Week 3 Game Preview: SLU @ Eastern Washington

This Saturday, the SLU Lions travel all the way up to beautiful Cheney, Washington, for a matchup against the Eastern Washington Eagles. This will be a great matchup, as both teams are both recently and historically successful and have history behind the program. EWU’s field is named after NFL 2x 1st team all-pro Left Tackle Michael Roos and has been the collegiate home of notable current NFL players such as Cooper Kupp, Samson Ebukum, Kendrick Bourne, Taiwan Jones, and Nsimba Webster. Eastern Washington also plays on the famous red turf, pictured below:

Southeastern is coming off a loss, yes, but a productive one. Many questions were answered in their 35-17 defeat over South Alabama, and the fact that the Lions were able to keep things competitive with a 10-win from last season FBS team for an entire half bodes well for the rest of their easier schedule. This is the last of SLU’s 3-game non-conference road trip, as the Lions will return home and start conference play on September 23rd. In the meantime, SLU will be looking for their first win of the season this weekend.

For the Eagles, they are also looking for their first win. Two weeks ago, EWU traveled to Minneapolis and played perennial FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, and NDSU won handedly, 35-10. EWU played Fresno State very close last weekend in California, narrowly losing by a score of 43-31 to the FBS opponent in double-overtime.

It’s unclear who will start for SLU on Saturday. Both Zachary Clement and Eli Sawyer will see time under center, and Clement will almost certainly see more playing time as he has in the first two games of the season, but both quarterbacks have opened a game under center so far in 2023. Clement currently leads Sawyer in passing yards, 307 – 168, and in completions, going 23-33 against Sawyer’s 18-31. Harlan Dixon will certainly handle the bulk of the running game for the Lions, and a variety of receiving options will be featured as well. Ian Goodly will look to lead the team in tackles for the third time this season.

For EWU, sophomore Kekoa Visperas will lead the Eagles offense. Visperas has thrown for 499 yards in two games along with 3 touchdowns. Leading the Eagles in carries is sophomore Tuna Altahir, with 20 for 48 yards, and leading the team in yards is junior Justice Jackson, with 79 on just 11 carries. This is, and has always been, a pass-heavy offense under head coach Aaron Best, who has led this team since 2017 and been involved with the program, as both a player and coach, for every year since 1996 except for 2017. leading receiver. Leading receiver Efton Chism III also will be heavily involved this Saturday. On defense, look out for linebackers Ben Allen and Adam Cohen, who have combined for 28 tackles thus far.

The game will take place at 3 PM Central, 1 PM Pacific (local time) on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.