2011 Schedule for National Champs is Challenging
Eagles play non-conference games at Washington, South Dakota and Cal Poly as 2011 schedule is announced
Putting together the 2011 Eastern Washington University football schedule was nearly as difficult as it will be to play it this fall for the national champions.
For the Eagles to defend their 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship, Eastern will have to play games at Washington, South Dakota and Cal Poly. Those three teams were a collective 18-17 a year ago.
Although it is only playing four home games, those games are impressive -- including a match-up with fellow 2010 Big Sky Conference co-champion Montana State on Sept. 24 at Roos Field (formerly Woodward Field) in Cheney, Wash. Weber State visits the following week on Oct. 1 for Hall of Fame Weekend at EWU.
Eastern hosts Homecoming against Northern Colorado on Oct. 15, then ends its home schedule on Oct. 29 versus Portland State for Senior Day. Season tickets are now on sale at: http://goeags.com/tickets/ewas-fbticketcentral.html
"We have four tremendously entertaining home games, beginning the weekend when our students return to campus," said Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves. "All four games come within a span of a little over a month, so it should be great."
Washington is a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Division Subdivision (FBS), and defeated Nebraska 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl to finish 7-6 on the season. Eastern also plays NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Members Cal Poly and South Dakota State.
Although Cal Poly did not earn a berth in the FCS Playoffs, the Mustangs finished 7-4 and ranked 24th in the The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 poll. The school, located in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is currently a member of the soon-to-be-disbanding Great West Conference, but will join the Big Sky Conference in 2012.
South Dakota, located in Vermillion, S.D., was 4-7, but early in the year won at FBS foe Minnesota 41-38. The Coyotes are also a member of the Great West Conference and will join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012.
Without being able to schedule an additional home game on Sept. 10 at Roos Field -- where Eastern was 8-0 in 2010 on the new red Sprinturf surface at the "Inferno" -- the Eagles were left with a string of three-straight road games to start the season. Included is a Sept. 17 matchup with Big Sky and FCS powerhouse Montana in Missoula.
"We really like the composition of playing 10 FCS schools and one FBS game," said Chaves. "If there was one thing I wish could have happened was that we had five home games and not four but sometimes that is just what occurs in the scheduling process – it is inexact science. It took some time to complete the schedule given the challenges in the west from an FCS standpoint."
Eastern's schedule includes just four home games for the first time since 1981. However, Eastern has previously played just four games in Cheney in 2009 (plus one home game in Seattle), and 2008, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1990 (with at least one additional home game each of those seasons in Spokane). Eastern utilized Albi Stadium in Spokane as the school's main home field from 1983-89, and played two home games in Spokane and three in Cheney in 1982.
Date - Opponent - Site - Tentative Time
Saturday, Sept. 3 - at Washington - Seattle, Wash.
Saturday, Sept. 10 - at South Dakota - Vermillion, S.D.
Saturday, Sept. 17 - at *Montana - Missoula, Mont.
Saturday, Sept. 24 - *Montana State - Cheney, Wash. - 4:05 p.m. (tentative)
Saturday, Oct. 1 - *%Weber State - Cheney, Wash. - 1:05 p.m. (tentative)
Saturday, Oct. 8 - at *Northern Arizona - Flagstaff, Ariz.
Saturday, Oct. 15 - *#Northern Colorado - Cheney, Wash. - 4:05 p.m. (tentative)
Saturday, Oct. 22 - at *Sacramento State - Sacramento, Calif.
Saturday, Oct. 29 - *Portland State - Cheney, Wash. - 1:05 p.m. - (tentative)
Saturday, Nov. 5 - Bye
Saturday, Nov. 12 - at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Saturday, Nov. 19 - at *Idaho State - Pocatello, Idaho
All Times Pacific. TIMES ARE TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE CALL 509-359-6334 or 1-800-648-7697 FOR CHANGES
*Big Sky Conference Game. #Homecoming. %Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day.
Home Football Games in Cheney Take Place at Roos Field (formerly Woodward Field) on the EWU campus.
Internet: WWW.GOEAGS.COM or WWW.EWU.EDU