Jim: Hello, let’s talk Eastern Washington sports!
Jim: How about that basketball win over Stanford?
Zack417 (Guest): That was great! The energy in the locker room after the game was unreal!
Jim: Did you see the video from the locker room - amazing!
PSW (Guest): Great win for the program. Great game to watch. Just refused to lose.
Jim: Who got a chance to watch the game?
PSW (Guest): Watched most of the 2nd half. Missed the 1st.
Zack417 (Guest): I watched the game against UW, missed against Stanford
Jim: Coupled with the win over Portland and a solid effort at UW, this is very encouraging. Too bad they won’t be at home until Dec. 17.
Jim: Great play from Bliznyuk, of course, but the supporting cast is looking better than expected.
Steven Christopher: I watch the whole Stanford basketball game. Fantastic!
PSW (Guest): Big Sky has looked tough with some good showings out of conference by several teams agains some tough opponents.
Jim: Montana won at Pitt the same night.
Steven Christopher: I was worried after the UW game when Dickerson was such an Unstoppable Force against the Eagles. But boy, did they handle the two big guys from Stanford well.
Jim: This frontcourt looks very strong.
Jim: In case you missed it, here is my follow-up on the Stanford game: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/15/eastern-washington-revels-but-not-too-much-in-epic/
Jim: A “very mature group,” Legans called his players.
Steven Christopher: Turning the football, if we may, Jim: that was a great piece on the various bubble teams trying to make the FCS playoffs. Really helpful! I have saved it and it’s in the pocket of the coat I wear to our game so I can keep track of things while going to and in Cheney.
Jim: Thank you. I’ll have another on Saturday.
Zack417 (Guest): I’ve got alerts for every quarter and final score for all the games of bubble teams
Jim: You are into this!
Steven Christopher: Cool ! Also ,kudos to Theo Lawson down in Pullman for his nice bit about Jim: Hayford following the Eagles basketball team.
Jim: I too will be Tweeting on the pertinent games. This really is a 50-50 deal for Eastern making the playoffs, so it should be exciting.
Steven Christopher: How do I make sure I get these tweets?
Jim: follow me at @srJim:allen
Zack417 (Guest): after looking at all the research I am very comfortable with an EWU win on Saturday that we will get in based on how the selection committee goes about things. We have zero bad losses and a super-strong schedule
Jim: Bottom line: there are 14-15 other contenders, and probably six of them must lose,
Steven Christopher: What is the word on Sam McPherson’s injury? Is there anything wrong with Antoine Custer? The radio announcers last week thought so.
Jim: McPherson is out, but I haven’t heard anything on Custer. Also, I can’t get a straight answer on why Tamarick Pierce is in the doghouse.
Jim: Suddenly, running back is a big issue. Expect Gubrud to run more - which I think he needed to do more of vs. SUU and Weber. Thoughts?
Steven Christopher: I was wondering about Pierce. So he’s being held out for a non-injury reason?
PSW (Guest): Interesting that the running QB aspect hasn’t been a big part of the offense. Good question on Pierce Jim:. Had the same thoughts.
Jim: I was stunned to see Merritt playing at UND.
Steven Christopher: Maybe watching Eric Barrier run at North Dakota we’ll have stimulated gauge to get back on the train himself.
Jim: No, Gage likes to run, and he’s good at it. It’s the play-calling, fewer run-pass option calls and more pocket passing lately.
KHB_GoEags: Steven, I don’t think Gage is the reason he hasn’t been able to run like he did last year.
Steven Christopher: Funny unintended pun produced by my voice to text program.
KHB_GoEags: It’s 100 percent the play-calling.
Jim: That’s right, KHB. Although Gage said before the season that he would run if he read the defense that way.
Steven Christopher: How about our punter?! Jim, you must be prescient to have publish that article on him just a week or so before the North Dakota Game.
Jim: Yes, I foresaw that - I wish! Kudos to Dascalo, who’s done a lot at P and PK but hasn’t gotten much recognition.
Jim: Great kid too. I learned a lot about punting during that interview - love my job.
PSW (Guest): What a game he had. That last punt he had to pin them deep was big.
Steven Christopher: Is he doing all the place kicking now?
Jim: kickoffs, yes.
