Cheney Free Press -

By Grace Pohl
Staff Intern 

Don't go giving up on those Eastern Eagles just yet

Crunch Time

 

September 7, 2017



College football finally had its debut this weekend which caused me to sit on the couch and watch games all day Saturday. But this week was a rough start in football for Eastern Washington University fans after the Eagles lost 56-10 to Big 12’s Texas Tech. But don’t give up hope on EWU – it is way too early for that.

We have to give Eastern a break as they lost their three star offensive players, Cooper Kupp, Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill. The players that put on jerseys last Saturday had big shoes to fill and debuting against a football program like Texas Tech makes it even harder.

Now I will be the first to admit, I was looking for another big upset to start off the season after defeating Washington State University last year. But I couldn’t be mad about the effort that Eastern had against The Red Raiders.

Another factor in this season for Eastern Washington is the new head coach, Aaron Best. Even though Best has been around EWU for 20 plus years, he is in a different position that he has to learn about.

Ironically, Beau Baldwin’s first debut as a head coach for Eastern was against The Red Raiders, where his team lost 49-24. We all know how successful Baldwin was throughout his career at EWU even with that rough of a start.

Eastern also has another tough non-conference schedule as they started off with Texas Tech and now will play the five-time FCS champion, North Dakota State on the Red Turf this Saturday. The Eagles will then take off on their longest road trip of the season to take on Fordham in New York in another FCS battle.

But the part that matters most in the season is conference play, which EWU starts on Sept. 23 in Missoula against the University of Montana. That is when the true test begins and determines our fate in the postseason.

The Eagles will face seven Big Sky opponents, with four of those games at home. That gives Eastern plenty of opportunity to earn solid wins and continue on to the post season, which is really the end goal.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t be disappointed in the tough loss last weekend, I am just saying that we need to not give up hope altogether on Eastern after having high expectations from last year.

We were spoiled with just one loss in the non-conference portion of our schedule last year and an undefeated 8-0 in the Big Sky which ended up giving another Big Sky Conference title and now we have to go through some growing pains after our huge success.

Hopefully this year will end in another trip to Frisco, Texas for the FCS championship but the road to get there will need dedicated fans that are there through the thick and thin — or wins and losses — and support our Eastern Eagles no matter what the outcome is.

In other news, the first week of college football ended in a win by my other favorite team, the Tennessee Volunteers. To give some background knowledge, the University of Tennessee is a favorite team of mine because I have family from Tennessee and the all-time great quarterback, Peyton Manning, played there.

Grace Pohl can be reached at grace@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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