Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, October 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 44° Cloudy


EWU sports live chat transcript (Sept. 29)

Jim: Hello, Eagle fans: let's talk Eastern football!.

Guest5490 (guest): 3-1 I guess the schedule was just about right

Jim: Warm-up question: who out there seriously predicted that the Eagles would be 3-1 after September?

Jim: I had it 2-2, possibly 1-3. Guest5490 (guest): I think most hoped for 2-2

KHatch_Brecek: I thought we would do 2-2, so I am pleased!

Guest9738 (guest): Even as we were beating the Cougs I still thought 2-2 would be a blessing.

Jim: I think everyone is pleasantly surprised by the performance of Gubrud and the O-line. But what else?

KHatch_Brecek: DEFENSE!!!!!!

GoEags88: Our defense for sure.

Jim: Three INTs were a huge confidence-booster after getting none in the first three games. This week the Davis coach credited the EWU D-line pressure for the improvement.

Guest9738 (guest): Secondary. I think everyone there has held their own.

Jim: For sure - I'm impressed by the tackling - very solid since the beginning of the season.

Guest5490 (guest): Who is UC Davis most like UNI?

Jim: Well, they like to run the ball and stop the run. Strong front seven but not a lot of team speed. And their QB isn't a threat to run like Aaron Bailey of UNI.

Jim: To answer the question: yes, UNI.

GoEags88: We seem to be getting more pressure on 3rd downs

Jim: Ebukam in particular had a great first four games. It's interesting, but during conference calls, when I ask opposing coaches about what scares them about Eastern's defense, they usually mention Ebukam.

Guest9738 (guest): And getting off the field on third down. Might not be a coincidence.

Jim: Since halftime of the UNI game, opponents are about 30 percent on third-down conversions. That’s amazing, especially when you recall the end of last year. Of course, they're also doing a good job of tackling on first-down running plays - opponents are facing a lot of 2nd-and-8s.

Guest5490 (guest): Running Backs (freshman) are a great surprise.

Jim: The future looks good at RB. Custer in particular got a lot of carries - not many yards, but he's a good breakaway threat.

Guest5490 (guest): I have to go early. Thanks Jim. 42-14

GoEags88: Aside from Luuga, does the UCD offense have any other threats?

Jim: Yes, their top receiver Keelan Doss, has 24 catches for 348 yards. Baldwin said on Tuesday that Davis is spreading the field more this year.

Jim: That may be through necessity, as they had to play two FBS schools (Oregon and Wyoming).

Guest9738 (guest): I know he's a little on the small side, but I am still surprised we were able to snag Custer

Jim: Yes, he was a three-star recruit. Great speed, as we saw on the KO return vs. UNI. I predict he will be the lightning and Tamarick Pierce the thunder in upcoming seasons.

Guest9738 (guest): Don't forget Talley

Jim: Small chat audience today ... are fans overconfident or just exhaling after four tough games?

Guest9738 (guest): Maybe a bit of both.

KHatch_Brecek: Ha ha, could be the exhaling?

GoEags88: Is Talley redshirting?

Jim: So far.

Jim: Barring injury to another RB, I'm sure Talley redshirts this year.

Jim: Speaking of overconfidence, the Eagles have a relatively easy next four weeks: home against Davis (picked last in the Sky) and UNC (picked 10th), then a bye followed by a trip to Montana State (picked 7th).

Guest9738 (guest): Upset possibilities? Line is at EWU -22

Jim: My point exactly: EWU is heavily favored this week. Davis' defense is solid against the run, not so much against the pass.Aggie QB is inconsistent so far and definitely not a running threat.

Guest9738 (guest): I think after last season, there is not a lot of overconfidence in the room.

GoEags88: Just hope we don't look past any of them.

Jim: Remember, it took a last-second FG to win at Northern Colorado last year - just sayin'

KHatch_Brecek: What did you think of Gage's performance?

Jim: That was my biggest question after the UNI game: how would Gubrud respond?

Jim: Obviously, very well - 479 yards total offense in the Skydome, a week after struggling in windy conditions a week earlier.

KHatch_Brecek: Can't complain when the sophomore QB, whose only started 4 games is racking up that kind of yardage, right?

Jim: That begs the question: How will Gubrud handle the next bad-weather game. Still some questions about his arm strength.

Guest9738 (guest): That's a good question. Was it the weather or was he just having a bad game?

Jim: A little of both, but some of those passes were fluttering vs. UNI.

