Rematches with Cougars & Vandals highlight Eagles 2018 football - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Rematches with Cougars & Vandals highlight Eagles 2018 football schedule

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington Athletics

There will be plenty of interest on the Palouse this fall when the Eastern Washington University football team embarks on its 2018 schedule.
 
Highlighted by a Sept. 15 non-conference game at Washington State and an Oct. 27 Big Sky Conference home match-up with Idaho, the Eastern Washington University football team has announced its 2018 schedule. Currently at 10 games, the schedule is considered tentative and an addition of an 11th game is possible. Game times will be announced this summer.
 
Season ticket renewals begin on April 9, with different price points for a four-game home schedule and one if a fifth is added. No billing will take place until the schedule is completely finalized. More information is available at: http://goeags.com/tickets.
 
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, 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.
 
The University of Idaho will join the Big Sky in football in 2018, and EWU will play the Vandals on Oct. 27, 2018, in the first meeting between the two schools since 2012 when Eastern won in Moscow 20-3. The last time the former league rivals met in a Big Sky game was in 1995 when the Vandals prevailed 37-10 and the last time they met in Cheney was 1994.
 
After finishing 5-3 in league play a year ago en route to an overall 7-4 finish, Eastern's eight Big Sky Conference foes this coming season combined for a 45-59 record overall and, including Idaho in the Sun Belt, were 34-48 in league play in 2017. Eastern will play back-to-back games in October versus the 2017 Big Sky co-champions, Southern Utah and Weber State, who were a collective 20-6 overall and 14-2 in the Big Sky.
 
The Eagles will actually play a ninth Big Sky Conference foe when EWU starts a home-and-home series with Northern Arizona. The first meeting will be in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sept. 8, 2018, and the return game will come two years later in Cheney, Wash., on Sept. 19, 2020. The two teams didn't play in 2017, and NAU finished 7-5 overall and 6-3 in the league.
 
Eastern leads the all-time series against NAU 20-12, with Eastern winning 50-35 in Flagstaff on Sept. 24, 2016, in a meeting between the fourth-ranked Eagles and the 26th-ranked Lumberjacks. Eastern was also ranked fourth when the two teams met on Nov. 7, 2015, in Cheney, but EWU was defeated 52-30 to end its six-game winning streak. The last time EWU and NAU played in a non-conference game came in 1986 – the year before the Eagles joined the league.
 
When Eastern visits Washington State on Sept. 15, Eastern will play a WSU team coming off a 9-4 finish in 2017. The Cougars were 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference and ended the season with a 42-17 loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. Eastern lost the previous three meetings versus WSU dating back to 1907, but between 1921 and 1946 had an 8-10 record versus Washington State freshman or junior varsity squads.
 
Eastern opens league play Sept. 22 at home versus Cal Poly (1-10/1-7 Big Sky) on Hall of Fame Day at EWU. The Eagles then go on the road to play at Montana State (5-6/5-3) in Bozeman. Eastern has won the last five meetings versus Cal Poly with a 7-2 all-time record, and are 31-10 all-time versus the Bobcats with a six-game winning streak.
 
The schedule gets significantly tougher when EWU hosts Southern Utah (9-3/7-1) on Oct. 6 and then travels to Ogden, Utah, to play FCS Playoffs semifinalist Weber State (11-3/7-1) on Oct. 13. The Eagles are 6-3 all-time versus the Thunderbirds, but lost 46-28 a year ago in Cedar City, Utah. Weber State defeated EWU the week after that 28-20 in Cheney, to snap EWU's five-game winning streak in the series. Eastern is 19-15 all-time versus the Wildcats.
 
After an open date in the schedule on Oct. 20, Idaho (4-8/3-5 Sun Belt) visits Cheney where the Vandals are a perfect 3-0 against EWU. Eastern hosted Idaho at Albi Stadium in Spokane six times (1999, 1997, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1984) with a pair of wins, and have played in Cheney just three times (1994, 1992, 1942) with no wins. The Eagles trail in the all-time series 15-6, but have won three of the last five meetings.
 
The Eagles close the regular season with two of their last three on the road – Nov. 3 at Northern Colorado (3-7/2-6) and Nov. 17 at Portland State (0-11/0-8) – sandwiched around Senior Day at home against UC Davis (5-6/3-5). The Eagles are 11-1 all-time versus the Bears with a 10-game winning streak, and are a perfect 6-0 versus UC Davis. Eastern is 19-20-1 against Portland State, but have won the last two, five of the last six and seven of the last nine versus the Vikings.
 
