Nationally-Ranked Eagles Scrimmage Saturday

With lofty national rankings heaped upon them this week, Eastern will conclude second week of preseason with scrimmage at Woodward Field

Regardless of which poll you look at, the Eastern Washington University football team will try to live up to the lofty national rankings heaped upon them this week when the Eagles scrimmage Saturday (Aug. 29) at 11:30 a.m. at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.

However, the scrimmage may be a repeat somewhat of last week's scrimmage when head coach Beau Baldwin elected to rest many of his starters. Saturday's scrimmage, which is free and open to the public, will help Baldwin and his coaching staff better determine several backup positions as well as a few starting assignments.

The scrimmage concludes the second week of preseason practices for EWU as it continues preparations for its opener at home against Western Oregon on Sept. 5 at 12:05 p.m. Pacific time at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.

Earlier this week, the Eagles were honored with rankings of 17th in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches poll and 18th in the Sports Network poll of sportswriters, broadcasters and sports information directors. The AGS/anygivensaturday.com poll has the Eagles 19th, with several other preseason publications ranking EWU as high as 13th (Sporting News).

The Eagles are coming off a 6-5 finish in 2008 that included a 5-3 record in the Big Sky Conference, but EWU ended the season with a three-game winning streak. Eastern returns 38 letter winners from that team, including 17 back on offense and 21 returning on defense. A total of 15 starters are returning, featuring eight on offense and seven on defense.

 

2009 Preseason Rankings

The Sports Network (preseason): 1. Appalachian State; 3. Montana; 9. Weber State; 18. Eastern Washington; 30. Montana State; 36. Northern Arizona.

FCS Coaches (preseason): 1. Appalachian State; 3. Montana; 9. Weber State; 17. Eastern Washington; 37. Northern Arizona; 38. Montana State.

AGS/anygivensaturday.com (preseason): 1. Richmond; 3. Montana; 9. Weber State; 19. Eastern Washington; 25. Montana State.

Lindy's Football Preview (preseason): 1. Appalachian State; 3. Montana; 9. Weber State; 17. Eastern Washington.

The Sporting News (preseason): 1. Richmond; 5. Montana; 7. Weber State; 13. Eastern Washington; 17. Montana State; 21. Northern Arizona.

Athlon (preseason): 1. Appalachian State; 6. Montana; 7. Weber State; 25. Eastern Washington.

Phil Steele's Football (preseason): 1. Appalachian State; 4. Montana; 15. Eastern Washington; 21. Weber State.

USA Today (preseason): 1. Richmond; 3. Montana; 9. Weber State; 17. Montana State; 23. Eastern Washington.

 

More on the Sports Network Preseason Poll . . .

For a record fourth consecutive year, Appalachian State has been voted as the No. 1 team in The Sports Network FCS preseason top-25 poll.

The Mountaineers (11-3 last season) received 79 first-place votes out of a record 160 ballots cast to top No. 2 Richmond, the team that ended Appalachian State's unprecedented three-year reign as NCAA Division I national champion last fall.

Appalachian State, which finished fifth in last year's season-ending poll, tallied 3,853 points to beat out the Spiders (3,792) by 61 points. Richmond (13-3) received 72 first-place votes.

Montana, Northern Iowa and Villanova all received two first-place votes apiece, while James Madison, Weber State and South Carolina State each earned one first-place vote.

Montana, coming off an appearance in the 2008 national championship game, finished third in the balloting, followed by Northern Iowa and Villanova. The fifth-place result is Villanova's highest finish ever in the preseason poll.

Completing the rest of the top 10 were James Madison, Southern Illinois, New Hampshire, Weber State and Wofford.

The Colonial Athletic Association placed four teams - Richmond, Villanova, James Madison and New Hampshire - in the top 10 and seven of its 12 teams in the top 25.

William & Mary placed 14th, with Massachusetts at No. 17 and Maine at 19th. Three other CAA teams, Hofstra, Delaware and Towson, received votes.

Elon missed the top 10 by just seven points to place 11th, giving the Southern Conference three teams among the initial 11. Georgia Southern finished just out of the top-25, and was second among the teams that also received votes.

The Big Sky ended up with two teams in the top 10, Montana and Weber State, and three in the top 25, with Eastern Washington checking in at No. 18.

Montana and Weber State tied for the Big Sky Conference title in 2008, both finishing 7-1 in league. Weber State beat Montana 45-28 during the regular-season in Ogden. The Grizzlies beat Weber State 24-13 in an FCS quarterfinal game in Missoula.

Montana went on to the national championship game, falling to Richmond 24-7 to finish its season 14-2. Weber State, which upset Cal Poly in the first round of the playoffs, finished its season 10-4. Weber hadn't won a share of the conference title since 1968 and hadn't advanced to the playoffs since 1991.

Both teams figure to be in the national title hunt again. Bobby Hauck's Grizzlies return the likes of All-Americans Marc Mariani at wide receiver and Chase Reynolds at running back. Montana has won at least a share of the Big Sky title 11 straight seasons and advanced to the playoffs a record 16 consecutive seasons.

Weber State has seven preseason All-Americans on its roster making expectations high for veteran coach Ron McBride. Junior quarterback Cameron Higgins, senior running back Trevyn Smith and senior wide receiver Tim Toone return to an offense that finished seventh in the nation yards and 12th in scoring. The defense is led by cornerback Josh Morris, safety Beau Hadley and defensive end Kevin Linehan, all first-team All-Conference picks in 2008.

Eastern Washington, which closed the 2008 season with three straight victories to finish 6-5, earned 1,038 points. The Eagles have appealed a postseason ban levied by the NCAA after a two-year review of activities involving the EWU football team from 2003-07 was released in February.

