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>>

  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.More >>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    More >>
  • Pippins Lose 6-5 to Bellingham Bells

    Pippins Lose 6-5 to Bellingham Bells

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:54 PM EDT2014-07-25 16:54:59 GMT
    If the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells meet in the playoffs, few fans would likely be disappointed after the series the two teams just completed. The Bells finished the exciting three-game set Thursday with a late rally to win, 6-5 at County Stadium.More >>
    If the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells meet in the playoffs, few fans would likely be disappointed after the series the two teams just completed. The Bells finished the exciting three-game set Thursday with a late rally to win, 6-5 at County Stadium.More >>
  • Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:30:37 GMT
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.More >>
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.More >>
  • Extra PointsExtra PointsMore>>

  • 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 >>
  • Seahawks Come To Spokane For Play 60 #12Tour

    Seahawks Come To Spokane For Play 60 #12Tour

    As part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative, the Seattle Seahawks will visit Spokane this Friday, July 18, at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT.More >>
    As part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative, the Seattle Seahawks will visit Spokane this Friday, July 18, at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT.More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.More >>
    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.
    More >>
  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.More >>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    More >>
  • Former EWU Star Stuckey Lands With Pacers

    Former EWU Star Stuckey Lands With Pacers

    Rodney Stuckey will play with the Indiana Pacers next season after signing a one-year deal on Wednesday. (Photo: Wiki)Rodney Stuckey will play with the Indiana Pacers next season after signing a one-year deal on Wednesday. (Photo: Wiki)
    A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Indiana Pacers have agreed to terms with free agent guard Rodney Stuckey on a one-year deal to help replace the departed Lance Stephenson.Stuckey and the Pacers came to the agreement on Wednesday, one day after the Charlotte Hornets swooped in to land Stephenson.More >>
    A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Indiana Pacers have agreed to terms with free agent guard Rodney Stuckey on a one-year deal to help replace the departed Lance Stephenson.Stuckey and the Pacers came to the agreement on Wednesday, one day after the Charlotte Hornets swooped in to land Stephenson.
    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.