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Eastern Washington football chat from Oct. 19, the full replay

Eastern Washington running back Antoine Custer Jr. (28) runs for a first down during the second half on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Cheney, Wash. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington running back Antoine Custer Jr. (28) runs for a first down during the second half on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Cheney, Wash. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

KHB_GoEags: Hello, Eagle Nation!

Jim: Welcome back, everyone - let’s talk Eastern sports!

Jim: KHB is here at the top of the hour!

KHB_GoEags: How was that fumble recovery by Cheney’s own Keenan Williams??? OMG!!!!

scottywashere11: Scary game coming up!

Jim: That’s for sure -Southern Utah did everything right in crushing Weber State on the road last week!

KHB_GoEags: Weber lost their QB, right?

Jim: Yes. That’s a big rivalry game for SUU, which is supposed to be the “little brother” to Weber.

Jim: Also, Southern Utah had a major meltdown in this game last year, blowing a huge lead. So there was some payback involved here.

KHB_GoEags: That makes a difference. Look at how PSU plays us….

Jim: You’re in my head, KHB!

Jim: These rivalry games, you never know.

Jim: I still don’t understand how these guys lost by 27 at Sac State. However, that was a month ago.

KHB_GoEags: Right? That’s why I’m not sold on SUU, yet.

Jim: But don’t forget, Southern Utah won the league title two years ago.

KHB_GoEags: They did. And they broke our hearts in 2012.

Jim: I was there KHB. The last time EWU was ranked No. 1, they went to Cedar City and lost 30-27.

KHB_GoEags: Field goal with seconds left, right?

Jim: That’s right.

Jim: After the 2015 season, their coach, Ed Lamb, resigned to join the staff at BYU and his DC, Demario Warren was promoted to head coach. He’s still only 32 years old.

scottywashere11: Something I hadn’t thought about is the age differences between EWU and SUU players. I was listening to BigSkyConf.com’s podcast this week and they mentioned a good handful of the players are two+ years older than ours due to mission trips they go on for their church and then come back for school. The human body really develops between 18-20.These guys often begin playing at 20 and do not end until they are 24-25.

KHB_GoEags: Crazy, right Scotty? I still think our talent level is off the charts

Jim: Good topic, Scotty. Interestingly, the SUU media guide doesn’t show players’ HS graduation dates. However, most Mormons -

and this is a predominantly LDS school - go on missions for two years after high school. They stay in shape and return older and wiser, in most cases.

Jim: That’s a big advantage on the line, less so at other positions. But again, I’m not sure how many SUU players go on missions

scottywashere11: Just one more thing to consider, but the Eags will pull it off

KHB_GoEags: I haven’t seen their depth chart, or roster, how does their line stack up vs. ours— size wise?

Jim: About the same.

Jim: Lots of Polynesians on the SUU roster, by the way. They tend to grow at that age. Coincidentally, look for my feature in Friday’s paper on Eastern DE Albert Havili, who started off as a linebacker. In fact, so did his position coach, Eti Ena.

Jim: Look for that story in tomorrow’s paper

Jim: “Wake up and Read it!”

scottywashere11: Did we already discuss the UM Champion center?

scottywashere11: Haha looking forward to that, Jim:!

KHB_GoEags: Love Eti— great guy! My uncle coached him in HS!

Jim: At Inchelium?

KHB_GoEags: Yep!

Jim: Wow, you are so connected - gotta figure out another way to get your name in the paper again!

KHB_GoEags: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, you’ve found my secret.

Jim: Before I forget - great news: I will be at the game! After SUU beat Weber, we decided to send me to this game instead of UND on Nov.11.

KHB_GoEags: Good call!

scottywashere11: Good call by your SR team. UND is not looking good at all this season. It’s a shame, given how good they were last year.

Jim: I’m flying to Las Vegas tomorrow night. Then getting up early and hiking at Zion National Park, then to Cedar City for the game.Should be fun!

Jim: Also, Eastern men’s basketball opens at home on Friday, Nov. 11. That was another reason for the switch - it’s the only home game for hoops until Dec. 17.

scottywashere11: That was a game I had originally circled before the season started

KHB_GoEags: What did you think of Montana State?

Jim: You had to feel good for the defense, holding MSU to 353 yards. Great third-down defense, although the Cats got lucky on several fourth downs.

KHB_GoEags: Our penalties and turnovers killed us.

Jim: For sure.

KHB_GoEags: But, we executed when we HAD to.

Jim: Eastern has a way of doing that.

Jim: Back to the offense, I’m impressed with how EWU is spreading the ball around:

Jim: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/oct/18/eastern-washington-receivers-share-spotlight-while/

Eastern Washington University Football

Jim: That mitigates injuries and gives opponents more players who need to be scouted.

Jim: By the way, WR Terence Grady is expected to make the trip, Best said on Tuesday.

Jim: What - only 4 people chatting about a team that’s 4-0 in the Big Sky. Tell your friends!

Jim: Anyway, this will be a tough game. SUU doesn’t beat itself and will make Eastern go the length of the field. Excellent pass defense, the highest-rated in the conference.

Jim: SUU has always had that - tough defense against the pass, mostly from the pass rush.

Jim: Question: Where does Eastern need to improve most heading into the home stretch of the season?

Jim: Also, do you think the worst appears to be over as far as injuries?

KHB_GoEags: Very resilient bunch.

KHB_GoEags: Is Terrence expected to play?

Jim: I think so … Best said Grady would play “in some capacity,” whatever that means.

Jim: I’m just in the dark on injuries, not much I can do about that.

KHB_GoEags: I think we need to improve the most on turnovers and penalties. Those two factors were in factor of why Saturday wasn’t a blow out.

Jim: Definitely. They were in meltdown mode with the two fumbles in the fourth quarter. Not at all like Eastern!

Jim: And, yes, I expected Eastern to win by more.

KHB_GoEags: Mental mistakes, really. But they cost us!

Jim: OK, we have just a few folks online and I haven’t even started writing my Havili feature, so let’s go to predictions!

Jim: I think Eastern pulls this one out, 37-31.

KHB_GoEags: 43-10, Go Eags!

Jim: Thanks, everyone. No chat next week owing to the bye, but we’ll do it again on Nov. 2.


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