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EWU football chat, Nov. 17 (transcript)

Jim: Hello, everyone!

Jim: What's the confidence level for the Portland State game?

David C. Edwards: Where is everyone?

Jim: I was wondering the same thing, David!

David C. Edwards: Maybe they were all confused from the time change last week.

Jim: Actually that was almost two weeks ago ... perhaps fans are taking the PSU game for granted.

Jim: I guarantee you that the players won't.

David C. Edwards: So after the shake-up last week, how many teams make it in to the playoffs, and who do you think it is?

David C. Edwards: I am not...PSU scares me, 3 of the last four have been close or a loss, correct?

Jim: Correct.

Jim: Quite a mess in the Big Sky. ... EWU and ND are in with first-round byes - after that it gets messy. The winner of UNC-Cal Poly should get in. Weber is considered a bubble team even with a win over ISU. Then there's Montana ...

David C. Edwards: so do you take Weber or Montana if you are the committee?

Jim: I would take Weber because of its tougher non-conference schedule (@Utah St.,@ South Dakota), plus a better Big Sky record.

David C. Edwards: I would too.

Mike G (guest): How much does the fact Montana would likely draw a bigger crowd play into the decision?

Jim: I predict some outrage if this Montana team gets at 7-4 overall (against a cupcake schedule) and just 4-4 in the Big Sky.

Mike G (guest): I am hoping Montana doesn't receive a bid.

Jim: You and most Eagle fans.

Jim: I hope that stadium size doesn't help anyone get a bid they don't deserve!

David C. Edwards: I have noticed a uptick in kicking issues obviously that has been a concern of the staff what types of adjustments have you noticed....also who is officially the starting center? And what happened last week with those snaps?

Jim: Yes, they keep switching kickers.... Spencer Blackburn is the starting center, according to this week's release.

David C. Edwards: Has he been the center the whole year?

Jim: Since Jones got hurt, yes.

Mike G (guest): Were the fumbles the result of bad snaps last week?

David C. Edwards: So was there just miscommunication on those two botched snaps

Jim: Yes, but I still think Gubrud should have been able to handle them.

David C. Edwards: Last week’s game felt like a scrimmage from the start with West's throw. Was Gage trying to force the issue with getting Kupp the ball or was ISU doing something different than everyone else?

Jim: In the first halfm the Bengals were giving Kupp more double coverage than most teams.

David C. Edwards: Makes sense with the double team, but usually another receiver would get open what was the deal with offense? I did like seeing Custer get the ball more. I see it being the Custer show next year just like it was with Jones..He has that kind of speed

Jim: Custer is special. I spoke with him after the game, and he talked about gaining patience behind his linemen. Definitely looking like the back of the future, though Pierce is better in short-yardage situations.

Mike G (guest): Custer seems very promising for the future.

David C. Edwards: Did one of our RB get injured scoring a TD?

Jim: That was Jabari Wilson, who is questionable this week with an abdominal contusion.

Guest3893 (guest): EWU stadium renovations...

David C. Edwards: Don't go there

Jim: What's on your mind,3893?

David C. Edwards: I thought he got hurt...hope he is ready to go in two weeks baring a EWU win tomorrow night

Jim: Regarding the stadium, I working on a long-term story that I'll calling "What now?" I would like to talk to some fans -my phone line is always open at (509) 459-5437.

David C. Edwards: Every time Gubrud starts to run I get really nervous. Do they work with him at all on sliding?? He is going to get his head taken off one of these times.

Jim: Actually, David, I think he's sliding earlier these days -for the most part. He does a few chance, though.

Mike G (guest): It seems like the most cost effective stadium solution would be to dig down the existing location and build out the stands in a more efficient manner.

Jim: I do know that building a new stadium from scratch is no longer an option because of cost ($45M-plus).

Mike G (guest): Montana built there stadium in phases--we really should be looking at something like that

David C. Edwards: What was the original cost of the project?

Jim: Of the farmland - there was none given. They had no idea. The Gateway Project (now defunct) would have cost $65M.

