SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Look out Jerry Rice.
With two more touchdown catches Saturday night, Eastern wide receiver Cooper Kupp ranks sixth in FCS with 47 in his career.
David Ball of New Hampshire is the all-time leader with 58, followed by Terrell Hudgins of Elon with 52. Three more players are tied at 50, including Rice, who went on to set career records in the NFL for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches.
With his 18-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, Kupp tied the Big Sky Conference record of 46 touchdown catches set by former Eagle Eric Kimble.
Kupp, a two-time All-American and the Jerry Rice Award winner as top freshman in FCS, leads the nation in receptions (46), yards (759) and touchown catches (10).
Tough 2nd quarter for EWU
How bad was that second quarter for the Eagles? The Eagles were outgained by only 140 yards to 122, but had the ball for just over three minutes compared with 11:43 for the Hornets.
The biggest blow came when Jordan West led the Eagles downfield to the Sac State 20, but was intercepted by Nick Crouch in the back of the end zone.
In the process, the Eagles were shut out for an entire quarter for the first time since a 41-9 win over Montana Western in the second game of last year – a run of 61 straight quarters.
More injuries for Eagles
Next week’s bye comes at an opportune time for the Eagles, who lost several more players to injury.
Hardest hit was the offensive line, which at one point in the game had just one player – right guard Thomas Gomez – playing where he began the season.
As it turned out, All-American guard Aaron Neary set an unofficial record by playing three positions in one game: left guard, center and right tackle.
“We knew it was a possibility, and I’m perfectly fine with that,” Neary said. Fortunately, center T.J. Boatright missed only one series. While Boatright was out, utility backup Jay Deines took Neary’s place at guard, while freshman Jordan Ellison held down the right guard spot where Cassidy Curtis began the season.
At left tackle, Clay DeBord was lost to a concussion, giving way to Jerrod Jones, who had filled in for Curtis on the right side against Montana State.
The Eagles lost wide receiver Nic Sblendorio to a shoulder injury and cornerback Victor Gamboa to a concussion.
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