Eastern Returns to Idaho for Season Opener
Renewal of former rivalry between Eagles and Vandals could be a sign of things to come
Eastern Washington Univ. “Eagles”
University of Idaho “Vandals”
Thursday, August 30, 2012 • 6 p.m.
Kibbie Dome (16,000) • Moscow, Idaho
EWU Coach: Beau Baldwin (Central Washington
School Record: 33-16/23-9 Big Sky Conference (5th Season)
Career Record: 43-19 (6th Season -- was 10-3 at CWU in 2007, 6-5 at EWU in 2008, 8-4 at EWU in 2009, 13-2 in 2010, 6-5 in 2011)
2011: 6-5/5-3 Big Sky Conference
Last Game: Eastern 45, Idaho State 14 (Nov. 19 in Pocatello, Idaho)
Watch Parties: All road games will be available to watch at the Q Sports Bar and Restaurant at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights and the Swinging Doors in North Spokane.
Webcast: ESPN3 (www.watchespn.com)
Radio: 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 22nd season calling the play-by-play, with analysis handled by Paul Sorensen and sideline commentary by Keith Osso. Osso will also serve as host of the Eagle Tailgate Show, starting 1 1/2 hours prior to kickoff.
Internet Radio: www.700espn.com or www.tunein.com
Radio iPhone App: Search for “Spokane Radio” and download app. An app is also available for tunein radio.
Weekly Coaches Show: Mondays 6 p.m. at the Q Sports Bar and Restaurant at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. . . 700-AM ESPN, www.700espn.com & via iphone app. (search for “Spokane Radio” and download app). Note: First show is Monday, Sept. 3.
Only time will tell if Thursday’s (Aug. 30) season-opening football game for Eastern Washington University is a renewal of a formerly intense rivalry, or just a mere happenstance meeting as it has been for more than a decade.
Eastern takes on its former Big Sky Conference rival in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Pacific time in a game broadcast via ESPN3.
The radio broadcast of Thursday’s game, featuring Larry Weir, Paul Sorensen and Keith Osso, starts 1 1/2 hours prior to kickoff with the Eagle Tailgate Show. It may be heard on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.700espn.com and via iPhone application (search for “700 ESPN” and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via www.tunein.com and tunein’s mobile phone app.
The two teams played at least once for 17-straight seasons from 1983-1999, but only once since the Vandals left the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (then known as I-AA) for the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A). After the dust cleared in the conference shakeups in FBS recently, Idaho has announced it will return to the Big Sky Conference in all sports but football, but will remain a FBS independent at least for the time being.
Regardless, this Thursday’s game is a savory matchup on the Palouse between an Eastern team that finished a disappointing 6-5 a year ago after winning the NCAA Division I title in 2010. Idaho was 2-10 a year ago and 1-6 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Eagles are 7-20 all-time versus members of FBS, but have lost their last 10 such games dating back to an 8-5 victory over the Vandals on Sept. 6, 2003, in the Kibbie Dome.
Eastern returns to the Palouse on Saturday, Sept. 8 when the Eagles play at Washington State in the first varsity meeting between the two schools since 1908.
A complete 2012 EWU Football Season Outlook may be found at:
PDF Link to Fact Book
The complete version of the 2012 EWU football fact book may be
More Eagle Football Links and Headlines
EWU Football Web Page - http://goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/index
EWU Football News & Notes - http://www.goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/2012-13/news
Link to Football Ticket & RV Parking Information: http://goeags.com/tickets/ewas-fbticketcentral.html
Big Sky Conference Football - http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=football&path=football
Spokane Spokesman-Review EWU Football Page - http://www.spokesman.com/eagles
The Sports Network (FCS Football) - http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=sportsnetwork&page=cfoot2/indexpic.htm
NCAA FCS Football - http://www.ncaafootball.com/DivisionIFCS.aspx
NCAA Statistics (2011) - http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/mainpage.jsp?year=2011
College Sporting News - http://www.collegesportingnews.com
College Sports Journal - http://www.college-sports-journal.com/
* Expecting to be in the hunt for the Big Sky Conference title and yet another playoff berth in the NCAA Championship Subdivision, Eastern is hoping for big things from an experienced team that features eight returning starters on offense and seven on defense, with a total of 48 returning letterwinners. And the last time Eastern had a rash of injuries like they did last season, the Eagles parlayed that experience for younger players into the NCAA Division I title in 2010.
