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Eastern Washington football chat from Sept. 28, the full replay

Nsimba Webster caught five passes for 101 yards in Eastern Washington’s 56-21 victory over Fordham. (Jon Lambert photo / Jon Lambert photo)
Nsimba Webster caught five passes for 101 yards in Eastern Washington’s 56-21 victory over Fordham. (Jon Lambert photo / Jon Lambert photo)

Jim: Hello, everyone, let’s talk Eastern Washington football!

KHB_GoEags: How about them Eags!!!!!!!!!! It was so awesome!!

Jim: Warmup question: who made the trip to Montana AND stayed for the entire game?

Guest3023 (Guest): Great game for sure.

KHB_GoEags: Me!!!! LOVED IT!

Jim: KHB would never leave early (me neither!)

KHB_GoEags: Nope, never. I was sitting by myself in the endzone in 2015, too! This one was much sweeter.

casey (Guest): Stayed the whole game.Was worried at halftime though.

Guest3023 (Guest): Heard the game from the radio 700espn.

Guest8525 (Guest): I think I was a bad fan, I tuned out the game in the 3rd quarter and then saw the score tied at 27 and became a believer again.Strange year….

Jim: For all of the offensive fireworks, I thought the biggest play of the night was Jordan wrapping up the Montana QB, who threw a pick.

Jim: Eastern scored on the next play and suddenly the game was tied.

Guest8525 (Guest): Jim, are you going to try out for an OL position? Are we that short of linemen. I guess we know where the recruiting will focus on next year

Jim: I heard about this yesterday afternoon. My son is a student and he saw a poster in the men’s room(!) at Senior Hall and sent me the pic.

Jim: That was worth a story, and here it is:http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/sep/27/eastern-washington-will-hold-open-tryout-thursday-/

Eastern Washington University Football

Guest3023 (Guest): what happens to the offensive linemen that requires to hold a tryout?

Guest5516 (Guest): I think the Toby Keith song applies here “not as good as I once was”

Guest8525 (Guest): Does anyone know what Meyer’s injury is?

Jim: Meyer should be back soon. The problem is depth - they need more guys for the scout team.

KHB_GoEags: Isn’t this just for practicing purposes though?

Jim: Yes, scout team. That frees the starters and No. 2s for regular practice. The main thing is the give the defense someone to practice against, someone who can simulate the opposing offense.

PSW (Guest): What a story! To be fair, it did say for practice depth.

Guest5516 (Guest): It looks like winning adds to Chat population. Love it.

Jim: So do I, 5516 - interest was dwindling after the 0-2 start.

Jim: Next question: who are your top 3 Big Sky teams at this moment? I have it 1) Weber 2) EWU 3) Montana St.

Guest5516 (Guest): Having MSU and Weber @ Home makes me think 1 EWU 2 Weber 3 MSU

Jim: Yes, that home schedule is looking more favorable by the day.

GoEagles (Guest): Makes me wonder how the team at this point in time would have fared in a re-do against TTU and NDSU.

Jim: Gotta confess, I was working on stories reflecting a Montana win. Had to tear those up and start over with a tight deadline. (Sportswriters hate night games even more than fans do.)

Guest3023 (Guest): Will the offense struggles since the offensive line’s starters are out?

Jim: Levao is the only starter who’s out at this point.

Guest8525 (Guest): I think they would struggle against Texas Tech but they would score a few more. NDSU unfortunately would shut them down again……We need a bit more depth.

Guest5516 (Guest): I believe the schedule made last weekend possible. Play anyone anywhere anytime. That’s how we do it. EKG’s embraced it.

KHB_GoEags: I was disappointed with some comments from some fans near me. Sounded like Montana fans for a bit, then the tune changed in the 4th quarter and they were back on board, ha ha ha!

Jim: Two TDs in 27 seconds will do that, KHB!

Jim: Suddenly this offense is very explosive, why is that?

KHB_GoEags: I don’t think suddenly. We always were, however I think they’ve finally found their way. A lot of adjustments.

casey (Guest): Because we stopped trying to be a 50/50 team and started throwing the ball. The frustration is that we seemed to be trying to do something we didn’t recruit for.

Guest8525 (Guest): It’s explosive when Gage is on and running but when he is off, not good!

Jim: Two factors: schedule and GG is finding the timing with his receivers. He’s on target now.

Jim: The deep ball still isn’t happening.

KHB_GoEags: I also feel like the play calling isn’t as aggressive with being 50/50. The plays were called to what was working, and not so much pressure on doing both.

Jim: Bodie Reeder told me that the play calls were close to 50-50 but skewed because so many were run-pass option and GG opted for the pass. Makes sense!

