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The over/under on today's Eastern Washington-South Dakota State playoff game: 11, and I didn't get that from the boys in Vegas. That comes from the guys at the National Weather Service. A high today of 11, with a wild-chill factor of minus-5. Here's my game preview, plus the official preview from Eastern, which also made warm gesture this week. Meanwhile, here's everything you want to know about South Dakota State. … Two former Eagles won recognition from the Big Sky Conference. … Meanwhile, it'll be even colder in Missoula, where the Grizzlies know that weather alone doesn't win football games. … Stay warm, my friends.
A special player? That would be Eastern Washington special teams standout Bo Schuetzle, an all-Big Sky selection and the subject of this feature story. We also had a live chat yesterday, and here's a partial transcript. … A public service announcement: it's getting even colder, and the wind-chill factor will put Saturday's game at about zero, so please dress warmly. Eastern will open Reese Court at halftime for those who need a break from the cold; Eastern also has this official preview of the game.
Friends, it's been two weeks since we had a chance to chat. so let's get together, say today at noon, right here at SportsLink. Until then, here's my weekly notebook, focusing on the FCS rushing leader, South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner. … Want more on the Jackrabbits? It's all right here. And by the way, if you think SDSU will be fazed by the cold weather here, check out the conditions in Brookings, S.D. The Jackrabbits also are pretty tough up front on both lines. However, should the Eagles advance, they will host either McNeese State (where the forecast high today is 72 degrees) or Jacksonville State (a high of 65 today) in a quarterfinal next week, so the Eagles have that going for them. Also, here is the official release from Eastern. Meanwhile, Montana could have a ridiculous weather advantage on Saturday, as the Coastal Carolina players will trade the 79 degree high in Conway, SC, on Friday for the +5 degrees expected in Missoula (Good luck, Chanticleers, whatever that is). On the other hand, Coastal Carolina has a pretty good running back.
It was a bit chilly Tuesday afternoon at Roos Field as Eastern Washington prepared for a second-round FCS playoff game against South Dakota State. (And by the way. it was 10 degrees colder back in Brookings, South Dakota, so the Jackrabbits will be used to this.) Here's our practice report, along with some big news for Eagle quarterback Vernon Adams. We can discuss all of that and more in Thursday's live chat, but let's move on to the links … Here's a preview of the game from Eastern, but nothing yet from South Dakota State, though here are some stats. … Meanwhile, Montana faces an intriguing opponent in Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia.
Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, The Sports Network announced Tuesday.
Adams, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois and running back Terrance West of Towson have been invited to the awards banquet, which will be held in Philadelphia on Dec. 16.
The Jackrabbits are coming to Cheney. South Dakota State, which defeated Northern Arizona 26-7 last weekend, will face Eastern Washington on Saturday. Here's a first look at SDSU, along with a preview from Eastern and a look at the all-Missouri Valley Conference standouts from SDSU. … Meanwhile, UW is looking for a new head coach, and it doesn't appear the Huskies are looking in this direction, although Beau Baldwin's name showed up on Cougfan (registration required) and on similar fan sites at Montana (please, get Baldwin out of the Big Sky!) and at Montana State. … Baldwin's name has not surfaced either at the other UW, that being Wyoming, which just fired its coach. Stay tuned. … Montana also has a playoff game this week.
The bar was already high, but Eastern Washington football coach Beau Baldwin raised it further this season.
After leading the Eagles to their first undisputed Big Sky Conference title in 16 years, Baldwin was named Wednesday as the conference Coach of the Year.
After going 7-1 in league play a year ago, Baldwin guided the Eagles to an 8-0 conference record and a 10-2 regular season. The Eagles won the outright Big Sky Championship, becoming the first team other than Montana to finish perfect in league play since Nevada in 1991.
Eastern will take the No. 3 overall seed and a No. 3 national ranking into the Division I Championship. Eastern Washington received a first-round bye, and will play at home on Saturday, Dec. 7
The two were unanimously selected to the all-conference first team, and Kupp was an unanimous selection for Freshman of the Year.
Eastern Washington was awarded a No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, the NCAA announced Sunday morning.
The Big Sky Conference champion Eagles (10-2 overall and 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference) will host either Northern Arizona or South Dakota State in a second-round game at 1 p.m. on Dec. 7.
NAU, the Big Sky runner-up behind Eastern, will play South Dakota State in a first-round game next week.
In all, the Big Sky is sending four teams to the playoffs. Montana earned a No. 8 seed and will host either Coastal Carolina or Bethune-Cookman in the second round. Southern Utah faces a first-round game against Sam Houston State.