Beau Baldwin's Eagles look especially good on offense with the return of senior QB Matt Nichols, the 2007 Big Sky Offensive MVP, tight end Nathan Overbay and receivers Aaron Boyce, Tony Davis and Brynsen Brown.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference matched the Big Sky with two teams in the top 10, Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois, and three in the top 25 with South Dakota State at No. 22.

The Southland Conference was the only other conference with three or more teams ranked, with Central Arkansas at No. 13, McNeese State at No. 15 and Texas State rated 20th.

Conference favorites in several other leagues made up most of the rest of the poll. Cal Poly of the Great West was 12th, South Carolina State of the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference placed 16th, Harvard of the Ivy League was 23rd, and Eastern Kentucky of the Ohio Valley Conference finished 24th.

Grambling of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and Holy Cross of the Patriot League tied for 25th. Jacksonville State, which is ineligible for the OVC title because of NCAA sanctions, came in at 21.

 

Sports Network's FCS College Football Poll

Team (First-place votes)

Record

Points

Previous Rank

1. Appalachian State Mountaineers (79)

0-0

3,853

5

2. Richmond Spiders (72)

0-0

3,792

1

3. Montana Grizzlies (2)

0-0

3,506

2

4. Northern Iowa Panthers (2)

0-0

3,408

4

5. Villanova Wildcats (2)

0-0

3,285

6

6. James Madison Dukes (1)

0-0

3,069

3

7. Southern Illinois Salukis

0-0

2,897

11

8. New Hampshire Wildcats

0-0

2,544

8

9. Weber State Wildcats (1)

0-0

2,525

7

10. Wofford Terriers

0-0

2,169

9

11. Elon Phoenix

0-0

2,162

17

12. Cal Poly Mustangs

0-0

1,780

10

13. Central Arkansas Bears

0-0

1,670

12

14. William & Mary Tribe

0-0

1,635

20

15. McNeese State Cowboys

0-0

1,453

21

16. South Carolina State Bulldogs (1)

0-0

1,379

13

17. Massachusetts Minutemen

0-0

1,055

NR

18. Eastern Washington Eagles

0-0

1,038

NR

19. Maine Black Bears

0-0

1,033

18

20. Texas State Bobcats

0-0

860

22

21. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

0-0

808

23

22. South Dakota State Jackrabbits

0-0

707

NR

23. Harvard Crimson

0-0

504

15

24. Eastern Kentucky Colonels

0-0

394

19

25. Grambling State Tigers

0-0

382

24

25. Holy Cross Crusaders

0-0

382

NR

Others receiving votes: Georgia Southern 335, Liberty 330, Colgate 319, North Dakota State 252, Montana State 217, Hofstra 206, Delaware 202, Florida A&M 194, Tennessee-Martin 192, Furman 171, Northern Arizona 169, Youngstown State 145, Eastern Illinois 93, Albany 64, UC Davis 63, Western Illinois 61, Penn 56, Coastal Carolina 52, Prairie View A&M 52, Samford 49, Tennessee State 47, Jackson State 46, Southern 39, Hampton 38, Bethune-Cookman 37, Brown 32, Northwestern State 30, San Diego 20, Lafayette 17, Delaware State 16, Jacksonville 16, Lehigh 16, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 15, Western Carolina 14, Charleston Southern 12, North Dakota 12, Fordham 10, Norfolk State 10, Stony Brook 10, The Citadel 10, Towson 10, Morgan State. 8, Monmouth 5, Yale 4, Alabama A&M 2, Illinois State 2, Missouri State 2, Murray State 2, Presbyterian 2, Gardner-Webb 1, Portland State 1, Robert Morris 1, Southeastern Louisiana 1

  

Tentative Schedule of EWU Practices

(practices usually last for two hours. Media interviews take place after practice or 1/2 hour before the time listed)

Friday, Aug. 28 - 2:15 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29 - Intra-squad Scrimmage, approx. 11:30 a.m., Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.
Sunday, Aug. 30 - Off
Monday, Aug. 31 - 3 p.m. (conditioning)
Tuesday, Sept. 1 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4 - 3 p.m. walk-through
Saturday, Sept. 5 - EWU hosts Western Oregon at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash., 12:05 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 6 - 1:30 p.m. (conditioning)
Monday, Sept. 7 - Off
Tuesday, Sept. 8 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 9 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 10 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 - Travel Day
Saturday, Sept. 12 - EWU at California, 2:35 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 13 - 4 p.m. (conditioning)
Monday, Sept. 14 - Off
Tuesday, Sept. 15 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 16 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 17 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 - 3 p.m. walk-through
Saturday, Sept. 19 - EWU hosts Northern Colorado at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash., 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20 - 1:30 p.m. (conditioning)
Monday, Sept. 21 - Off
Tuesday, Sept. 22 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 23 - 3:45 p.m. (EWU Classes Begin)
Thursday, Sept. 24 - 3:45 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 25 - Travel Day
Saturday, Sept. 26 - EWU at Sacramento State, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27 - 7 p.m. (conditioning)
Monday, Sept. 28 - Off
Tuesday, Sept. 29 - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 - 3:45 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1 - 3:45 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 - Travel Day
Saturday, Oct. 3 - EWU at Idaho State, 2:35 p.m.

 

 

 

EWU Football Web Page - http://goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/index

August 27, 2009 - Nationally-Ranked Eagles Scrimmage Saturday
August 22, 2009 - No Winners, No Losers in EWU's Opening Scrimmage
August 21, 2009 - Newcomers Catching Baldwin's Eye
August 20, 2009 - WSU Quarterback J.T. Levenseller Transfers to Eastern
August 19, 2009 - Thomas Nominated for ‘Good Works' Team
August 17, 2009 - Baldwin Impressed Thus Far With Tempo and Fitness

 

 

 

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