* Eastern was selected 12th in The Sports Network NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 preseason football poll as selected by a national panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and sports information directors. The Eagles, who won the 2010 FCS title, were ranked No. 1 in the first two polls of the 2011 season but were not ranked at the end of the year after finishing 6-5 overall. In the preseason coaches poll, the Eagles were ranked seventh, and EWU has been picked as high as seventh nationally by other preseason publications and websites heading into the 2012 season.
* Despite coming off a 6-5 season, the Eastern Washington University football team has been picked to finish second in the Big Sky Conference. Two-time defending co-champion Montana State has been selected first by the media and the coaches in the polls. MSU, which has finished 7-1 in the conference in each of the past two seasons and advanced to the playoffs, earned seven first-place votes in the coaches poll and a total of 136 points. In the media poll, the Bobcats received 30 of 40 first-place votes and 502 total points. Eastern garnered four first-place votes and 131 total points from the coaches. In the media poll, the Eagles earned three first-place votes and 453 total points. A year ago, the Eagles were picked to win the league title after they had won the 2010 Big Sky championship and went on to win the NCAA Division I title. But an 0-4 start and a rash of injuries led to a 6-5 finish overall and 5-3 mark in the Big Sky in 2011.
* A quartet of Eagle seniors have been selected as Eastern’s co-captains for the 2012 season. They include defensive end Paul Ena, linebacker Zach Johnson, wide receiver Nicholas Edwards and offensive tackle Will Post. Johnson was a senior captain last year before an injury cut short his season, but he was granted a sixth year by the NCAA to complete four years of eligibility.
* A total of 12 Eastern Washington University football players have received preseason accolades as chosen by a variety of publications, websites and organizations that cover the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision and the Big Sky Conference. Senior wide receiver Nicholas Edwards is among the seven Eagles honored with preseason All-America honors, as he earned recognition on 10 different teams. Eight of the accolades he received were as a first team selection. He was also selected to the Senior Bowl Watch List, a collection of 309 seniors from NCAA FBS and FCS schools. The other preseason All-Americans are junior wide receiver Brandon Kaufman, senior wide receiver Greg Herd, junior cornerback T.J. Lee and sophomore punter Jake Miller, and recent additions in senior offensive tackle Will Post and senior safety Jeff Minnerly.
* As many as five Eagles are expected to make starting debuts this week against Idaho. On defense, Washington transfer Andru Pulu is expected to make his first start at defensive tackle, and sophomore Evan Day should make his starting debut at an end position. Junior cornerback Bo Schuetzle may make his starting debut at cornerback. On offense, SMU transfer Kyle Padron will make his Eagle debut, but has previously started 21 games at the NCAA FBS level. Also making their starting debut will either be Cassidy Curtis or Clay DeBord, a pair of redshirt freshmen at left tackle.
* Other redshirt freshmen listed on Eastern’s two-deep who will be playing for the first time in an Eagle uniform include cornerback Miles Weatheroy, safety Jordan Tonani, offensive guard Aaron Neary, offensive tackle T.J. Boatright and quarterback Vernon Adams. In addition, safety McKenzie Murphy, who last played at Western Washington before it dropped its football program, will play his first game for Eastern.
* For the second-straight game, the Eagles will be playing in a domed stadium. The Eagles ended the 2011 season with a 45-14 victory over Idaho State at Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho. Eastern has won six of its last seven games in domes, with the lone loss in that span a 30-17 loss in the 2011 season at South Dakota. Eastern is 3-8 all-time in the Kibbie Dome, with victories in 1985 (42-38), 1991 (34-31 in two overtimes) and 2003 (8-5).
* Featuring an early-season schedule with a familiar feel to it, the Eastern Washington University football team will open the 2012 season with three road games and a bye. The Eagles begin the 2012 season at former Big Sky Conference rival Idaho, then return to the Palouse a week later to face Washington State and new head coach Mike Leach. After a bye in the schedule, Eastern opens Big Sky Conference play at Weber State against former EWU assistant coach Jody Sears. Finally, on Sept. 29, the Eagles will play their home opener versus Montana at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. Two years ago, in the debut of EWU’s red Sprinturf surface in the first game at the re-named field (it was formerly Woodward Field), the Eagles knocked off the Grizzlies 36-27. A year ago, Eastern opened the season with road losses to Washington and South Dakota, then began league play with a loss at Montana and a home setback to Montana State.
