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Sam Houston State @ #2 Eastern Washington, 2012

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There's just one game standing in their way from knowing the national championship matchup. That's No. 2 seed Eagles versus the unseeded Bearkats in today's semifinal clash at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington. Or also known as "The Inferno" because of the red turf.

The winner faces North Dakota State in Frisco Saturday Jan. 5 after the Bison defeated Georgia Southern 23-20 last night in Fargo.

Offensively, Eastern Washington will look to run the ball, but the bulk of their attack comes from quarterback Kyle Padron, who has excelled the past few games with passing performances of 381, 327 and 358 yards, with eight combined touchdowns, including a record setting six touchdowns against Illinois State in last week's quarterfinal game.

Padron has a pair of wideouts in Brandon Kaufman and Greg Herd that get the bulk of the receptions for the Eagles.

After a 458-yard, 34-point performance against Montana State in the quarterfinals, the Kats offense hopes to pick up where it left off against a defense that is ranked just 79th in total defense (allowing 394.08 yards per game). The Eagles let Illinois State gain 520 yards and 35 points in the quarterfinals.

Besides running the ball (averaging 178.5 rushing yards in playoff victories over other Big Sky members Cal Poly and Montana State), where Sam Houston has shined has been in its ability to keep from turning the ball over. The Bearkats have not turned over the ball in any of their playoff games so far.

Having played in nine games away from SHSU's home stadium of Bowers Stadium this year, including eight as true road games, the Bearkats will be playing far from home again today. But as these games have shown, they should not be that tough to handle the road.

In last week's quarterfinal matchup with #3 seed Montana State, the Kats dealt with the hostile crowd in Bozeman and Cheney should not be as tough with less seating capacity.

The Bearkats, who normally play in a much warmer climate, will have to battle the elements as temperatures are the lower 30s with a chance of snow yet today. This was a similar weather situation in Bozeman last week but did not have too much trouble in it.

I think this game will be an offensive track meet. Turnovers and the defenses holding the opposing team to field goal attempts will be the key in the game.

I think as was seen in EWU's win over Montana State earlier this season that the Eagles are the best team out of the Big Sky but having played two prior BSC team's might be a plus for the Kats.

But the Eagles, who won the 2010 national championship, I feel will be able to handle the Kats in this one but likely will come down to the last minutes in a closely contested game.

I can't wait to see how this one plays out. Kickoff is about 10 minutes away and can't wait for this one to get going.

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  1. Kent's Avatar
    The SHSU kickoff is another squib style and EWU gets it back just to their own 23.
  2. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 22. Bad pass by Adams.

    2nd & 10 at the EWU 22. Kaufman with a huge run and catch all the way down to the SHSU 18.
  3. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the SHSU 18. Clark with the catch to the SHSU 7.

    1st & goal at the SHSU 7. Adam hits Nick Edwards for the TD.

    PAT is good and we again have a game.

    SHSU 42 EWU 35 with 9:48 left in the game.
  4. Kent's Avatar
    Eagles need to adjust on defense back to the mix attack. SHSU needs to do what they did on the last drive to mix up the play calling.

    Great comeback by EWU to make this a ball game. Not too often do you see a game this close after a 35-0 halftime score.
  5. Kent's Avatar
    EWU kicks it off deep and K. Hill returns it nicely to the SHSU 40.

    Bell hits Williams on the 2nd down play to get into EWU territory.
  6. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 from the EWU 44. Sincere gets five on the wildkat keeper up the middle.

    2nd & 5 from the EWU 39. Sincere again on the keeper for 12.
  7. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 27. Flanders gets 7 on the rush up the middle.

    2nd & 3 from the EWU 20. Flanders gets stacked up but manages to get 1.

    3rd & 2 at the EWU 19. Flag on the play--delay of game on SHSU. Huge mental error with Sincere in at the wildkat qb formation.

    3rd & 7 at the EWU 24. Bell back in and can't hit the timing pattern.

    4th & 7 and SHSU will try a FG. But first SHSU will call a TO.
  8. Kent's Avatar
    4th & 7 at the EWU 24. Miguel Antonio will attempt a 41 yard FG. His kick is good.

    SHSU takes a 10 point lead. SHSU 45 EWU 35 with 5:33 left in the game.
  9. rwallace's Avatar
    35 point comeback is the record when Nevada did it vs Weber State in 1991
  10. Kent's Avatar
    The kickoff from SHSU is another squib and EWU gets it back to their own 34.
  11. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 34. Adams is picked off by Dax Swanson on a juggling catch. Just underthrown too much.

    SHSU will take over at their own 26.
  12. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 Flanders for 2.

    2nd & 8 at the SHSU 28. Flanders loses a yard.

    3rd & 9 at the SHSU 27. Bell is sacked so EWU does its job on defense. EWU calls its first time out. We have 3:42 left in the game.
  13. Kent's Avatar
    SHSU will punt. EWU returns it by Clark to the EWU 48.
  14. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 48. Adams scrambles for the first down and also gets out of bounds.
  15. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 from the SHSU 33. Kaufman hit by a perfect pass from Adams for the TD.

    PAT is good and we have a 3 point game

    SHSU 45 EWU 42. 3:04 left in the game.

  16. Kent's Avatar
    What will the Eagle do on the kickoff?
  17. Kent's Avatar
    The Eagles do the on-side kick but SHSU recovers. Not sure I agree with that call with over 3 minutes left and 2 TO's left.
  18. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 44. Flanders with a nice 5 yard run and he is slow in getting back up.
  19. rwallace's Avatar
    Well it won't be the biggest blowout but could tie for the biggest comeback in FCS and certainly the biggest in EWU history
  20. Kent's Avatar
    2nd & 5 at the EWU 39. K. Hill in for Flanders with the carry for just a yard. TO EWU #2.
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