November 20, 2008

Q and A: Football Player Greg Peach

Nov. 20, 2008

A video of some of Greg Peach's top plays in 2008 and his season highlights may be viewed at:
http://goeags.cstv.com/multimedia/ewas-peach-highlights08.html


By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information

Greg Peach and the rest of the 18 seniors on the Eastern Washington University football team will be playing the final game of their careers this Saturday (Nov. 22) in Ogden, Utah., as they take on Big Sky Conference champion Weber State.

Not only is it Peach's last game, but it will be his last opportunity to set even more records and further establish himself as a top contender for the most prestigious award given to the a defensive player in EWU's classification.

Having already set the school records for sacks in a single season (18) and sacks in a career (35 1/2), with one more sack Peach will tie the single season Big Sky Conference sack record with 19, which was set by Andy Petek of Montana in 2000. If Peach reaches three sacks against the Wildcats this weekend, he will tie the Big Sky Conference career sack record of 38.5, set by Idaho State's Jared Allen, who is currently starring in the National Football League with the Minnesota Vikings.

Honors are expected to fill Peach's resume at the end of the season, and he's a top candidate to receive the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Peach is the FCS leader in both sacks (1.80 per game) and tackles for loss (2.20 per game).

Voting for the award will be conducted right after the season concludes, but the winner won't be announced until Dec. 19 in Chattanooga, Tenn., on the eve of the FCS Championship Game. In 2007, Montana's Kroy Biermann won the Buchanan Award after leading the Big Sky and finishing second in FCS with 15 sacks in 12 games (1.25 per game). He also had 17 tackles for a loss and 68 total tackles.

Peach is part of a rare duo, having never redshirted since arriving on campus in 2005 out of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash. On the entire Eagles roster, only Peach and fellow senior Adam Macomber are the only four-year players who have never redshirted. Peach started five games as a true freshman in 2005 and registered his first career sack in the NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoffs against Northern Iowa.

In 2006, Peach started all 11 games and earned honorable mention Big Sky Conference honors. He finished the season with 5 1/2 sacks, including two in Eastern's season-ending 40-6 victory over Idaho State.

Peach broke out in 2007, bringing down opposing quarterbacks 11 times in Eastern's 13 games. He received second team All-America honors from the Associated Press, honorable mention from The Sports Network and was first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection

This season, Peach has been unstoppable. After failing to get a sack in his first two games of the season, Peach had three against Western Washington (9/20/08) and Idaho State (9/27/08), and then had one against Portland State (10/4/08). He registered four versus Montana (10/11/08) for the top performance in a single game in FCS this season, and then had three versus Montana State (10/18/08) to break the school's career record. He added two more in games against Northern Colorado (11/8/08) and Northern Arizona (11/15/08) to shatter the single season school record. He broke the previous career record of 30 set by Frank Staudenraus (1982-85), who also held the single season record with 15 in 1985.

Q: You have 18 sacks on the season, and Weber State has only given up 17 sacks all year. What can you do to get by this offensive line?
A: "Weber's offensive line has been solid all year, but they haven't faced a defensive line like ours. My plan going into every game is to wear my tackle out and I know I will do that on Saturday."

Q: You are within one sack of tying the Big Sky Conference single season sack record. Is it your goal to break it this weekend?
A: "Yes, I guess it is -- I always want to have a good game and break records. But whatever gets us a win I'll do. Breaking the record would be a plus."

Q: After a semi-disappointing season, how important is it to finish out the season with a win?
A: "It's big -- this is the last game for the seniors and we want to come out of it with a win. I'll remember this game and this trip for the rest of my life. If we lose it's not going to be as great of a memory."

Q: What is your most memorable game or moment as an Eagle?
A: "My most memorable game is McNeese State -- that was the greatest feeling on the football field I've ever had. The energy of the playoffs was awesome and the way we shut down the No. 3 team in the nation was great. My most memorable moment was my first career sack against Northern Iowa in the playoffs my freshman year. The season was rough for me, but for some reason that sack in the last game of the year made it a little better."

Q: In last week's Q and A with Toke Kefu, he said you could wrestle an alligator and win. What do you think about that, and what would your strategy be?
A: "I think he's right. My strategy would be to use my patented swim move over his mouth and strangle him from behind. I would hope the other seniors on the island would help out a little bit too."

Q: You are a top candidate for the Buck Buchanan award given to the nation's top defensive player. How does that make you feel and how do you like your chances?
A: "That's a huge honor and I'm grateful to even be nominated. As for my chances, you never know what people think about you so it's all up to the voters. I hope they vote for me though."

Q: Your parents are missionaries in the Philippines but come back to the states to see you play. What was that like growing up and what does it mean to you to have them watch you play?
A: "They've been over there for a couple years now so I have grown up in the states. But it's really cool that they get to come watch me play and it's always good to see them as much as possible."

Q: What are your goals for after you graduate?
A: "I would like to try and play professional ball somewhere or finish up my schooling."

Q: Who have been the most influential people in your playing career?
A: "My parents got me started on football, so they have obviously been influential. So have my coaches through the years -- coach Kesler from high school is one of them. Former coach (Malik) Roberson from Eastern taught me how to really play defensive line -- I wouldn't be where I am today without him. Coach (Ryan) Sawyer this year has really helped me out. We've only known each other for less than a year but my game has improved because of him."

Q: What part of football do you enjoy the most?
A: "I enjoy the road trips with my friends. These are my best friends and to be able to travel the country with them and experience the things we have together is something I will never forget."

Q: If you could meet with one person, past or present, who would it be and why?
A: "Abraham Lincoln. They call me `Honest Greg' because of my beard. I'd like to see how much we do look alike."

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