* Defensive end Paul Ena, the lone returning starter on the defensive line, is questionable for the Idaho game after suffering an elbow injury in practice. Running back Demitrius Bronson is probable after sitting out several practices with a hamstring strain. Offensive tackle Clay DeBord is probable following a lower leg/ankle injury he suffered in EWU’s scrimmage on Aug. 23. Linebacker J.C. Agen, who started in 2011 after Zach Johnson was lost for the season, has a biceps tendon injury and it not expected to play against Idaho.
* The Vandals and Eagles were Big Sky Conference rivals in the 1980’s and 1990’s before Idaho moved to NCAA Division I-A (now NCAA FBS) in the 1996 season. In 1992, Eastern and Idaho shared the Big Sky Conference title. Eastern is 2-3 versus the Vandals since they moved up.
* Idaho was a member of the Big West Conference in four meetings versus the Eagles from 1996-99, and the Vandals were a member of the Sun Belt in the 2003 game. This is the first meeting with Idaho as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
* Since the series started in 1942, Idaho has won 15 of the 20 games played between the two schools, with a pair of five-game winning streaks. Until the Vandals were held to five points in EWU’s 8-5 victory in 2003, Idaho had averaged 36.0 points per game in the series. The five points Idaho scored were the fewest by 22 Idaho had ever scored in the series, and the second-fewest EWU had scored. The previous fewest combined points came in a 28-7 Vandal win in 1942.
* In the 2003 meeting, Eastern scored its only points on a third-quarter TD pass from Erik Meyer to Joe Pierce, and a two-point conversion pass from Meyer to Reggie Witherspoon. It was the first of 84 TD passes Meyer threw as an Eagle, as he went to win the 2005 Walter Payton Award. Meyer is now a strength and conditioning assistant at EWU after playing for the Spokane Shock in the Arena Football League. Eastern limited the Vandals to 295 yards of total offense and held them scoreless for the final 54 1/2 minutes of the game en route to the gut-wrenching victory. In all, Eastern's defense held Idaho scoreless in its last 11 possessions of the game. Idaho had two fumbles, missed a field goal, punted four times and was 0-of-4 on fourth down conversion attempts.
* Included in EWU’s victories was a thrilling, 24-21 win in 1997 en route to a 12-2 finish and “Final Four” appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (now NCAA FCS). Rex Prescott’s 3-yard touchdown run with 34 seconds left to play in the game capped a game-winning drive in front of 7,756 fans at Albi Stadium in Spokane. Prescott’s run on the four-play, 64-yard drive came after a pair of pass completions of 38 and 23 yards from quarterback Harry Leons to Jeff Ogden. The 1997 team will be inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 6, 2012.
* Eastern also won in the Kibbie Dome on Nov. 30, 1985, beating the Vandals 42-38 in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (now NCAA FCS) after getting thumped earlier in the year in Moscow, 42-21. Gambles that went Eastern's way -- including a fake punt, a lateral on a kickoff return and onside kickoffs in both the second and third quarters -- helped keep the Eagles in the game. But things looked dim for the Eagles, who were coached by Dick Zornes, when they trailed by three and faced a third-and-10 at their own 10-yard line with less than a minute left. However, a 73-yard screen pass from Rick Worman to Jamie Townsend set-up Worman's game-winning 17-yard touchdown pass to Eric Riley with 12 seconds to play.
* Eastern tight ends/offensive tackles coach Brian Strandley is a 1995 graduate of Idaho and played for the Vandals. He was Idaho's 1993 defensive captain, and finished his career with 101 tackles. When he was a junior, the Vandals advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (then known as I-AA), and in 1994, Idaho led FCS in rushing defense (65.3 yards per game). He helped Idaho to a 35-14 record, three playoff berths and one Big Sky Conference title in four seasons under head coach John L. Smith, who is now head coach at Arkansas. Included were three victories in four games versus Eastern. Idaho lost to the Eagles 34-31 in overtime his freshman season, but then won the next three games by a combined score of 127-46. He had seven tackles, a sack and a pass broken up in four career games versus EWU. After he graduated from Idaho, Strandley coached at Potlatch, Idaho, High School where he served as defensive coordinator and head junior varsity coach.
* Eagle linebackers coach Josh Fetter graduated from Idaho in 1996, one year after Strandley. While at Idaho, Fetter was a two-year starter and lettered four seasons for the Vandals. As a senior he was voted as a team captain and won Idaho’s most inspirational player award.
* Running backs coach Kiel McDonald is a third Eastern assistant coach who previously played for the Vandals. After playing the 2005 season for EWU’s fellow Big Sky Conference member Sacramento State, McDonald played as a cornerback for Erickson in the 2006 season at Idaho. He had 31 tackles (two for loss), one interception and five passes broken up as Idaho finished 4-8.