Thank goodness for second chances, such as the one Andru Pulu got with the Eastern Washington football team. Here's my feature on Andru, plus a partial transcript of yesterday's EWU live chat. (Check back for a full version.) The Eagles face Portland State on Saturday, and here are the all-you-want-to-know releases from Eastern and from PSU. … And after that? If you're wondering about FCS playoff scenarios and how the teams are chosen and seeded, this NCAA link is just what you need. … It's a must-win game in Bozeman for Montana State against Montana, which brings a punishing ground game in what could be the last game for MSU quarterback Denarius McGhee. Meanwhile, UM quarterback Jordan Johnson is good to go against the Cats. … A potentially even bigger game matches NAU and Southern Utah. … Weber closes out the season against Idaho State in a game that may or may not close out Weber State Jody Sears' two-year tenure in Ogden. … Cal Poly's season-long quarterback controversy will carry on past the season-ender at Northern Colorado.
In order to run the table in the Big Sky Conference, Eastern has to slow down Portland State's prolific offense. Here's my Big Sky notebook, and a reminder to join our live chat today at noon. The Oregonian has a story from the Portland State perspective, and there all-you-want-to-know previews from both Eastern and PSU. … Looking ahead to the Montana-MSU game, the Missoulian has a feature on Bobcat running back Cody Kirk, while The Billings Gazette features Bozeman linebacker Brock Coyle, who plays for the Griz.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Yes, it's warm down here, and heartwarming for the native Californians on the Eastern football team. Hundreds of family and friends are coming from all directions for today's game against Cal Poly. Here's my preview of the game, focusing on Eastern's defensive preparations for the triple option. The San Luis Obispo Tribune has this story, with a retrospective on last year's 34-17 EWU win. … Elsewhere, Montana isn't going to look past last-place Weber State, according to the Missoulian.. …Montana State hosts Southern Utah in a high-stakes game. … Portland State is looking for its fourth straight win today. … NAU is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, and Northern Colorado stands in the way.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Eastern Washington football team is living right.
Already on a six-game win streak, the third-ranked Eagles left the snowflakes behind Friday afternoon and found temperatures in the low 60s for their walkthough on the grass at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
All things considered, it couldn’t be going better … much like a year ago, when the then No. 1 Eagles hit the road against a struggling Southern Utah team.
And lost 30-27.
McKenzie Murphy and the Eastern Washington football team were reunited this week. Here's my story, along with a transcript of yesterday's live chat. I'll be flying with the team this morning to San Luis Obispo, Calif., and will file a game preview for tomorrow, which will be online-only - one more reason to come back here! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the EWU-Cal Poly, from Eastern sports information director Dave Cook. The San Luis Obispo newspaper interview Eastern coach Beau Baldwin, who said he was impressed with the Mustangs' defense….Former Montana coach Robin Pflugrad still has strong emotional ties to the Grizzlies, the Missoulian reports.
Eastern Washington's offense and Cal Poly's defense - the top-rated units in the Big Sky Conference - will collide Saturday. Here is my preview story, along with links from Eastern and from Cal Poly. The Mustangs still have plenty to play for, according to this story from the San Luis Obispo Tribune. .. Portland State is on a roll, according to the Oregonian. … Weber State and its freshman QB come into Missoula as a heavy underdog. Former UM head coach Robin Pflugrad is coming too, as an assistant at Weber. … Montana State is looking to bounce back this week.
Lost in Eastern's big win last week over Montana State was a dominant third quarter by the Eagle defense, which has been making that a habit lately. Here's my story from practice, plus links to the football site at Eastern and at Cal Poly, this week's opponent. Also, we'll have another live chat at Thursday noon, right here at SportsLink. … Elsewhere, Portland State is going for its fourth straight win, while Southern Utah is at Montana State in a game with huge playoff implications, as both teams have three losses going in. The Billings Gazette has this preview. Meanwhile, Montana needs to beat Weber State to stay in the playoff hunt, and the Grizzlies are taking nothing for granted. … Eastern doesn't face Northern Arizona on the football field, but the Lumberjacks are just a game behind in the Big Sky standings going into this week's game against Northern Colorado.
Spokesman-Review photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the EWU vs. Montana State game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Cheney, Wash. Check out his large-format gallery
OK football fans, when was the last time this much was riding on a college game played in these parts? That's right, the stakes are pretty big for today's Eastern-Montana State matchup, which likely will be decided on the lines. Here's my game preview, along with a look at the Eagles' recent success at the gate. Elsewhere, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a full package on the game, while the Billings Gazette offers a preview with the headline: “This one is big.” … The Great Fall Tribune weighs in with this story, while all the pre-game info you could want are contained in releases from Eastern and from Montana State. … Elsewhere, Montana faces South Dakota with plenty on the line.
With one of the biggest games of the season looming, here's a feature on Eastern cornerback T.J. Lee III, one of the biggest players on the Eagle roster, in stature if not in size. We also had a live chat yesterday, and here's a partial transcript. … Very few links today - it seems every paper is inundated with high school sports coverage this week. … From the Billings Gazette, here's a story on how MSU hopes to slow the Eastern offense. … Montana is stepping out of conference with a game against South Dakota.
