• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

A Grip on Sports: Will Eastern be able to play this week’s game in Florida? Will the Seahawks strengthen their defense? We have questions

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Sep 27, 2022

SPORTS MASTERY • We understand why someone upstairs may not want Eastern Washington to play a football game at the University of Florida. But aren’t there better ways to ward it off?


• Few years ago, the Eagles were to fly to Gainesville, get three-quarters of a million dollars, let the Gators run over it, and then go home. At least that’s how the Florida administration saw it. But then a pandemic hit and the game was never played.

But the Gators were persistent. And the EWU athletic department badly needs the money. Another deal was made. The Eagles would make the trip in 2022. Never mind that Eastern was already playing at a decent-to-great FBS school, Oregon, this season. And never mind how few, if any, FCS coaches really enjoy playing two games a year against an opponent with more purses, more size, more athleticism and more to lose.

The show (paying) must continue.

Which brings us to this week. The week of accounts. After losing 70-14 two weeks ago in Eugene, the Eagles need to put behind them last Saturday’s controversial Big Sky opener loss to Montana State and prepare for a game against an SEC school. . Maybe not the best school in the SEC, but one good enough to open the season with a win over then-Pac-12 favorite Utah.

Did we mention Florida is an SEC school?

But, for the second time in two years, the match may not be played. Hurricane Ian, a Category 3 storm, is in the Gulf of Mexico. It has already hit western Cuba, causing significant damage. It is expected to head north into Florida. Current projections push it up the state’s spine, putting Gainesville on its way through Friday.

Which also throws the game up, no pun intended.

With the Eagles scheduled to fly to the state on Thursday, decisions will have to be made soon. Although it looks like it won’t be difficult. If the hurricane is in play, the game will not be. And Eastern will have an open date again. Its budget will take a hit in 2022. And the two schools will probably push the competition further. Still.

• Before the start of the season, we were stunned to read stories about Jordyn Brooks and how the linebacker was about to take another step forward. After all, according to the account, he had a Seattle record 184 tackles last season and was still learning.

Yes, Brooks was exceptional in 2021. But we saw regression instead of progression – and we wrote it.

Bobby Wagner was gone. Cody Barton was there. And opponents would change the way they attacked the heart of the Hawks defense. The person they knew they had to control? Yes, Brooks. It wasn’t going to be the same for the third-year player.

It was not the case. The teams target Brooks. But that doesn’t matter. Not yet anyway. After three games, Brooks is on pace with 181 tackles. Hey, we were right. Regression.

I laugh. If anything, Brooks’ play so far has been even more impressive given the loss of Wagner and the regression elsewhere of the Hawk defense.

“I think Jordyn has really been at the top of her game,” Pete Carroll said Monday during a media availability. “He has a million things he does well. He does everything.

Brooks’ partner on the inside, Barton, struggled to defend and tackle passes, so it’s a bit of a surprise that Brooks had so much success. Now, if the rest of the defense could get up to his level, the Hawks might actually be successful on that side of the ball.


WSU: It’s time to look ahead. Coming to Pullman this week is California. It’s back to school. Colton Clark gets his first look at the game. … Basketball practice really started this week. Bad news from the Cougar camp. The Dishon Jackson Center is experiencing a health issue and is unavailable. Colton has more. … Kyle Manzardo is the Tampa Bay Minor League Player of the Year. This news leads to the most recent column of the SR’s local memoirs. … Elsewhere in Pac-12 and college football, Jon Wilner dropped WSU to fifth in its conference power rankings. …Wilner also takes a look in Mercury News at the first lines of this week. … The two big games in Seattle this weekend were disturbed by drones. … Washington hope to recover his health this week. The game in the Rose Bowl, however, is Friday night, which does not leave much time to prepare. … Stanford is struggling with turnovers. Oregon is hoping to enjoy this side. Dan Lanning talked about it and victory over WSU. … Oregon State has lots of ball carriers It can appeal against Utah. The utes will have to replace one of their best offensive players. … A decision has been made regarding quarterback position for this week Colorado. … The program actually becomes more difficult for Arizona State. … Arizona didn’t have to use its promising first-year receivers. … In basketball news, Colorado has a lot of work to do before the first game. … Utah feels taller, stronger and more athletic.

Gonzaga: Around the COE, BYU will miss a key player to start the season.

EU: We started today by talking about the hurricane and Eastern Florida’s trip. Dan Thompson has all the important news in this story. … Around the Big Sky, the conference has been doing well recently in matches with Mountain West schools. … Montana’s big win Saturday led to some big news on the awards front. … Montana State Quarterback Tommy Mellott, injured against Eastern, will not play against UC Davis this week. … Idaho State is on his third quarterback for the game against Montana. … In basketball news, Idaho State gave its women’s basketball coach a five-year contract extension.

Preparations: Dave Nichols has a summary of Monday’s action.

Seahawks: The defense doesn’t need a global majoraccording to Carol. It just needs a few tweaks. …Larry Stone has his thoughts on its issues. … No matter. It’s gonna be a horrible season. And it may just be well.

Sailors: Eugenio Suarez will be available for DH tonight. His injury is part a tough race for the team. … Luis Castillo met the media yesterday to discuss his contract extension.

Kraken: Seattle fans got a glimpse of what could be coming this season in a 3-0 preseason win over Edmonton.

Sirens: Despite missing the playoffs for the first time, Sounders players feel this year, with the CCL title, will have been a success.


• We understand that everyone wants to play every college football game. There aren’t many in a season. But sometimes nature intervenes. Hurricanes are not negligible. They are also unpredictable to some extent. Which means the Eagles will have to prepare as if they were playing Saturday until they are told they are not. How far do you think the equipment truck will go before the decision is made? Until later …