* Former Eastern coach Torey Hunter is in his second year as cornerbacks/recruiting coordinator at Idaho. The former standout at Washington State coached at EWU (2008-10), Central Washington (2007) and Idaho State (2003-06).
Eagles to Watch For
* Eastern led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in passing offense in 2012, averaging 368.5 yards per game. In Beau Baldwin’s four years as Eastern’s head coach, the Eagles have ranked in the top 10 in FCS in passing offense three times and total offense twice. In EWU’s last eight seasons (1994-2011), including seven with Baldwin on the coaching staff, EWU has ranked in the top 10 in passing six times and total offense on five occasions.
* Following in the footsteps of EWU’s reigning Walter Payton Award winner Bo Levi Mitchell, Kyle Padron (pronounced “puh-DRONE”) transferred to Eastern from Southern Methodist University where he passed for 5,902 yards and 41 touchdowns in his 24-game career. In his 21 games as a starter at SMU, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Padron led the Mustangs to a 12-9 record. He was 5-1 as a freshman, as SMU’s late-season surge helped it beat Nevada 45-10 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Padron passed for a school-record 460 yards and two touchdowns to earn Hawaii Bowl MVP honors, then started all 14 games as a record-breaking sophomore (7-7 record). During his sophomore campaign, he passed for 280 yards and four touchdowns, with one TD rushing, in a 35-21 victory against Washington State on Sept. 18, 2010. Mitchell was injured in the 2009 season at SMU and transferred to EWU after Padron secured the starting job mid-way through his freshman season. The same thing happened in 2011 to Padron, who suffered ankle and back injuries and was replaced in the lineup by J.J. McDermott for the final 11 games of the year.
* Among the injured players returning were five lost for the year early in the 2011 season – All-America wide receiver Brandon Kaufman (knee/hand), guard Ashton Miller (Achilles), guard Steven Forgette (broken fibula), guard Jase Butorac (knee) and linebacker Zach Johnson (knee). All five players will start or compete for starting positions in 2012.
* Eastern regained the services of linebacker Zach Johnson, who was injured as a senior in 2011 and was granted a sixth year by the NCAA to complete four years of eligibility. Johnson had 19 games wiped out, including the entire 2009 season, because of the same knee injury. He has 260 tackles in his career, just three from moving into ninth all-time at Eastern. He is only 81 from ranking fifth and equaling the total of 341 by his twin brother Matt Johnson, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
* Eastern has perhaps the top wide receiver trio in all of FCS, with three players who have all earned All-America accolades and have 1,000-yard seasons in their careers -- Nicholas Edwards, Greg Herd and Brandon Kaufman. They have combined for 99 games worth of experience (69 starts), and have collective totals of 405 catches for 5,475 yards and 56 touchdowns. There is still one season left to play for Edwards and Herd, and a pair for Kaufman after he received an injury redshirt in 2011.
* Nicholas Edwards is by far the most decorated Eastern player returning, having earned first team NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America accolades on seven different teams in 2011 -- American Football Coaches Association, The Sports Network, College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty”, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Phil Steele Publications, Beyond Sports College Network and College Sports Journal. He also earned second team accolades from Associated Press and Collegesportsmadness.com after catching a school-record 95 passes for 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead FCS. Herd earned Beyond Sports College Network honorable mention All-America recognition, having caught 67 passes for 1,022 yards and seven scores. He was a second team All-Big Sky Conference selection.
* Brandon Kaufman redshirted the 2011 season as an injury hardship case, but in 2010 was a first team All-America selection by the College Sporting News and fourth team from Phil Steele Publications. He was a first team All-Big Sky selection with 76 catches for 1,214 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore when he helped lead the Eagles to the NCAA Division I title.
* Eastern also has lots of experience at tight end, with junior Zack Gehring returning as a starter, sophomore Ryan Seto back after a redshirt season and junior Cody Humphrey getting lots of action after moving from the offensive line. Gehring led the tight ends by catching six passes for 63 yards in 2011, and had 12 catches for 173 yards and two scores in 2010.
* Eastern’s top offensive lineman returning is 6-foot-6, 310-pound senior tackle Will Post, who earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors a year ago. He has started 22 games – the most among Eastern’s offensive linemen and third most overall.
* In the secondary, Eastern is replacing a starting cornerback (Alden Gibbs) and one of three players who shared the starting safety positions last year (Matt Johnson, now with the Dallas Cowboys). Cornerback T.J. Lee III and safeties Jeff Minnerly and Allen Brown return to starting positions, but after that, Eastern is still determining the next five players who will see the majority of action for the Eagles this fall.