Who's the top quarterback in the Big Sky Conference. For years, it's been Denarius McGhee of Montana State, but there's a new kid in town. We can discuss that and more at noon today during our weekly live chat. … The Bozeman Daily Chronicle takes a look at the game, while the Billing Gazette ponders how the MSU defense will fare against Eastern. … The Great Falls Tribune chimes in with a notebook that leads with the big game. … The Missoulian gushes over the recent performances of UM's offense in this notebook.
The biggest regular-season game in Eastern history? I think so, what with a sellout for third-ranked EWU and No. 4 Montana State this Saturday at Roos Field. Here is my report from Tuesday's practice, plus an all-you-want-to-know preview from Eastern and one from MSU. Meanwhile, the hometown Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports on the Bobcats' unfinished business, while Eastern receiver Cooper Kupp is the focus of this short story in the Billings Gazette. The Gazette also features the Montana Grizzlies' resurgent offense, along with a defense that is anything but. The Missoulian has a similar story on the UM defense, which gave up seven TDs in a 51-48 win over Sac State. … The San Luis Obispo paper has a story on the shifting tides at quarterback at Cal Poly. …Portland State has a chance for a third straight win.
As so-called “trap” games go, this one doesn’t have a lot of teeth.
In other words, Idaho State may be in the right spot on the Eastern Washington football schedule, but that alone probably isn’t enough to upset the Eagles in today’s Big Sky Conference game in Pocatello.
Third-ranked Eastern (6-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Sky) is coming off an emotional win last weekend at Montana, and may be looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Montana State, but coach Beau Baldwin already has his players primed for the improving Bengals (3-5, 1-4).
Hard work has paid off for Eastern Washington cornerback Ronald Baines, the subject of my feature story that ran today. We also had a live chat on Thursday, and here's a partial transcript (look for the full transcript later today.) … The Eagles travel today to face Idaho State; here's a link to the official Eastern site. Montana State is at Northern Colorado this week in ROOT- televised game; here's a preview from MSU …. Standing room spots will go on sale next week for the Montana-MSU game. … Montana is looking for more consistency on offense. … A pair of struggling teams, Weber and PSU, meet Saturday in Portland.
Sorry this is so late, but I had to catch up on sleep after two straight nights of high school district soccer. I also wrote an Eastern and Big Sky notebook, and I'm looking forward today's live chat at noon on Eastern football. I also have two more features coming up in the next two days, so keep watching. … Eastern's next opponent, Idaho State, is looking to improve its offensive focus, according to this story in the Idaho State Journal. … The Billings Gazette has a feature on MSU defensive end Brad Daly, who had some big shoes to fill this season. …… Injury may force another quarterback change at Cal Poly. … No football news out of Flagstaff, but the NAU basketball team just lost an exhibition game to a team called Arizona Christian.
The Eastern Washington football team is making some adjustments in the secondary. Here's my story from Tuesday's practice, along with previews of Saturday's game from EWU and from ISU. The Idaho State Journal has a recap of the Bengals' narrow last week to Southern Utah. The school has a feature on current ISU (and former EWU) coach Mike Kramer. … Montana is trying to regroup after last week's loss to Eastern. … After two straight losses, Cal Poly needs a win to stay in the play off hunt.
MISSOULA - I'll admit it: I'm jealous.I just walked to the hotel lobby and picked up the local newspaper - in this case the Missoulian. Tucked inside is a 24-page special tabloid section devoted solely to today's big Eastern Washington-Montana game. Sure, I wrote this story from Friday's Eastern walk-through, but that's nothing compared with the local product. Sure, this town is all-Montana, all the time, but I'm impressed. Here's a link to all the stories in the Missoulian section. The Great Falls Tribune weighs in with this feature on Eagle QB Vernon Adams, and the Billings Gazette has a game preview.
Odds are, Eastern Washington receiver Cooper Kupp will score a touchdown Saturday at Montana; after all, he's done it every game so far this season. Here's my feature on Kupp, along with the replay of Thursday's live chat. Before I pack my bags for the drive to Missoula, here are a few more links to the big game, including the release from Eastern and from Montana. The Missoulian has a feature on QB Vernon Adams and a report on a big injury for the Grizzlies. From the Great Falls Tribune, here's a notebook, and from the Billings Gazette, well, another notebook. Meanwhile, the Big Sky honors two former Eastern stars.
Here's my feature story on the comeback by Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson, and in case you missed it, the Eagles' preparation for playing at Montana. … We can discuss that and more in today's live chat, starting at noon here at SportsLink. Want more on Saturday's game? Here's the official release from Eastern and from Montana, plus a feature on Eastern QB Vernon Adams, written by the Missoulian.
Read the full replay of this chat in this extended post …