Jim: And after Alcobendas went 0-for-2 last week on FGs, who knows?!
Steven Christopher: But not field goals?
Steven Christopher: That blocked field goal last week was entirely on someone in the offense of line.
Jim: They almost always are.
PSW (Guest): A lot of opportunities to put more points on the board last weekend.
Jim: Things went south on offense after McPherson got hurt. I can’t recall a running back doing more in one half to help his team. Another great kid too.
Steven Christopher: While we are extolling the virtues of special teams, how about the amazing kick coverage we are getting, particularly from the very young players?
PSW (Guest): Gurley is a beast on kickoff.
Jim: That’s another overlooked piece. Great coverage on kickoffs and punts. Very few big returns all year.
Zack417 (Guest): Outlook on PSU? I think they are going to come out firing! Last game of the year can’t hold anything back!
Jim: They are horrible. Funny, they played BYU (20-6) and Oregon State (35-32) tough, but have imploded since.
Jim: Four different QBs (they finally settled on one), horrific run defense. (Hope the players aren’t reading this).
Steven Christopher: So McPherson is out for Saturday. Very bad news. Any other players going to miss the game due to injuries?
Jim: Speaking of returns, Dorton is out. It will be Nsimba Webster and Custer handling kickoffs. Eagle is still returning punts.
PSW (Guest): This seems to be the case a lot recently, with PSU just trying to play spoiler and throwing every trick play in the book at us.
Jim: They will do that. BTW, the Vikings are the only school with more than one win on the red turf (2011 and 2015).
Steven Christopher: Retro item. I finally got around to reviewing that trick play against Weber which was called back. Sure enough, one of the offense of lineman, number 63, had drifted down field. When they pulled that same kind of play a couple of games earlier, the announcers for Rooter SWX noted that all the offense of linemen, at least the ones on the other side, drop flat to the ground so they could not chance crossing the scrimmage line. I thought that was a great idea, and wonder why it wasn’t followed this time.
Jim: Thank you for that, such a costly play and really a turning point in that game.
PSW (Guest): Good observation! What a killer that turned out to be. We win that game and we are not worrying about everyone else on the playoff bubble this weekend.
Jim: Absolutely right, PSW.
Jim: And I wouldn’t be spending hours reading about McNeese State’s strength of schedule LOL
Steven Christopher: Monday night on the radio show Aaron best projected Portland State will throw the ball at least 50 times Saturday. On our side on the podcast he had with Larry we’re Tuesday he mentioned that they might find some new things to do with Eric Barriere. Anyone for a wildcat formation?
Jim: Yes, they will throw a lot. Their new QB, a redshirt freshman, isn’t bad.
PSW (Guest): Spoiler Alert, It’s not good Jim. I would love to see some packages for Eric on Saturday.
Jim: So what’s your theory on why Eastern couldn’t score a point in the second half at UND?
Steven Christopher: No McPherson! And maybe Eric was a little reluctant to throw?
Zack417 (Guest): I was very frustrated by the clock management in the 4th quarter. If you are going to switch to extremely conservative play calling, at least use a lot of the play clock!
PSW (Guest): Haven’t watched the replay. Live at stadium I recall some costly penalties, some missed opportunities, and it seemed like UND had the ball the whole 2nd half.
Jim: Yes to both.
Jim: Defense stepped up big-time.
Jim: Before I forget, here’s a quick cheat sheet on the other pertinent FCS games.
Jim: In my opinion, at least five of these teams must lose to put the Eagles in the postseason:
Jim: Northern Arizona (7-3)at Southern Utah (8-2)
Delaware (7-3) at Villanova (4-6)
New Hampshire (7-3) - at Albany (3-7)
Northern Iowa (6-4) vs. Indiana State (0-10)
Western Illinois (6-4) at Southern Illinois (4-6)
Furman (7-3) at Samford (7-3)
South Dakota (7-3) at South Dakota State (8-2)
Montana (7-3) at Montana State (4-6)
Illinois State (6-4) at North Dakota State (9-1)
Nicholls State (8-2) at Southeast Louisiana (5-5)
McNeese State (8-2) at Lamar (2-8)
Austin Peay (7-4) at Eastern Illinois (6-4)
Steven Christopher: North Dakota only had one good drive in the second half, and luckily for us they fumbled at the goal line.
