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?
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: 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. ...
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.
Guest9738 (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!