The Eagles return to the scene of one of the program’s greatest triumphs as Eastern Washington University football team travels to Pullman, WA to play Pac-12 Conference member Washington State. The game versus the Cougars is a rematch of a 45-42 Eagle upset to open the 2016 season on Sept. 3, 2016. In the first start of his Eagle career, quarterback Gage Gubrud had what was then a school-record 551 yards of total offense, passing for 474 yards and five touchdowns, and rushing for another 77 and a game-clinching score. He is one of 32 Eagles on this year’s roster who played in that game, including five starters on offense, five on defense and 22 backups.
Key Player: How could it not be QB Gage Gubrud? Almost the entire Eagle offense goes through Gubrud, who could be auditioning this week for a possible shot at the NFL, and he should be able, justas he did as a freshman, to pick apart the Cougar secondary.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: WR Nsimba Webster has already emerged as Gubrud’s favorite target with 17 catches and 4 TDs. He’ll look to again have a big week against a bigger fish.
Washington State leads the all-time series with Eastern Washington 3-1 after EWU claimed a 45-42 victory in the 2016 season-opener at Martin Stadium. The Cougars own a 118-21-3 record against teams currently in the Big Sky Conference. WSU’s last win the series with EWU came in 2012, a 24-20 victory in head coach Mike Leach’s first home game at Washington State.
The Cougars are 2-0, but it wasn’t exactly a murderer’s row of opponents, with San Jose State in the running for being won of the worst teams in FBS as one of Washington State’s victories.
Key Player: QB Gardner Minshew III has to be considered a tremendous fantasy catch today because it is a distinct possibility that this contest become a high-scoring shootout. Last week against the Spartans Minshew threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, so this game could be a great time for those who love offense.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: Minshew has split his targets in the passing game, making it difficult to determine which guy to take, but WR Tay Martin might be the better choice due to his big-play ability. He has 141 yards and 2 TDs in the early going this season.
Fearless Prediction: This game will be a lot of fun and promises to deliver on its promise of being an offensive showcase. I think the upset four years ago will work against the Eagles, as a Cougar team with memories of four years ago will not be sleeping on Eastern Washington this time. Washington State 48, Eastern Washington 45.