GoEags88: Windy conditions could be his kryptonite with his finesse style of passing.

Jim: That's the worry, Eagle fans. He thrives in the short passing game, and UNI took that away. When he went deep, he was missing the mark. - again in poor weather.

Guest5536 (guest): And the weather is questionable this weekend

Jim: Yep - 62 and partly cloudy, although that's an improvement from what I saw earlier this week.

KHatch_Brecek: I still haven't been able to get an answer on this, what happened to Cookus? And who hit him?

Jim: Confession: I totally missed that until I saw the backup come in. Early in the fourth quarter, Cookus suffered a shoulder injury (he's questionable this week). And I'm not sure who hit him -can't tell from the box score: According to the play-by-play, Cookus' last play was an incomplete on third down - no mention of a tackler, which means it happened as he released the ball.

KHatch_Brecek: I've only read a shoulder injury, and out for sure this weekend.

Jim: Out - wow, that's tough for a team that was predicted to win the Sky and now is 1-3 and without their best player.

KHatch_Brecek: I read that on Twitter, not sure on the source, though. So, maybe I'm wrong. Let's hope, that would be a huge blow.

Guest9738 (guest): He got hit hard. I’m not surprised he's hurt. How did Kupp's shoulder hold up do we know? Obviously finished the game and had a nice day, but it did look like he was a little cautious.

Jim: Kupp said on Tuesday that he's doing great - he also gave a shoutout to the trainers.

GoEags88: Jim, what are your thoughts on the CP-North Dakota game? Who comes out on top?

Jim: I think Poly has a letdown on the road after that thriller over Montana.

KHatch_Brecek: Is CP that good, or did Montana just have an "off" day with some key turnovers?

Jim: Turnovers, and they couldn't handle the triple-option game.


Guest9738 (guest): Great news on the shoulder! Two big games in the Sky this week. Looking forward to seeing how the CP-UND game and the UM-SUU game turn out.

Jim: Look for the Griz to rebound big time: even in defeat, their QB had an incredible game last week at Cal Poly.

Jim: Speaking of which, the Griz come to Cheney on Oct. 29. Anyone out there NOT expecting EWU to be 6-1 going into that game?

Guest9738 (guest): Worse than 6-1 would be a big disappointment at this point.

KHatch_Brecek: Agree 9738.

Guest5536 (guest): Why does Root Sports pick up a game like EWU v UC when there are clearly better games out there?

Jim: It's complicated. When Root started broadcasting Big Sky games, every broadcast included UM or MSU. Other schools complained.

Jim: The four games for EWU is the most ever, by the way.

KHatch_Brecek: MSU has the most, I don't get it. Who wants to watch that train wreck??

Jim: I don't pretend to understand TB programming.

Guest9738 (guest): Poly - UND would make zero sense for ROOT and what Jim said about Montana.

Jim:  OK,10 minutes left before I get back to my feature story on a player who started his EWU career on defense but now has 6 TD catches and he's a captain on special teams. Guesses?

Guest5536 (guest): Hill?

Jim: Incorrect

GoEags88: Wimberley?

Jim: Very good! He's also a senior captain. He has a great story to tell - wake up and read it in Friday's Spokesman-Review!

Jim: OK, score predictions for EWU vs. UC Davis. ...

KHatch_Brecek: 52-6

Jim: I don't believe this will be close, but maybe closer than that, KHatch-Brecek!

Guest9738 (guest): I got EWU 42 UCD 21

Guest5536 (guest): 42-14 good guys

KHatch_Brecek: Defense is going to be lights out, thus the 6

GoEags88: 38-14 EWU

Guest5536 (guest): We need a confidence-building blowout game

Jim: I say 42-24 - It would be higher, but Davis has a knack for grinding it out and keeping the other offense off the field.

Jim: Of course, 24 would be a season-low for the EWU defense.

Guest9738 (guest): Thanks as always for the great Eagle coverage. Looking forward to hearing about Wimberly's travels.

Guest5536 (guest): Does Gage play the entire game?

Jim: You'd like to think that Hennessey gets in for this one. (guest): West gets reps this week. Bold prediction.

Jim: Very bold prediction!

KHatch_Brecek: Thanks for the coverage, Jim. We appreciate it!GO EAGS!

GoEags88: Thanks Jim!

Guest5536 (guest): Thanks for the work, Jim

Jim: And thank you, everyone - see you at the game and again at next week's chat!


You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

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

Follow Jim online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.