The Eagles will play in 2019 at Washington (8/31/19), a team EWU narrowly lost to 59-52 in 2014 and 30-27 in 2011. Eastern also has non-conference road games scheduled at Florida (9/5/20) and Oregon (9/3/22, subject to change), plus home-and-home arrangements with Western Illinois of the Missouri Valley Conference and Jacksonville State of the Ohio Valley Conference.
 
 

2018 Schedule (as of March 27, 2018)

 
Date - Opponent - Site - Time - Series
Sept. 1 - Open
Sept. 8 - at Northern Arizona - Flagstaff, Ariz. - TBA - EWU 20-12
Sept. 15 - at Washington State - Pullman, Wash. - TBA - WSU 3-1
Sept. 22 - Cal Poly*% - Cheney, Wash. - TBA - EWU 7-2
Sept. 29 - at Montana State* - Bozeman, Mont. - TBA - EWU 31-10
Oct. 6 - Southern Utah* - Cheney, Wash. - TBA - EWU 6-3
Oct. 13 - at Weber State* - Ogden, Utah - TBA - EWU 19-15
Oct. 20 - Open
Oct. 27 - Idaho* - Cheney, Wash. - TBA - UI 15-6
Nov. 3 - at Northern Colorado* - Greeley, Colo. - TBA - EWU 20-12
Nov. 10 - UC Davis*& - Cheney, Wash. - TBA - EWU 6-0
Nov. 17 - at Portland State* - Portland, Ore. - TBA - PSU 20-19-1
Nov. 24 - FCS Playoffs Begin
 
*Big Sky Conference Game. %Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day. &Senior Day.
Home Football Games in Cheney Take Place at Roos Field (formerly Woodward Field) on the EWU campus.
All Times Pacific (to be announced in the summer) – most games start 5-7 minutes after the top or bottom of the hour.

 

More on EWU's Future Schedules . . .

Because of changes in league affiliations, just the 2018 and 2019 Big Sky schedules have been announced thus far. With the league consisting of 13 teams with one division, each team plays eight conference games and thus has four opponents each year they don't play. In 2016, North Dakota was an opponent EWU did not meet, and both teams finished 8-0 to share the league crown. Likewise, Eastern and NAU did not play each other in 2017 but are playing a non-conference game against one another in 2018.
 
North Dakota will be leaving the conference for the Missouri Valley Football Conference (Summit League in other sports) following the 2017-18 school year, but will still play its previously scheduled Big Sky games through 2019. Eastern is scheduled to play its last games against UND on Nov. 11, 2017, in Grand Forks, and Sept. 28, 2019, in Cheney. North Dakota will play an affiliate schedule in the league in 2018 and 2019 and not be eligible for the title, however, previously-scheduled Big Sky games against the Fighting Hawks will count in the conference standings.
 
As part of the scheduling of league games, each school has traditionally played two opponents every year as a rival. Eastern's current rivals are Montana and Portland State, however, that will change to Idaho and Portland State, with Montana becoming Idaho's second rival. That begins in the 2018 season, meaning EWU will not play a regular season game versus Montana in 2018 for the first time since 1982.
 
However, modifications had to be made because of games previously scheduled, so Eastern doesn't play the Vandals in 2019. League schedules for 2020 and beyond have yet to be announced, but starting that season EWU will play UI and PSU annually, and the other league schools on a rotating basis.
 
Eastern still needs to add at least one more game and as many as two in 2019 when teams are allowed to play up to 12 games in the regular season. Eastern already has agreements in place with three non-conference opponents in 2020 (Florida, NAU and Jacksonville State), giving EWU a six-game home schedule that season.
 
2019 SCHEDULE
8/31/19 - at Washington
9/7/19 - Open
9/14/19 - at Jacksonville St.
9/21/19 - Open
9/28/19 - North Dakota*
10/5/19 - at Sacramento St.*
10/12/19 - Northern Colorado*
10/19/19 - Open
10/26/19 - at Montana*
11/2/19 - Northern Arizona*
11/9/19 - at Idaho State*
11/16/19 - at Cal Poly*
11/23/19 - Portland State*
 
Also . . .
9/5/20 - at Florida
9/12/20 - Western Illinois
9/19/20 - Northern Arizona
9/11/21 - Jacksonville State
9/18/21 - at Western Illinois
9/3/22 - at Oregon (date subject to change)

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