Jim: OK, let's talk Eastern Washington sports!
Jim: Warmup question: If you setting the line on Eastern winning the Big Sky title, what would it be?
Jim: I'll go first: I'd make Eastern the favorite at 2:1.
Joemon (guest): Hmmm, I have to give even odds. But if the offense keeps humming they will win it
Jim: Of course, 2:1 means they're my solid favorite even with 13 teams in the conference.
Joemon (guest): Do you know if we are only sending 2 QB's to Sac St. I would be more comfortable with 3
Jim: Just two, and one of them (Gage Gubrud) has yet to take a snap. I say that changes this week.
Joemon (guest): I think we are going to have issues with Cal Poly and Montana
Jim: I picked Poly third in my preseason poll, behind EWU and MSU. I had Montana fourth and ISU fifth, BTW
Joemon (guest): It would be good if Gage could get some reps but our defense may not allow for that
Jim: If the defense can't make a statement this weekend, then I will be revising my 2:1 odds. Sac State's offense has been awful so far.
KHatch_Brecek: Jordan really wowed me on Saturday. He finally showed me the "dazzle" I was looking for. I hope he keeps that up!
Jim: Yes, Jordan had what I call a Mary Poppins day - practically perfect in every way.
Jim: Think about that passer rating - 313.5 - the best in school history.Then think about all the great EWU QBs who never hit that mark. Great poise in the pocket last week, Baldwin said.
KHatch_Brecek: I thought the defense had some incredible moments.... and then, the opposite. We are very young there, so I would anticipate this will only get better with more game time experience, right.
Jim: Exactly. And for the first time this year, they don't face a running quarterback. That should help.
Joemon (guest): Any freshman coming off red shirt this week with all the injuries
Jim: I doubt it. Running back is a thin spot right now, but Williams and McPherson already had their redshirts burned.
Guest3004 (guest): Whats the status of Jabari Wilson
Jim: I spoke with Baldwin and head trainer Brian Norton, who makes the final call on this. Norton said Wilson had passed all the post-concussion tests but there's always the chance he could regress. At this point they expect him to play.
Jim: They certainly need Wilson, since Moore and McPherson won't play.If Wilson can't go, then true freshman Malcolm Williams will get the start.
Jim: Williams is showing a lot of flash, but he had a potentially costly fumble late in the MSU game.
Joemon (guest): With all the RB's hurt, looks like we will be passing a bit
Jim: They will anyway, Joe!
Jim: You go with your strengths, right?
Guest3004 (guest): Is McPherson’s injury a knee or ankle? Looked like ACL or MCL when it happened.
Jim: It's an ankle, and actually, he's listed as questionable, so perhaps it's not that bad.
Guest491 (guest): What is the final answer on what happened to Shaq Hill
Jim: Hill suffered a knee injury at Oregon. He's listed as questionable for Sac State.
EWUfan2006: What's happened with John Kreifels? I didnt see him against Montana St. Is he still suspended?
Jim: Kreifels has been at the bottom of the depth chart at roverback since the Oregon game. Obviously he's in the doghouse. With Raynes out this week, redshirt freshman Cole Karstetter is the likely starter.
KHatch_Brecek: How much longer is Todd out for?
Jim: I spoke with Todd this week, and he expects to be back for Cal Poly on Oct. 10. So does Hennessey, by the way, so next week's bye will come in handy.
Guest3004 (guest): Looks like he has a ways to go to get out of the doghouse.
Jim: Kreifels? Absolutely. In postgame interviews, I always try to observe Baldwin's body language, and he was as upset as I've ever seen him.
Joemon (guest): I think Kreifels needs to have a second chance. This is a bit extreme
Jim: I take that back;
Guest491 (guest): I agree with Joemon
Jim: Baldwin was more upset last year after the one-point loss at NAU,but this is a close second.
Joemon (guest): I have a feeling it had more to do with who he hit than the finger waving
KHatch_Brecek: I agree with Joemon. I still believe the hit was not intentional... if that was any other game besides Oregon, it wouldn't have come across as bad.
Jim: It was both. I think it was very important for the program to avoid showing and sour grapes over VA. Kreifels ruined that, in my opinion.
Guest491 (guest): How long before we have the 2 right tackles back on O
Jim: Jerrod Jones is listed as probable. Starter Cassidy Curtis is expected back in late October.
Guest3004 (guest): It wasnt a deliberate thing. More than anything i think it had more to do with the situation at the time and all the hype. Anyone else and this wouldnt have been such a big deal.
Guest491 (guest): I thought O line looked very good against MSU. Great job by Coach Best
Jim: He's one of the best.
EWUfan2006: I know its still early and a little bit hard to tell, but is Jacksonville St really better then those MVC teams in the FCS poll?
Jim: They're pretty good. Anyone out there recall that FCS quarterfinal against JSU, when Havili rescued the Eags with a 77-yard pick-6?
KHatch_Brecek: It sounds like 10/10 vs. Cal Poly we will have almost everyone back, correct?
Jim: Yes, except for Curtis, and I still can't say for sure about Shaq Hill.
Joemon (guest): We still need to work on not letting teams come back. It seems like everytime we get a big lead teams always seem to come back
Jim: Actually, that's happened just once this year. Last year??
Eagsfan (guest): I've heard some say west might actually be a better fit for eastern's offense than adams. Thoughts?
