Eastern Washington Eagles (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky)
The Eagles are undefeated in FCS play with its lone lose to FBS Washington State. Eastern ranks third in FCS in total offense at 570.2 yards per game. The Eagles are scoring at a league-best 45.3 clip per game (sixth in FCS), while EWU has matched Weber as the top defense in the league at 24.8 points per game (36th).
The Eagles for possibly the first time in at least the last 15 years have that equal balance of offense and defense. The Eagles have always been over that time period a very powerful offensive team but now have shown the ability to stop the opposing team on a regular basis.
Eastern has allowed just 17 points in each of its three conference wins thus far. The Eagles are also averaging 8.0 yards per rush and 8.4 yards per play overall, while limiting opponents to an average of 3.7 yards on the ground and 5.1 overall.
This is Eastern Washington’s first game in Ogden since 2012. WSU holds an 8-7 lead over the Eagles at Stewart Stadium, but the Eagles have won the last three games. WSU’s last win in Ogden was in 2006. The Wildcats picked up a win in Cheney last season, which snapped a five-game losing streak to the Eagles.
Key Player: RB Sam McPherson currently ranks fifth in FCS with 661 yards rushing in what is a turnaround for the Eagle offense where passing used to be the weapon of choice. But ball control, running the ball are now the key so McPherson will be a key to keep churning out first downs and the Eagles keeping the ball.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: While the Eagles do like to run it more, they can still throw it and look for leading WR Nsimba Webster, who has 31 receptions this season to be catching the ball quite a bit. Webster had 114 yards receiving last week and has 619 receiving yards thus far this year.
Weber State (3-2, 1-1 Big Sky)
The Wildcats had an off week in its last game at Northern Arizona in losing 28-24. But WSU is still can make some noise with this home contest against the Eagles.
The Wildcat defense is what makes this team go. Weber State has been great at forcing turnovers. The Wildcats’ defense has forced 18 turnovers through five games this season, and their average is the highest in the FCS. Of those, 11 have been fumbles.
So far, the Wildcats are one of the worst offenses in the country. Weber State is eighth-worst in the nation in terms of total offense, totaling just 243.8 yards per game. So mustering up some offense will be key against the Eagles in this one.
Key Player: QB Jake Constantine is a new starter after transferring in from Ventura Junior College in California. He has thrown for 481 yards and five touchdowns after taking over the starter job from Kaden Jenks. His play in this one will be key for WSU to win this game.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: RS Rashid Shaheed leads the nation in kickoff return average after gaining 304 yards on just seven returns. The sophomore also has nine catches as a WR and 136 more yards with two scores. Look for him to have some big yardage in both special teams and on offense.
Fearless Prediction: The Eagles on paper look like the better team in this match-up but with the Wildcat defense having a key statistic with turnovers, this game could be closer than the stats show. This game is also WSU’s homecoming game so the will have the home crowd to help them out. But EWU just has too much talent for them to lose this one. Look for the Eagles to win by two touchdowns. Eastern Washington 34, Weber State 20
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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