September 6, 2013 in Sports

Eastern careful not to overlook DII Western Oregon

By The Spokesman-Review
Tyler Tjomsland photo

“We’re going to get their best,” says EWU coach Beau Baldwin of Western Oregon.
(Full-size photo)


KICKOFF: 4 p.m. at Roos Field in Cheney.
RECORDS: EWU 1-0 this year; 7-1 Big Sky, 11-3 overall; Western Oregon 0-0 this year; 6-4 Great Northern Athletic Conference, 6-5 overall)

History begs the Eagles to remember 2010, the FCS championship season that included a 3-point win over Central Washington.

Four years earlier, Montana State knocked off Colorado, then lost at home to Division II Chadron State. If that doesn’t get their attention, it will be Western Oregon’s mammoth defensive line that includes at left tackle 305-pound Gustave Benthin, who shared GNAC Defensive Lineman of the Year award in 2012.

Next to Benthin is 330-pound Sipili Tuigamala. The ends weigh in at 270 and 265, making the Wolves’ D-line bigger than Oregon State’s. The Eagles should see an aggressive pass rush to contain QB Vernon Adams. The Eagles defense probably feels it has something to prove after giving up 527 yards last week against the two-headed quarterback of Ryan Bergman and Trey Shimabukuro, both juniors.

The Wolves also return All-GNAC receiver Tyrell Williams (39 catches, 658 yards last year), but run a traditional set with two running backs. “We’re going to get their best,” said Eastern coach Beau Baldwin, who added that the line between FCS and Division II talent is very fine.

And he should know. He played quarterback at CWU. Western leads the all-time series 9-6 with one tie, but Eastern has won the last four games, including a 35-14 victory in Cheney in 2009. Provided the Eagles stay focused all week, this game should be every bit as lopsided.

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