plays all afternoon.
2. The Eastern defense has been there, done that against the option. Cal Poly’s isn’t the same and isn’t as fast as Sam Houston’s, but the Eagles will win most of the battles at the corner.
3. Sam Houston’s stats are inflated by blowout wins against a Southland Conference that’s had a down year. The 34-16 win at Montana State was aided by some key MSU injuries and poor pass coverage by the Cats.
1. The Bearkats’ offense has a bewildering variety of looks and their backfield is faster than anything the Eagles have seen this year, demanding more run support from a secondary that will be punished by QB Brian Bell.
2. Eastern will struggle to move the ball consistently against a talented, athletic secondary that knows how to play bump-and- run coverage better than anyone the Eagles have faced this year.
3. The Bearkats are peaking at the right time, and are emotionally focused on winning away from home and getting back to the FCS title game they lost last year.