Eastern Washington 2016 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Eastern Washington Eagles
Big Sky
After missing the playoffs in 2015, Eastern Washington got back on track in 2016. The Eagles under Coach Beau Baldwin are always one of the most prolific passing teams in the FCS and this year is no different. With an offense that started the year dropping 45 points on Washington State in a huge win and 44 points on North Dakota State in a close loss, EWU has already proven that they can beat anybody on any given day.
2016 Record: 10-1, 8-0
Coach: Beau Baldwin
Big Wins: 9/3 at Washington State (45-42), 9/17 Northern Iowa (34-30)
Bad Losses: 9/10 at North Dakota State (44-50)
Sophomore Gabe Gubrud took over the quarterback duties in the fall and never looked back. On the year he has thrown for 4,071 yards and 40 touchdowns. Those are not shocking numbers for an Eastern Washington quarterback, but Gubrud has proven to be explosive and consistent. On top of his passing, he is also the team’s top rusher. Senior wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the FCS’ all-time leader in receptions and, obviously, is one of the best pass catchers to come along in a long, long time. During his senior campaign he caught 91 passes for 1,297 yards and 12 touchdowns. With Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill, Gubrud has plenty of very talented receiving options.
Even without much of a ground game, Eastern Washington rarely has trouble scoring points. The bigger issue is on defense. This group is going to give up plenty of points just because of the system. However, the Eagles have been relatively poor against the run this year. That means good teams that can stay close against Eastern Washington can ride the ground game and at least give themselves a chance to knock off the Eagles. For EWU, they need to negate all of the yardage they allow by creating turnovers. So far that has gone very well since Coach Baldwin has a bevy of defensive playmakers who can create turnovers, but against a decent offense that can take care of the ball, Eastern Washington is susceptible.
Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Gage Gubrud, QB, 463 yards
Passing: Gage Gubrud, QB, 4,071 yards
Receiving: Cooper Kupp, WR, 1,297 yards
Tackles: Zach Bruce, DB, 95
Sacks: Samson Ebukam, DL, 6.5
Interceptions: Zach Bruce, DB, 3; Mitch Fettig, DB, 3
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 134.1 (86th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 417.1 (1, 1)
Total Offense: 551.2 (2, 1)
Scoring Offense: 45.1 (3, 1)
Rushing Defense: 205.9 (99, 9)
Pass Defense: 235.0 (85, 5)
Total Defense: 440.9 (104, 7)
Scoring Defense: 28.9 (72, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.70 (20, 3)
Sacks: 2.30 (33, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.70 (44, 5)
Recent Playoff Appearances:
2014    Second Round            Defeated Montana
2014    Quarterfinals   Lost to Illinois State
2013    Second Round            Defeated South Dakota State
2013    Quarterfinals   Defeated Jacksonville State
2013    Semifinals       Lost to Towson
2012    Second Round            Defeated Wagner
2012    Quarterfinals   Defeated Illinois State
2012    Semifinals       Lost to Sam Houston State
2010    Second Round            Defeated SE Missouri State
2010    Quarterfinals   Defeated North Dakota State
2010    Semifinals       Defeated Villanova
2010    Championship Defeated Delaware
2009    First Round     Lost to Stephen F. Austin
2007    First Round     Defeated McNeese State
2007    Quarterfinals   Lost to Appalachian State
2005    First Round     Lost to Northern Iowa
2004    First Round     Defeated Southern Illinois
2004    Quarterfinals   Lost to Sam Houston State
1997    First Round     Defeated Northwestern State
1997    Quarterfinals   Defeated Western Kentucky
1997    Semifinals       Lost to Youngstown State
1992    First Round     Lost to Northern Iowa
1985    First Round     Defeated Idaho
1985    Semifinals       Lost to Northern Iowa
1985    Semifinals       Lost to Northern Iowa
*all team stats through 11/12