Writer’s note: In previous years, I would write a game story about Eastern Washington Eagles football right after the game. However, due to issues beyond my control, I was unable to do so until today. Now that it’s three days later, the game stories have all been written, like this one from Spokesman-Review’s Jim Allen. Or, the NDSU perspective.
Instead, I’ll add a few thoughts and share some of my game photos from the day.
Two games into Coach Aaron Best’s era at Eastern Washington University and the firsts are all out of the way. “All the firsts are done now,” said Coach Aaron Best.
“There’s one first left and that’s a win.”
A 2017 win will have for wait another day after the Eagles 40-13 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday at Roos Field in Cheney, WA. Best’s Eagles were outmatched, outgunned and outplayed by the five-time FCS champion Bison.
Not exactly how they draw it up in coaching school (no, there’s not really a school), but it is a definite learning experience for the young coach and his young team.
The loss is a bit of a humbling one for the Eagles and their fans. It was also an up close look at a new EWU team without some familiar and reliable faces. Gone from the sidelines are former head coach, Beau Baldwin (Cal offensive coordinator) and legendary Eagle, Cooper Kupp (NFL). Baldwin and Kupp were key to the prolific Eastern offense of the past few years. Safe to say a few EWU fans have noticed:
Coaching staff is in over their heads, Gubrud exposed, defense continues to be gashed. Worst case scenarios have all come to fruition.
— Trust The Process (@ewusigep252) September 10, 2017
Not used to this two weeks in a row
— Jim Jansma (@jim_jansma) September 9, 2017
Eagle fans are also not used to this kind of a beat-down early in the season to another FCS opponent. Check out some of the numbers for NDSU:
- 31 first downs
- 375 net yards rushing
- 532 net yards total offense
- 42:40 time of possession
42 minutes of the game, the Bison had the ball. No matter how good or fast your offense is – and the Eagles have been known to be both in recent years – it’s hard to win without the ball. And if you’re on defense, that will wear on you no matter how fit you are.
The first win for Coach Best and his Eagles team will have to wait another day. It doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles. They head to New York to take on the Fordham Rams on Saturday. Plenty of mistakes to clean up, chemistry to work on and injuries to overcome.
Find more game photos on my Facebook page.