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Soarin’ Into the New Season

A look at the upcoming schedule as the Eagles look to make a return trip to the FCS Season

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Junior quarterback Gage Gubrud awaits the snap in a game against the Montana Grizzlies last season

Junior quarterback Gage Gubrud awaits the snap in a game against the Montana Grizzlies last season

Ivone Garza for The Easterner

Ivone Garza for The Easterner

Junior quarterback Gage Gubrud awaits the snap in a game against the Montana Grizzlies last season

By Chris Valdez, For The Easterner

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EWU football’s quest to return to the FCS postseason will begin with a showdown in the Lone Star State, battling against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Sept. 2 to open the season. It’s one of the many marquee matchups featured on the team’s 2017 schedule.

A bitter end to the 2016 season has EWU ready to make a statement and prove not only to the Big Sky Conference, but to the entire FCS, that they have what it takes to make the next step; getting to the national championship game.

The initial reaction to the schedule release was a positive one for head coach Aaron Best and quarterback Gage Gubrud. Best’s initial reaction was “awesome,” while Gubrud simply said “excited.”

Coach Best already knew somewhat ahead of time that the Eagles would be getting a matchup against Texas Tech and a rematch with the North Dakota State Bison.

“We don’t back down from challenges,” Best said, who likes what he sees when it comes to the schedule.

The schedule release is different for everyone when it comes to the specific dates and matchups everyone is looking for. For Gubrud, there are a couple of things he looks for when the schedule comes out.

One thing Gubrud keeps his eye on is the bye week.

“Bye week is definitely one of them,” Gubrud said. Looking for when the Eagles face off against the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats is something he also eagerly searches for.

The 2017 schedule has Eastern facing off against three non-conference opponents to begin the season.

A week after facing off with Texas Tech, the Eagles will take on the North Dakota State Bison in a highly anticipated rematch on Sept. 9. The Eagles lost to NDSU 50-44 in OT last season, but this season the Bison will be coming to Roos Field.

To wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule, EWU will travel to New York to face the Fordham Rams before heading to Missoula, Montana to begin Big Sky play against the Grizzlies on Sept. 23.

This season’s slate of games also features contests such as the annual Homecoming game against the Weber State Wildcats on Nov. 4, a Hall of Fame Day game against the Sacramento State Hornets on Sept. 30, and the Senior Day game to close out the season against the Portland State Vikings on Nov. 18.

EWU will play a total of six road games and five home games this upcoming season; the same set up the team had for 2016.

“Just looking forward to getting the season started,” Gubrud said.

Best is hoping to get off to a fast start to begin the season and end it the right way.

“We hope to start the season in Texas and hope to end the season in Texas,” Best said, as the FCS National Championship game is played in Frisco, Texas every season.

 

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Soarin’ Into the New Season