Eastern Washington University's quest for a National Championship begins tomorrow as they host the Wagner College Seahawks in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Eastern is the number 2 seed coming into the playoffs and lucked out with a bye last week in the first round. Now hopefully the team won't come out lackluster against the Seahawks after their time off. Wagner is coming off a first round 31-20 victory over Colgate. It was the program's first-ever FCS playoff victory. The Seahawks started the season 0-3 but have since won their last nine games.
Now honestly I had never hear of Wagner College and had to look up where it was. The school is located in State Island, NY and have pretty much spent their whole season being unknown. The team has flown under the radar all season. And any team that has confidence, the ability to win and is under the radar, well that is a dangerous opponent.
The Seahawks offense is ran by quarterback Nick Doscher who has thrown 210 straight passes without an interception. Additionally the team has committed only one turnover during its nine-game win streak.Those are some impressive stats. You win games by protecting the football.
However, the Seahawks will have to travel across the county and not only have to deal with playing on the red turf of the Inferno at Roos Field, but it should be about 40 degrees at kickoff.
Buy an Eastern Washington Eagles flag for tailgating.
Plus, the Eagles earned that number 2 ranking for a reason. And if Eastern can keep winning, that means they'll play all their games at home. Which is a huge advantage.
The Eagles enter the game 9-2 overall this season, finished Co-Big Sky Conference Champions, but won the league’s automatic playoff berth. And Eastern knows how to win close games. Of Eastern’s seven Big Sky wins this season, one was by seven points, two by six points and three wins by just three points. Additionally Eastern's two losses came by four points against FBS Washington State and three points against Southern Utah on a last second field goal.
Playing in the Big Sky Conference also helps the Eagles. The Big Sky offers some of the best football teams in all of FCS and week in and week out the team plays playoff caliber teams. Eastern uses a duel quarterback system of Vernon Adams and Kyle Padron, who have combined for 3,270 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Eastern also has some of the best receivers in all of college football with the trio of Brandon Kaufman, Greg Herd and Nicholas Edwards.
Expect the hometown Eagles to pick apart the Seahawks defense in this one. But it will be close, it is Eastern football after all. And give the town of Cheney another week of football.
FINAL SCORE: Eastern Washington 34, Wagner 24