Guest3023 (Guest): The offense seems to sparks when they start throwing the ball

GoEagles (Guest): Is EWU still doing all the one-off game unis? Seemed like the last few years they did something special for an away game, military day, etc. but I haven’t heard or seen any hype about them

Jim: I just checked Twitter and didn’t see any announcement on uniforms. Stay tuned!

Guest5516 (Guest): The “D” was really good in 4th quarter. Best’s running game also paid off in 4th quarter.Reminded me on a few Semi’s @ the Inferno

Jim: They got better in the second half, kept Eastern in the game in the third while the O was struggling. Then the big pick.

Guest3023 (Guest): Spark

Jim: Speaking of injuries, Eastern has its share, but they’re spread across the team. Unlike North Dakota, which is reeling in the front seven.

Jim: Double-digit chat participation, bring it on!

Jim: Apparently, GG feels free to make more play calls at the line of scrimmage, and that seems to be a good thing.

Guest8525 (Guest): Jim, so who are the top 3 teams this week? It seems to change each week. Now Montana State looks legit and I thought they were probably the weakest team at the start

Jim: Weber, EWU and MSU - but yes, 8525, it seems to change every week.

Steven Christopher: Splendor had a nice senior coming out party, finally!

Jim: I spoke with him this week, look for a “Sblendid” feature in tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review. “Wake up and read it!”

Guest5516 (Guest): tell me the injuries and i will tell you who is on top. U of ND was picked by many to win the Sky

Jim: UND was the consensus pick after going 8-0 in the Sky last year, returning huge talent (especially on defense) and getting EWU in Grand Forks on Nov. 11.

Jim: Everything has changed. MSU was picked to finish 8th or 9th,

PSW (Guest): Does the emergence of Sorton help with the deep pass. Dude can fly. Is it Gage, or is it just game plan?

KHB_GoEags: Dorton has had an incredible last couple of games.

Jim: That’s still the missing piece, the deep ball. Some long pass plays (such as the 50-yarder by McPherson) but they start as a short pass and the receiver takes it from there.

Guest5516 (Guest): who was # 10

Jim: Freshman tight end Talolo Limu-Jones. He killed a drive after throwing the ball 15 feet in the air after his first collegiate catch.

Jim: Best “chatted” with him on the sideline …. I can’t recall whether he got back in.

Jim: That was one of so many “shoot yourselves in the foot” incidents on Saturday. That stopped in the nick of time, I think.

Guest5516 (Guest): I believe Shaq had an educational opportunity a few years ago. I’m sure Best handled the right way

Jim: That was in the 2012 playoffs, when Shaq dropped the ball two yards short of the goal line. Cost EWU a touchdown, but they won the game.

KHB_GoEags: Ah, that’s right. The early celebration!

Guest5516 (Guest): Educational opportunity for whole team. Will not happen again this season I bet.

Jim: Which begs the question: You can’t wait two more seconds to celebrate? Or in the case of Limu-Jones, you can’t wait a few seconds and high-five your teammates (or whatever they do these days - geez, I’m old)?

Jim: Old enough to detest night games more than most people. I actually needed a Red Bull last Saturday(!)

Guest5516 (Guest): they see their hero’s pretending to urinate after TD in the nfl

Jim: Really? I don’t watch NFL games (glad I don’t now!)

Jim: BTW, latest game of the season is next week at UC Davis.That one kicks off at 6.

Jim: Next question: now that the passing game is starting to click, what other facet needs the most improvement?

Jim: And don’t say offensive balance!

casey (Guest): Kicking. Man we still struggle with FGS

Jim: For the record, last week Alcobendas was 2-for-4 —-good from 39y, wide right from 40, good from 23 and short from 48. Not great, that’s for sure.

Guest3023 (Guest): Start the game strong

Jim: Which goes hand in hand with stupid penalties and struggles in the red zone.

Jim: Last week, 7 red zone chances produced 4 TDs and 1FG, that’s not considered very good.

casey (Guest): The greatest frustration with the kicking game is that most fans are surprised when we make a FG. We should be surprised when we miss. That impacts the team too.

Jim: Four FG attempts last week, that’s the most I can recall in six years of covering this team. Baldwin rarely kicked, but as I recall, all four situations demanded a FG try.

casey (Guest): Baldwin didn’t kick often because he knew we weren’t good at it and it wasn’t a smart choice. Read into that what you want.

Jim: The toughest call for most college teams is 4th-and 3 or 4 at the opponents’ 25-30. Baldwin almost never kicked in those situations.