Jim: I think so, but it depends. Adams is more dynamic, but West is a better pocket passer. On the other hand, West is more dependent on having a great O-line, because he can't get out of trouble as easily as Adams could.Does that make sense?
Joemon (guest): I say that JSU, South Dakota State and North Dakota State are the 3 best right now. The Montana game was a fluke vs NDSU
EAGinAZ (guest): Missed tackles are still an issue with the defense. what has been done this week in practice to fix it?
Jim: Baldwin said after the Northern Iowa game that poor tackling was caused partly by players being "a yard or so" out of their run fits, which forced them to lunge to make tackles.
Brett (guest): Tackling was better Saturday
Jim: Was it? 718 yards is quite a few to give up.
Jim: Credit the opposition, but EWU's total defense (636 yards per game) is 161 yards PER GAME worse than any other Big Sky team.
Jim: Also, EWU is giving up 49.7 points per game, or 13 ppg worse than anyone else.
Joemon (guest): But we have played Oregon (one of the best offenses in the country) and MSU (One of the best defenses in FCS)
Jim: Sure, but you probably meant MSU has one of the best offenses,right?
Joemon (guest): I mean't offense for MSU
Brett (guest): I didn't say great I said better. With 4 th down stops
Jim: Yes, rising to the occasion is huge, and that was a good example.
EWUfan2006: I have to get back to work but would love to see EWU put away a team that is obviously a mid-range FCS program. Defense is going to finally get a chance to really click against a struggling Offense. Thinking 42-21. Thanks for the great coverage again this year Jim!
Jim: UNI next year in Cheney - be there!
Eagsfan (guest): My opinion, West has a much more commanding presenc in the pocket. Hennessey might end up being the best yet.
Jim: Agreed on both points. It was a shame to lose Hennessey just as he was showing what he can so. He'll be back soon.
EAGinAZ (guest): We have played some very good offenses but the D practices against the best O in the FCS and should be prepared for it. I had higher expectations for the D this year but the start hasn't been to encouraging. They need to tackle better and get some turnovers.
Jim: That's right. I was told that this defense would be more aggressive,forcing the action and also more turnovers. So far, they've forced just two:Adams' fumble and Prukop's interception.
KHatch_Brecek: I am really hoping Gage gets some snaps.... he's the real deal! We have 3 fabulous quarterbacks.
Jim: I heard and seen a lot of good things with Gubrud, but need to see him in real action. I believe the Eagles will put this one away early, giving Gage that chance.
Jim: Which brings us to the big question: how do you see this game going?
Eagsfan (guest): It will be interesting to see what happens when Hennessey and Gabrud battle it out fter West is gone.
Jim: By the way, I will be in Sacramento for the game. The team is flying by charter and returning late Saturday after the game.
Eagsfan (guest): If we have 2 healthy backs, we roll 38-24. If we end up having to pass the whole game it will be much closer. I dont want to get into a shootout on the road.
Jim: Did you know that Sac State went seven scoreless quarters earlier this year?
Jim: After putting away NAIA Eastern Oregon in the third quarter, they were shut out in the 4th quarter, shut out for the entire game in a 49-0 loss at Washington and for two more quarters in a 32-14 loss at Weber State -which was picked behind them in the preseason polls.
KHatch_Brecek: I don't see us getting into a shootout with Sac State.
EAGinAZ (guest): i would really like to see the D put together a very nice game, get a couple turnovers and multiple 3 and outs. The O does what it does and Coop does what he does (12 215 3TDs) 49-24 EWU
Eagsfan (guest): No, but they always play us tough.
Jim: True, although Eastern has never lost at Sac.
Jim: EWU is
Jim: EWU leads the series 17-4 and is 11-0 in Sacramento.
KHatch_Brecek: I would love to see the defense shut them out for at least one quarter! That would be great!
Jim: I'd lay even money on that happening.
EWUDude (guest): If things go well and we don't have to play our starters the whole game, how much of the team can we expect healthy after the by week?
Jim: I think that apart from right offensive tackle Cassidy Curtis and possibly WR Shaq Hill, the Eagles should be whole again for Cal Poly.
EAGinAZ (guest): How has the team been at practice? While i think EWU will roll them, i do have some concern this could be a let down game where they start very slow and it gives them confidence.
Jim: I can't imagine a letdown game for this defense, can you?
KHatch_Brecek: When did you say Curtis would return?
Jim: Curtis told me he expects to be back in late October.
EWUDude (guest): Oh and this little thing called depth is something that shows how far EWU has come over the last decade. Most FCS teams would have folded with the amount of injuries we've had this year...
Eagsfan (guest): Yes, this bye week seems to be coming at the most opportunistic tile.
Jim: Fortunately, the injuries have come across the board. In 2011, it was mainly the O-line.
EAGinAZ (guest): not the defense but the offense maybe. They came back in the second half very flat last week with the big lead.
Jim: Still, they put 21 points on the board in the second half, and it would have been more if not for the fumble and the missed FG.
Jim: Any other score predictions? Here's mine:
Jim: EWU 45, Sac State 24
Jim: Seven minutes left. Any more questions before I finish my player feature for tomorrow and pack for Sacramento?
Jim: At this point I'm going to shout out that you need to :Wake up and read" tomorrow's inspiring story of a small-town boy who's started 41 games for the Eagles and who will soon be the first one in his family to graduate from college.
Jim: OK, folks, thanks for participating. Remember, no live chat next week owing to the bye, but we'll do it again on Oct. 8.
Jim: See you then!