After a 2600 mile trip to Idaho, the Eagles were able to beat down the Vandals with a daunting offensive and defensive performance to extend their three game win streak and 11 conference win streak.
The Eagles played to a stadium of only 14,440 but gave the crowd, and the Vandals, a rushing tutorial. When the clock hit zero, junior running back Matt Breida and the rest of the offense ran for 441 yards along with 127 yards through the air, both of which were season highs. The offensive line was able to get a huge push and frequently bowled over defenders to clear paths for the runners.
After stalling on their first couple drives, Breida rung the touchdown bell by ripping through the middle for an 83 yard touchdown run which was facilitated largely by his speed. He would go on to make another big run of 66 yards in all-star fashion by out running defenders until being cornered on the sideline, reversing field, running perpendicular to the goal line until he was clear of defenders, then getting north and south to collapse into the end zone. He finished his day with 12 carries for 179 yards along with two touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore L.A. Ramsby added to the attack with 64 yards on 11 carries in a performance that could only be described as devastating and punishing. Also, the young runner Wesley Fields was able to scamper for 47 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
Junior quarterback Kevin Ellison gave a truly inspiring performance at the helm for the Eagles. He began a bit shaky, but the one-two punch delivered by Favian Upshaw was too much for the Vandal defense to keep up with. Ellison lived up to his twitter handle (MrAllPurpose4) as he ran for 135 yards and threw for 104 yards. A huge chunk of his rushing yards came on a 53 yard scamper that included shoving an Idaho defender to the ground. Ellison finished the day completing 6 out of his 14 passes for 105 yards, coupled with 134 yards rushing on 13 carries with two touchdowns.
B.J. Johnson led the Eagles in receiving with 93 yards on four receptions, including a 36 yard leaping catch that set the Eagles up for a score. Wesley Fields, Ryan Longoria, and Derek Keaton each added one reception.
Chris DeLaRosa and Antwione Williams led the Eagles in tackles with nine a piece. Caleb Williams had two tackles and an interception, his first of the season. One of the most exciting plays was an interception by 6’1″, 310lb junior defensive lineman Jay Ellison, the first one of his career. Jamal Johnson, Deshawntee Gallon and Antonio Glover each had six tackles.
It’s always great to be riding a win streak, but along with sitting at the top of the conference the Eagles lead college football in several categories. The offense as a whole currently leads all of the FBS with 1432 yards rushing, leading the second school (Arizona) by over 100 yards. Breida is sitting pretty as he leads the country in yards per carry, with 10.9 yards. That’s not a misprint, Breida averages a first down every time he touches the ball. He is currently tied for second in rushing touchdowns and sixth in the country in rushing yards. It is important to note, he trails the nation’s leading rusher by less than a hundred yards and has half the number of carries.
The Eagle offense is primed and in mid-season form. They will need this momentum as they head into their next game against ULM, the team they narrowly beat to win the conference championship at the end of last season. The Eagles will have to take on their new foes on the road again next Saturday.