* Running back is another area where the Eagles have plenty of experience, with four players sharing the load last year. That group includes no seniors, and each of the four players – Demitrius Bronson, Mario Brown, Quincy Forte and Jordan Talley -- started at least one game. Talley started six games and rushed for a team-high 413 yards and five touchdowns. Bronson, who has overcome a rash of injuries to claim the starting position heading into 2012, rushed for just 21 yards in 2011. Forte had 270 yards rushing and 215 receiving as a true freshman, while Brown added 141 yards on the ground. Brown is expected to redshirt the 2012 season.
* Jake Miller, after nearly setting a school record with a 44.2 average per punt, was named to the College Sports Journal All-Freshman All-America Team. He earned honorable mention All-Big Sky accolades.
* Cornerback T.J. Lee was a first team All-Big Sky selection a year ago, finishing the season with 48 tackles, a pair of interceptions and one pass broken up.
* Safety Jeff Minnerly had an honor-filled career as a 4.0 student at nearby Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., and he has followed that with a variety of athletic and academic awards at Eastern. In 2011, he repeated as a honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection and was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District VIII squad for the second-straight year as well. In the 2010 season, Minnerly was awarded the “Elite 88” Award by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He received the award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the participants in the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Eastern won that game 20-19, as Minnerly finished with two passes broken up and two tackles. He has a 3.83 grade point average as a finance major. In his 31-game Eastern career – 17 as a starter – he has 127 total tackles with four interceptions, eight passes broken up, two forced fumbles and 10 tackles for loss. Minnerly started eight of 11 EWU games in 2011, and ranked second on the team with 77 tackles.
* Eastern’s defensive line returns honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference end Paul Ena, who finished his junior campaign in 2011 with 48 tackles and three sacks. Another end, senior Jerry Ceja, had a team-leading 5 1/2 sacks and finished with 21 tackles total.
* Senior linebacker Tyler Washburn battled a knee injury and had only 20 tackles in 2011, but he finished his sophomore season with 54 and had 41 as a freshman in 2009.
* At kicker, Eastern loses senior Mike Jarrett after he broke EWU’s career record for kick scoring (236) and the single season record for field goals (16). An impressive 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) kicking field goals in the 2011 season, Jarrett will be replaced by either senior Jimmy Pavel or junior Kevin Miller. Pavel handled kickoff duties for the Eagles in 2011, and Miller held the job the two previous seasons when he also made 2-of-3 field goals.
* Eastern also returns one of the league’s premier long snappers in senior Jake Potter. Potter is inconspicuous, which means he’s good, laughs Baldwin. “It’s kind of nice when you forget about your long snapper, because that means they are so consistently good that you don’t notice them,” he said. “When you aren’t thinking about them, that’s usually a good thing.”
More Eagle Notes
* Among the players lost to graduation were Walter Payton Award-winning quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, as well as All-Americans Chris Powers (center), Renard Williams (defensive tackle) and Matt Johnson (safety).
* In all, a total of 14 starters – seven on each side of the ball – suffered injuries that kept them out of the lineup in 2011, including seven players lost for the season. Eastern stumbled to a 0-4 start, but the Eagles adjusted well to the injury epidemic and won six of their final seven games to finish with the school’s 14th winning season in the last 16 years.
* Eastern started 46 different players in the 2011 season – 24 on offense and 22 on defense – with only five players starting all 11 games. A total of 21 players made starting debuts during the season, and most of those return for the 2012 campaign.
* Eastern fell a victory shy of its sixth playoff berth since 2004. Although the Eagles came up short, EWU is one of just seven schools among the 120 in FCS to have advanced to the playoffs five times in the last eight seasons (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010).
* Although ravaged by injuries in 2011, there is definitely room for improvement on defense after the Eagles ranked 101st out of 120 FCS schools in total defense, surrendering an average of 411.9 yards per game. Eastern allowed 213.2 yards rushing per game, and only 10 schools in FCS allowed more.
* Wide receiver Nicholas Edwards is just 40 receiving yards away from moving into ninth all-time in Eastern history (he currently has 2,198), and is three points away from moving into eighth in points scored (currently he has 176). His 178 career catches ranks fourth in school history (No. 3 has 213) and his 29 TD receptions is second (the record is 46).
