EWU Earns #3 Seed in FCS Playoffs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EWU Earns #3 Seed in FCS Playoffs

Posted: Updated:

By EWU Athletics

Perhaps the best part of EWU's thrilling come-from-behind victory over Portland State was the rest that awaits them.

The Eagles, who capped a perfect 8-0 Big Sky Conference season with a 42-41 win over the Vikings on Saturday (Nov. 22), received a first-round bye and will host a game on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. Pacific time at Roos Field in the second round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.

Pairings were announced Sunday morning, and the Eagles will face the winner of the South Dakota State at Northern Arizona game at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Nov. 30. The Jackrabbits are 8-4 on the season while the Lumberjacks are 9-2 after finishing second behind the Eagles in the Big Sky standings.

Eastern received the No. 3 seed, putting it in the same bracket as No. 2 Eastern Illinois. Seeds 1-8 are guaranteed home games through to the semifinals provided they are the higher-seeded team in their match-up. Montana received the No. 8 seed and is in the opposite side the bracket with top-seeded and two-time defending champion North Dakota State. Southern Utah also made the bracket from the Big Sky, while Montana State was left off after losing its last three games of the season.

Tickets for Eastern's Dec. 7 game go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday (Nov. 25). The championship game is Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas. All games in the first two rounds will be broadcast via ESPN3.

"We had a good idea – a No. 3 seed is what everybody was saying and it's what we kind of expected," said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. "It's perfect. We know we are going to get that first one at home, and we'll have to go out and earn a victory. It's exciting for our team, and exciting to have that first-round bye. From a physical and mental standpoint, it's a long road to get to this point."

Eastern has had seven playoff berths in a nine-year span (2004-13), ranking the Eagles as one of only four schools among 122 in FCS to accomplish that feat. The others are Montana, New Hampshire and Appalachian State. New Hampshire, North Dakota State and Appalachian State join the Eagles as the only teams to have qualified in four of the last five years.

Best of all, the Eagles get a first-round bye and are hosting games, just like they did last season when they advanced to the semifinals and in 2010 when the Eagles won the NCAA Division I title. Getting players healthy is the greatest benefit of having Thankgsiving weekend off.

"We could feel it after the game, and even in the last few weeks," said Baldwin. "But you have to keep grinding and keep going. We knew if we were fortunate enough to receive the bye over Thanksgiving it would come a good time for us. We need to let some guys to heal physically, but also mentally to allow our players to rest and regroup. We'll get some work in before they go for Thanksgiving, then we'll hit it hard next week when we know exactly who we play."

Eastern has never played SDSU, but is 19-10 overall against NAU. Because of the expansion of the league in 2012, the Eagles haven't played NAU since 2011 when EWU won in Flagstaff, Ariz., 38-26.

Interestingly, Eastern's last-gasp win over PSU – EWU drove 74 yards in just 29 seconds for a game-winning TD with 31 seconds to play, denied NAU a share of the league title with Eastern. The Lumberjacks finished 7-1 in the Big Sky this year.

"We thought there was a chance us and NAU could meet up somewhere quickly," said Baldwin. "It's a credit to all the Big Sky schools who were included – NAU, Montana and Southern Utah – for representing the league really well. It's fun having four teams in this bracket."

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • WSU Athletics To Induct Steve Gleason Into HOF

    WSU Athletics To Induct Steve Gleason Into HOF

    Washington State University will induct Steve Gleason as the lone member into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame, WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Thursday.In an unprecedented move, Gleason will be the sole member of the 2014 class and will be recognized during a home football game later this fall.More >>
    Washington State University will induct Steve Gleason as the lone member into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame, WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Thursday.In an unprecedented move, Gleason will be the sole member of the 2014 class and will be recognized during a home football game later this fall.More >>
  • Yakima Valley Sweeps Sweets

    Yakima Valley Sweeps Sweets

    Road sweeps are tough enough to come by in any situation, especially late in the season on the road against a divisional rival. However, the Pippins picked up their second road sweep of the season with a 4-1 win over the Walla Walla Sweets Thursday night at Borleske Stadium.More >>
    Road sweeps are tough enough to come by in any situation, especially late in the season on the road against a divisional rival. However, the Pippins picked up their second road sweep of the season with a 4-1 win over the Walla Walla Sweets Thursday night at Borleske Stadium.More >>
  • EWU Football Begins 2014 Season

    EWU Football Begins 2014 Season

    =The Eastern Washington University football team kicked off its 2014 Fall practice schedule on Thursday, July 31, with the program's earliest start coming only in only a few weeks on Aug. 23 when Sam Houston State comes to town for the first NCAA game of the season.More >>
    =The Eastern Washington University football team kicked off its 2014 Fall practice schedule on Thursday, July 31, with the program's earliest start coming only in only a few weeks on Aug. 23 when Sam Houston State comes to town for the first NCAA game of the season.More >>
  • Extra PointsExtra PointsMore>>

  • New Brewster Golf Course, Gamble Sands Opening Soon

    New Brewster Golf Course, Gamble Sands Opening Soon

    Amidst all of the bad that is happening in North Central Washington, there is a glimmer of beauty opening soon in the form of the brand new Gamble Sands Golf Course.More >>
    Amidst all of the bad that is happening in North Central Washington, there is a glimmer of beauty opening soon in the form of the brand new Gamble Sands Golf Course.
    More >>
  • Kids World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion In Studio

    Kids World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion In Studio

    Spokane's own Gerondrick "GT" Taylor, 6, of Iron Lion Jiu Jitsu Academy was named the Kids World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino, Calif. this past weekend, July 19-20.More >>
    Spokane's own Gerondrick "GT" Taylor, 6, of Iron Lion Jiu Jitsu Academy was named the Kids World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino, Calif. this past weekend, July 19-20. More >>
  • Spokane Shadow Win EPLWA

    Spokane Shadow Win EPLWA

    Monday, July 21 2014 2:55 AM EDT2014-07-21 06:55:39 GMT
    © Spokane Shadow win Evergreen Premiere League© Spokane Shadow win Evergreen Premiere League
    With Sound Sound winning 2-0 approximately an hour earlier in Vancouver, the Spokane Shadow kicked off the Evergreen Premier League’s final game of the season Sunday night at Spokane Falls CC Stadium needing a victory in order to claim the league’s inaugural championship.More >>
    With Sound Sound winning 2-0 approximately an hour earlier in Vancouver, the Spokane Shadow kicked off the Evergreen Premier League’s final game of the season Sunday night at Spokane Falls CC Stadium needing a victory in order to claim the league’s inaugural championship.
    More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • EWU Football Begins 2014 Season

    EWU Football Begins 2014 Season

    =The Eastern Washington University football team kicked off its 2014 Fall practice schedule on Thursday, July 31, with the program's earliest start coming only in only a few weeks on Aug. 23 when Sam Houston State comes to town for the first NCAA game of the season.More >>
    =The Eastern Washington University football team kicked off its 2014 Fall practice schedule on Thursday, July 31, with the program's earliest start coming only in only a few weeks on Aug. 23 when Sam Houston State comes to town for the first NCAA game of the season.More >>
  • Local College Football Fall Practice Schedules

    Local College Football Fall Practice Schedules

    All four of the local college football teams will kick off their Fall practices this week with the 2014 season fast approaching. Compiled below is a list of practice schedules for Eastern Washington University, University of Idaho, Washington State University and Whitworth University.More >>
    All four of the local college football teams will kick off their Fall practices this week with the 2014 season fast approaching. Compiled below is a list of practice schedules for Eastern Washington University, University of Idaho, Washington State University and Whitworth University.
    More >>
  • EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...More >>
    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.