The Eastern Washington Eagles fly down south to the desert to take on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels for the very first time in the history of the two programs. Both records are blank, both look to start their seasons in the right direction.
Eastern Washington is considered an FCS contender on a national scale, which brings us to take a deeper look at the Rebels opponent for the week one match-up.
The Eags :
In the shortened 2020 season Eastern Washington put up a 5-2 record, wins saw them take care of their opponents in the Big Sky Conference with the only loss coming to the University of Idaho. Their run to the FCS championship was short lived as they took a 42-20 loss in the playoffs to the North Dakota State Bisons.
Eastern Washington is ranked #11 in the FCS heading into this season, with Sam Houston ranked at #1. Eastern Washington will look to get to the top this time with all 22 starters returning from last year.
Eric Barriere :
The starting quarterback for the Eagles is Eric Barriere, who may be considered one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in all of the FCS. Barriere loves to air it out but also can make defensives miss with his legs.
Barriere averaged 369.0 passing yards per game in 2020 and also rushed for 20.6 yards per game. His career stats are eye-popping as he has thrown for 8,739 yards, 75 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
Barriere was a FCS player of the year candidate and a Walter Payton award-runner up. The Eagles co-captain will be a tough task for a Rebels defense that struggled mightily last year.
Aaron Best :
Best is the head coach for the Eagles, starting his fifth year with the team. Coach Best has established quite the winning culture up in the pacific northwest - a career record of 31-14.
Best is an Eagle alum and has his culture moving in the winning direction. This first meeting between coach Best and UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo provides an opportunity for both coaches to put their best foot forward on the 2021 season.
Do you know your enemy?
Eastern Washington is going to be a tough challenge for the Rebels. Now that we know a little bit more about the visitors, we can all settle in and get ready for the first edition of Eastern Washington vs UNLV.
For more information on this game, check out the UNLV Football season preview with Brandon Steele and Alex Wright. The audio can be found on Spotify by searching, The Rebel Report Podcast or on our Rebel Report website.