* Although just one punt from meeting the minimum of 40 career punts to qualify, the 44.2 career punting average of sophomore Jake Miller currently ranks ahead of the school record. Jesse Nicassio had a 42.3 average in two seasons from 2002-03.
* Linebacker Zach Johnson has 260 tackles in his career, just three from moving into ninth all-time at Eastern. He is only 81 from ranking fifth and equaling the total of 341 by his twin brother Matt Johnson, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
* The next fumble that defensive end Paul Ena recovers will equal the school record of eight shared by Nicholas Ramos (2006-09) and Steve Mattson (1994-97).
* The first glimpse of quarterback Kyle Padron was worth the wait for Eagle football fans, but the efforts in the running game were also a welcome sight. The Southern Methodist University transfer passed for 214 yards and a touchdown in the Eastern Washington University football team’s first scrimmage of preseason practices Saturday (Aug. 18) at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. But the Eagles also placed an added emphasis on its rushing attack, with junior Demitrius Bronson rushing for 41 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 71-play scrimmage. In all, Eastern rushed 25 times for 62 yards and four Eastern quarterbacks combined to complete 23-of-46 passes for 322 yards. The defense contributed numerous big plays with four interceptions, five passes broken up and a pair of sacks. Read more at http://www.goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/2012-13/Releases/12fbAug18ScrimmageRecap-1
* It was easy to see that Eastern Washington University’s quarterbacks were the focal point Thursday (Aug. 23) in the final preseason scrimmage before the Eagles open the 2012 season. With more than half of the team’s starters sitting out – particularly those on defense – Eastern’s quarterback trio of Kyle Padron, Vernon Adams and Anthony Vitto combined to complete 23-of-33 passes in the 55-play scrimmage. In all, the offense managed 277 yards through the air and another 62 on the ground for a total of 339. Read more at http://www.goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/2012-13/Releases/12fbAug23ScrimmageRecap-2
Quoting Coach Beau Baldwin
On Being Ready to Play a Game: “When you get to the end of two-a-days you're ready. We've been doing a little bit of preparation last week but were going to dive into it even more. It doesn't mean though we want to get away fundamentals. We talk about doing the ordinary things better than everyone else. We want to stay with that motto, but it is always fun to get into that game week -- that’s why we do it. I wouldn’t be coaching if we just did spring ball and fall camp. Game days are so special.”
On Idaho: “They’re a really good team -- they weren’t that far off from possibly a bowl game last year when you really look at some of the things they did. Obviously they have a new look on offense that we’re going to have to adjust to when we see it. They have a defense that has been very good, and coach Akey and his coordinators have done a great job for a long time. So it’s going to be an absolute tough challenge for us to go on the road and play against a very good Idaho football team.”
On Progress of Team Following Final Scrimmage: “There are always things you want to improve on and adjustments you want to make. But with the exceptions of the two interceptions, I thought our ball-handling was a lot better and some of the unforced errors I talked about were a lot better. You always want more, but my feeling is that we’re in a position where I believe we did a better job in the summer and we’re better than we were last August. But at the same time, when it gets to game three and game four, I expect us to continue to make improvements each week. Once we get into game weeks, we say we're still going to keep improving and still stick to fundamentals no matter where we are right now.”
On Injuries: “We're probably a lot like everyone in the nation where we have our dings, and might have one or two guys that are going to be hampered going into week one or two. But we're in a pretty good spot.”
On Starters Listed on Depth Chart: “Where you stand on day one of week one doesn’t mean a whole lot. Our players will continue to compete all season. It’s a continuous battle and a continuous competition throughout the season.”
Defense (167 starts by 16 players): Zach Johnson 30, Paul Ena 24, Tyler Washburn 22, Jeff Minnerly 17, Evan Cook 14, David Gaylord 12, Allen Brown 12, Ronnie Hamlin 8, T.J. Lee 7, Cody McCarthy 5, Grant Williams 5 (includes one start on offense in 2009), J.C. Agen 4, Jerry Ceja 3, Will Katoa 2, Ronald Baines 1, Rusty Haehl 1.
Offense (164 starts by 19 players): Nicholas Edwards 37, Brandon Kaufman 23, Will Post 22, Steven Forgette 17, Zack Gehring 12, Greg Herd 9, Brandon Murphy 9, Drew Reynolds 8, Jordan Talley 6, Mario Brown 5, Ashton Clark 4, Demitrius Bronson 2, Jase Butorac 2, Quincy Forte 2, Cody Humphrey 2, Cory Mitchell 1, Daniel Johnson 1, Ashton Miller 1, Ryan Seto 1.