Jim: I recall a few years ago,Eastern had 8 attempts all year (making 6). Gotta look that up, but EWU proabably kicks FGs less than anyone in FCS

Guest5516 (Guest): I couldn’t figure out what they were doing when they lined up for a FG. Odd. Like playing on a green field

Guest8525 (Guest): Baldwin understood the mathematics, the odds were in our favor for making-short yardage 4th downs…

casey (Guest): With the pass patterns we are running right now the Eagles shouldn’t kick in those situations either. Provided we catch the ball…which the guys were great at last week.

Jim: However, last week.Alcobendas’ miss from 40 was on 4th-and-15 at the 22 - you have to kick!

Jim: The 48-yard miss (short) came on 4th-and-13 from the 30. Down 24-13 mid-third quarter, you really don’t have much choice.

casey (Guest): I get the situational reasons for kicking. Not saying we shouldn’t kick. We just aren’t good at it and if we can’t make a 40yd field goal….maybe they should have Open tryouts for that tonight as well.

KHB_GoEags: Is it me, or does the line need to do a better job of blocking and holding their ground?

Jim: Run blocking needs help. Pass blocking was awful in the first half (four sacks) but got better (1 sack in the second half). New starter at LT doesn’t help.

Guest5516 (Guest): Worried about Depth of O-line

Jim: Tryouts tonight. What’s your eligibility?

Guest8525 (Guest): They need to be able to run it at least some times. It seems the OL can’t open a hole…compare to NDSU

PSW (Guest): Penalties and consistency.

Guest3023 (Guest): Chemistry of the OL

Guest5516 (Guest): KHB_GoEags maybe not the Holding part haha

KHB_GoEags: Ha ha 5516, you know what I meant

Guest3023 (Guest): They should go for it on 4th down when the passing game is getting into a rhythm

Guest5516 (Guest): sac state has a pretty good experienced QB, our DB better be ready to Deny the Sky

Jim: Yes, let’s talk about Sac State, or WE’LL be accused of looking past them!

Guest8525 (Guest): I don’t think anyone will be looking past Sac State considering how they dismantled SU.They steam rolled them on the ground which makes me somewhat nervous

PSW (Guest): Sac State blowout and their QB performance has my attention!

Guest3023 (Guest): Are Sac State RBs good, since all i heard is the QB making big running plays?

Jim: I don’t think so, the offense is very pass-heavy.

Guest5516 (Guest): Not sure about sac state other than record. How is there D

Jim: Not bad. They played Weber tough (lost by a TD) and lost 28-6 at Idaho in the opener.

casey (Guest): I’m not sure this team can overlook anyone. Sky is pretty wild right now.

Jim: Crazy, all of us experts look pretty stupid right now.

Jim: I had Sac State 10th, and I also rated this game the easiest on the schedule:http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/aug/11/sizing-up-eastern-washingtons-football-opponents-f/#/0

Eastern Washington University Football

Guest5516 (Guest): Experts Experts where? haha

Jim: Exactly!

PSW (Guest): They had just a shade of 200 yards of offense against Weber. Strange how they scored enough o keep it close.

Jim: EWU has struggled against dual-threat QBs, and Kevin Thomson certainly is that.

Jim: BTW, Eastern has won the last five against Sac, but the last four have come by 8 pts or less.

Guest5516 (Guest): Yep dual threat QB’s are a problem. I think he is a 4-year player also.

Jim: And the reigning BSC Offensive Player of the Week, along with Gubrud. Another bonus this week! Plus, Wulff and Sears are back in town, both teams are 1-0 in the league, and the weather should be nice (60s and partly cloudy).

PSW (Guest): He is a Jr from Auburn, WA

Jim: Another Puget Sound guy, just like Montana’s.

Jim: And that represents one big advantage that Eastern has made the most of: the talent on the other side of the state.

Jim: FYI, the greater Puget Sound has 4.2 million or about 4 times the entire state of Montana (that’s counting people, not sheep).

Guest5516 (Guest): Didn’t know that. Those Puget Sound guys need to re-evaluate their choices. Most Choose EWU now

Jim: Five minutes left - let’s hear some predictions!

Jim: I say Eastern continues to cruise on offense, winning 51-34.

Guest5516 (Guest): Thanks Jim. Eags 42 Sac 28

PSW (Guest): I like EWU 48-38.

Jim: Gotta contain the outside against their QB

Guest8525 (Guest): EWU 42 Sac St 35

KHB_GoEags: 40-28 Eags!

Guest3023 (Guest): EWU 42-38

Jim: Great participation today, folks - tell your friends to join in next week!


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