PSW (Guest): Defense made some huge plays, and as we mentioned some great punting. UND guys were helping us out dropping passes too.
Jim: Huge drops … Eastern got lucky a few times.
PSW (Guest): Furman, South Dakota, Nichols, Illinois State, Northern Arizona, and of course Montana. There you have it!
Jim: That would do it.
Steven Christopher: Only 5 out of 13? Hey, no problem!
Jim: However, nine out of the 13 will be favored, so it’s not that easy.
Jim: Also, South Dakota may get in even with a loss. Lots of moving parts.
Jim: The committee loves the Missouri Valley Conference. Northern Iowa and Illinois State are both 6-4 but apparently are locks if they win.
KHB_GoEags: I really think NAU will lose to SUU, and MSU will beat Montana. MSU has nothing to lose, while that’s the opposite story for Montana.
Jim: That’s a good point,KHB. That alone would be huge, because I can’t imagine the committee taking just two Big Sky teams.
Steven Christopher: Where is the Montana-Montana State game being played?
PSW (Guest): On Root just before our game.
Steven Christopher: All right! Remember that we can watch that one on Root before our game. And we can record our game even though we attended live, so we can do our fantastic analysis later.
Jim: One more thing. Most of these games will be over by the time the Eagles take the field.
Jim: No matter what, it will be an emotional day.
PSW (Guest): 14 seniors to say goodbye to.
Jim: This is my sixth season covering the team, so I’ve known all these kids since they first came to Cheney. It’s always bittersweet to see them go. And no matter what incidents happen, these are very good kids.
Steven Christopher: Jim:, will there be a chat next week win or lose?
Jim: Chat only if they make the playoffs.
Jim: I just wish we had more participation. I see five as I write this.
PSW (Guest): Well here’s wishing for a few more chats!
Jim: Theoretically, we could have five more!
PSW (Guest): 5 it is then.
KHB_GoEags: I like your positive mindset, Jim.
Jim: No one could match yours, KHB!
Steven Christopher: Playoff question. The best the Eagles could do is make one of the 16 nonseeded slots. I believe it is possible for Eastern to buy a home game in that situation,correct?
Jim: Yes it is! Believe me, I don’t want to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Vermillion, South Dakota!
KHB_GoEags: But, we will take it compared to being done Saturday!
Jim: Yes, we would.
Jim: BTW, look for a Senior Day feature tomorrow on two local kids from the same high school.
PSW (Guest): Its been a while since we have been a playoff team without a seed. How about we draw San Diego in the 1st.
Steven Christopher: Kudos for our great fans who keep providing sellouts. You know, although Montana, Montana State dwarf everyone else in Big Sky football attendance, I bet Eastern’s fans rank third despite the fact that there are at least N0nine more stadium is larger than ours.
Jim: That’s the most likely. However, I wonder if Weber and SUU will get seeds. If not, that team could host.
Jim: Fun fact: Eastern hasn’t been on the road for a playoff game since 2009.
Jim: Eight minutes left. … let’s hear those predictions. I say Eastern wins 44-17
PSW (Guest): Proud of our fans. 25 in a row is a great stat.
Jim: Six - I knew it! Missed XP?
Steven Christopher: Maybe that would be okay. We have had a lot of Home playoff game since then, and while we have won a couple every year, every one of those seasons has ended on a loss on the red turf.
PSW (Guest): 45-21
Zack417 (Guest): 56-17 EAGS!
Jim: Forecast is for a high of 42 and overcast.
Steven Christopher: Eagles win, but closer than what you guys think.
Zack417 (Guest): That’s a lot of fireball at Wild Bills!
PSW (Guest): All in spectacular fashion too Steven. The comeback, The Overthow, and The catch.
Jim: Also, I will be Tweeting from the Bracket selection show. That starts at 8 a.m. Sunday.
Jim: May the odds always be in your favor, Eagle fans!
PSW (Guest): Thanks for all the great coverage Jim:. Hoping for more this year.
Steven Christopher: Yuck! I had almost managed to forget that last play. 😢
KHB_GoEags: Hoping this isn’t the last time this season!
Jim: Just realized that next Thursday is Thanksgiving. We will chat on Wednesday instead - save the date!
Jim: Thanks, everyone!
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