Mike G (guest): Larry Weir was mentioning the other night that Northwestern spent $1Mish on their existing basketball facility and now they are looking spending over $100M on a remodel

Jim: Yes, their current gym is one of the oldest in the country.

David C. Edwards: Wait I thought that some of the farmland was still owned by the university is that not the case?

Jim: The farmland in question (due north of the recently-added parking lots) is owned by a farmer.

David C. Edwards: Please explain to me how WSU is able to get money from the state but EWU is not for a stadium or am I incorrect on this.

Jim: I believe WSU is raising most of its money from self-imposed student fees.

Jim: That's money to reduce their athletic department debt.

David C. Edwards: But they can still have a $5mil or more deficit? How do they keep their job?

Guest3893 (guest): I do not understand how we can now be at a 20 game sell-out streak and yet we cannot attract investors into funding an expansion... We are turning away tickets and money every game that we sell out.

Mike G (guest): and not to mention lost parking and tailgating revenues

MarcEagFan (guest): Late to the party...I think we need a gofundme page....get this thing rolling

Jim: Good questions. but it still comes down to money. Improvements that most fans want to see (removing the track,new and bigger seating on the visitor side, luxury boxes) will cost at least $15-20M.

David C. Edwards: Is there a reason why the university would not go in with a Roos Field at Coca Cola stadium type thing..sponsorship type thing

Jim: Not sure. Sponsorship is a possibility, I suppose. Not my area of expertise.

David C. Edwards: The university is losing a ton on parking...people are parking all the way down to the middle school on both sides.

Mike G (guest): it seems like we need a stadium update to legitimize the program.


Guest3893 (guest): Jim, how about we nominate you to kickstart the Gofundme? You have the audience

Jim: I'm just the messenger.

MarcEagFan (guest): I think the Gofundme would be a great way to kickstart something...I'm sure we could be the BOR's sign of approval on it

David C. Edwards: So let's talk about the monkey in the room...BALDWIN's SNUB! How in the heck does he not get SAD\

Jim: Yes ... two things going against Baldwin, and neither is fair: EWU is always expected to do well, and Schweigert took a ND team picked fifth and swept the conference.

David C. Edwards: if the BOR is anything like Seattle City Council might as well forget it

Mike G (guest): it would at least show the level of interest. Fans want this and willing to pay for it

Jim: The Board of Regents must approve any university project of this scope. Is there a project out there at this point?

Guest3893 (guest): If nothing else, a Gofundme would certainly light the fire under our administration. Fans taking control in even a minuscule way shows that the administration needs to address the situation. Even just a public statement on the stadium would be nice. It seems as though we had all of this information put out about the GWP, then we entered a 5 year silent phase.

Mike G (guest): Improvement of existing location seems to be the best cost answer.

Guest3893 (guest): Montana raised over $100,000 on their football fan forums to go toward their scholarships or stadium upgrades..

David C. Edwards: Since I brought up post season awards...does Gubrud's success hurt Kupp's chances of repeating as the Payton Award winner?

Jim: I doubt it - Kupp will repeat.

David C. Edwards: 3893 looking at EWU's forum compared to ours...they have like 50 people on at any given time we are lucky to have 20 on during a game.

David C. Edwards: I meant Montana's compared to EWU

Jim: Five minutes left ... let's hear some score predictions for PSU.

Jim: I have it 55-24 for Eastern.

David C. Edwards: I only predict wins, not scores

David C. Edwards: SO EWU wins

Jim: Weather forecast says high 40s and cloudy, slight chance of rain. That shouldn't affect things.

Mike G (guest): It will be a win --probably 50 - 21 would be my prediction

Guest7268 (guest): EWU 49-21

David C. Edwards: Not sure if this is something, but is PSU in danger again of losing their football team?

Jim: I haven't heard anything - have you?

David C. Edwards: Small chatter on EWU board, but I thought it was something last year with the change in University presidents

Jim: Yes, but I think that's behind them.

David C. Edwards: Are we meeting next week?

Jim: Good question, David. The answer: only if EWU fails to get a first-round bye. Thanks, everyone - we'll do this again, either next week or on Dec. 1.


Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently covers K-12 education and women's basketball.

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