Fourth-ranked Eastern Washington (10-2) and No. 5 Montana (9-2) meet for an encore in the FCS playoffs on Friday, Dec. 3, after an epic regular season meeting two months ago.
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The game (9 p.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Eastern Washington vs Montana and every other FCS playoff second-round game live on ESPN+:
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Eastern Washington vs Montana Preview
Eastern Washington and Montana came down to the final play in their Oct. 2 meeting on the red turf in Cheney, Washington.
EWU escaped by breaking up a last-second throw to the end zone by Grizzlies backup quarterback Kris Brown. The Eagles won 34-28.
This time, the Eagles head to Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Montana, where the Griz haven’t lost in the playoffs since 2013. Eagles sophomore receiver Freddie Roberson said the team prepared for the more than 25,000 fans screaming against them.
“In practice we try to simulate what it’s like,” Roberson said according to Dan Thompson for The Spokesman-Review. “We’ve got speakers out there (to) try to simulate the crowd and work on offensive signals that will help us out there, because we know it’s going to be loud, and we’re going to have to communicate really well with each other.”
Montana’s defense also comes in looking tougher of late. The Griz held its last five opponents under 20 points.
Griz cornerback Omar Hicks-Onu said they look forward to the challenge of facing EWU’s high-flying passing attack again.
“We love (playing Eastern),” Hicks-Onu said per Thompson. “In the corner room, we love it. We love all the screens. We love the deep shots. So we’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year. If they want to throw a screen, we’re going to demolish it. If they want to throw a deep ball, we’re just going to make sure it’s not caught.”
EWU quarterback Eric Barriere threw for 283 yards and a touchdown in a 19-9 win at Northern Iowa in the first round on Nov. 27. Otherwise, Barriere has lit things up all season with 4,540 yards and 41 touchdowns versus just seven interceptions.
Montana also has its top signal caller playing well at times after coming back from injury. Cameron Humphrey threw for 733 yards and four touchdowns versus three interceptions in his first three games back.
Humphrey sees facing EWU a second time as an advantage.
“Watching a team on film, you don’t really have a full understanding of what they’re going to do or how they’re going to play,” Humprhey said per Frank Gogola of the Missoulian. “But in going at them a second time, you really have a good feel of their players, their play style and their scheme. So, we’re really looking forward to it.”