FCS CHAMPIONSHIP: Eastern Washington vs. North Dakota St. Jan 3, 2019 19:04:57 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Jan 3, 2019 19:04:57 GMT -8
Welcome to SCtoC's coverage of the Eastern Washington Eagles' march through the Football Championship Series playoffs, culminating with the FCS Championship game against the North Dakota St. Bison..
This game will be previewed here with this serving as the game thread. Included will be scoring updates and stat summaries following each quarter, and at the end of the game.
We've also provided links to the official twitter accounts of each team in each match up. Often those accounts will have additional updates leading up to, during and after the games.
All times are pacific time. Times and broadcast information could be subject to change.
FCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES vs. NORTH DAKOTA ST. BISON
What: The Eagles meet a familiar foe as they face the Bison for the FCS championship.
When: Saturday, January 5 at 9 a.m.
Where: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas.
Radio Stream: 700 ESPN.
2018 Records: Eagles 12-2 (7-1 Big Sky Conference); Bison 14-0 (8-0 Missouri Valley Conference).
Head Coaches (overall as HC): Eagles - Aaron Best (16-6); Chris Klieman (66-6).
Last (Semifinals): Eagles def. Maine, 50-19. Bison def. South Dakota St., 44-21.
Previous Meeting: Bison def. Eagles, 40-13, on September 9, 2017 at Cheney, Washington.
Eagles Notes: The Eagles return to the Championship Game for the first time since 2010. They won it all that year after narrowly defeating Delaware, 20-19. Since then they've made it to the Semifinals in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Current head coach Aaron Best, an EWU alum, was the offensive coordinator for that team. Undoubtedly, he would like to lead these 2018 Eagles to a title of their own. Since joining the Big Sky Conference in 1987, they have won 10 conference championships. EWU jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and made the rest look easy as they dispensed of Maine in the Semifinal on December 15. Eagles quarterback Eric Barriere tossed seven touchdown passes in the win. Barriere, who took over for the injured Gage Gubrud in October, completed 62 percent of his passes through the Semifinal, for 2,252 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 603 yards and seven scores. Sam McPherson was the workhorse, appearing in all 14 of the team's games. McPherson rushed 186 times for 1,352 yards with a dozen trips to the end zone. Nsimba Webster posted team highs of 80 receptions for 1,287 yards and 11 touchdowns. Andrew Boston added 43 catches for 531 yards and four touchdowns. The Eagles' scored 44.5 points per game and allowed 21.6 points per game this season.
Bison Notes: North Dakota St. is no stranger to the FCS Championship, having won six titles since (and including) 2011. That includes five straight from 2011 through 2015. The Bison are the defensing FCS champion, having defeated James Madison, 17-13, in last season's title game. Current head coach Chris Klieman has been the head man for four of those championships. The Bison actually fell to eventual champion Eastern Washington in the 2010 Semifinal, 38-31, in overtime. After winning their third consecutive national championship following the 2013 season, North Dakota State finished with 17 votes which ranked them at #29 in all of Division 1 football, the highest end of season ranking of any team in the history of FCS football. The Bison outscored South Dakota St., 30-14 in the second have en route to their 44-21 win in this year's semifinal on December 14. Easton Stick completed 162 of 262 passes this season for 2,554 yards with 26 yards and five interceptions. Bruce Anderson could reach the thousand-yard rushing plateau in this game. He has 924 yards off 124 carries for a 7.5-yard average. Darrius Sjepherd caught 57 passes for 940 yards and seven scores to lead the receiving group. The Bison averaged 41.7 points per game and allowed 11.8 points per game this season.
Championship Notes: The first FCS Championship Game was held in 1978 when Florida A&M defeated Massachusetts, 35-28. These Bison and Georgia Southern have each won six championships with eight and six attempts, respectively. Youngstown St. comes in third with four titles off seven appearances. Appalachian St. won all three of it's championships consecutively from 2005 to 2007. James Madison has appeared in the past two FCS Championship Games, winning in 2016, but losing to the Bison last season. Eastern Washington won its only title in 2010; the first season the game was held at its current location of Frisco, Texas.
Photo Credits: Above left: Eagles RB Sam McPherson (photo courtesy Colin Mulvany/Spokane Spokesman-Review). Above right: Bison QB Easton Stick (photo courtesy NDSU Athletics).
Twitter: Eagles * Bison
FCS 2018 PLAYOFF BRACKET
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