Don't let Weber State's won-loss record fool you
Don’t let Weber State’s 1-4 record fool you into thinking Saturday’s Big Sky Conference football opener will be a cake-walk.
That’s the cautionary tone Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin offered during this past Monday’s coach’s show. Despite limping into Cheney with four straight losses, including a 31-3 setback at home last Saturday at home to Sacramento State, Baldwin says there’s more to look at besides scores.
Weber played “A very, very tough nonconference schedule, a bunch of games on the road, a couple of FBS teams and a real good McNeese State FCS team,” Baldwin said. The Wildcats’ lone win came against FCS Stephen F. Austin, 50-40, a team that handed BSC 2012 co-champion Montana State a 52-38 loss.
“You can’t look at straight numbers or scores or even the record,” Baldwin said. “You have to watch film.”
After that lone victory at home Aug. 31, WSU went on the road for three-straight games and were out-scored 183-19 in three lopsided setbacks. The Wildcats lost 70-7 at Utah and 70-6 at Utah State in a pair of games against in-state FBS foes, and then lost 43-6 at 12th-ranked FCS foe McNeese State.
The Wildcats feature a true freshman at quarterback in Austin Chipoletti who has started the last three games and Bo Bolen at running back. Bolen just returned from his 2-year mission with the Mormon Church.
Weber, which finished 2-9 in 2012 and 2-6 in conference play, gave Eastern everything it could handle in their game in Ogden. The Eagles needed a late Jerry Ceja fumble recovery to seal the deal in a 32-26 win.
There’s a great deal of familiarity on the Weber State sideline with former EWU defensive coordinator Jody Sears the head coach and ex-Eagles’ defensive lineman Jason Belford the assistant defensive line coach.
And Robin Pflugrad, the former University of Montana head coach who was fired in 2011 in the wake of legal troubles some of his Grizzly players got into, is the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator.
But any familiarity the Baldwin and Sears think they might have with one another’s play calling tendencies is likely lost, both over time, but more because of the players.
“I think a lot of times you change your tendencies and tweak your tendencies over the years based on your guys,” Baldwin said. “That’s something I know he’s done – you can see it with his defense – and that’s definitely something I’ve done with our offense.”
The Eagles, now sixth-ranked in the Sports Network FCS poll, finished their nonconference schedule with a 2-2 record following last week’s 49-34 loss to No. 4 Sam Houston State. Kickoff is 4:05 p.m. in a game televised live regionally by SWX.
“It’s going to be a fight, it’s going to be a war and they’re going to bring their best football,” Baldwin said.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.