So much for a rivalry: Eastern Washington players don't know about 2004 loss to Sam Houston State
Eastern Washington will play Sam Houston State on Saturday in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. Eastern lost to Sam Houston State in the 2004 playoffs, not that this year's Eagles know much about that.
FCS semifinals, Sam Houston State @ Eastern Washington, 1 p.m.
Remember 2004? You know, the big comeback that year by Sam Houston State to beat Eastern Washington in the football playoffs?
The Eagles don't either, which has led to some interesting interviews this week.
Eight years ago, Eastern blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose an FCS quarterfinal game to the very same school they'll play on Saturday at Roos Field.
Dec. 5, 2004 in Cheney. Sam Houston State 35, Eastern Washington 34.
Payback time. The score is probably plastered on every locker, right, Bo Schuetzle?
The Eagles cornerback looked into two television cameras and blinked.
"Uh, I haven't really heard much about that yet," Schuetzle said apologetically.
No problem, a TV reporter reassured him. Schuetzle must be too busy with finals.
Next up was quarterback and native Texan Kyle Padron, who probably forgot all about the Alamo when he heard about that game in 2004.
"No, sir, I don't," Padron said, when asked if he knew about the game.
Clearly this was a generational issue. Twitter wasn't even around in 2004, so how would they know?
Finally it was time for coach Beau Baldwin to put this whole thing in perspective and save the story line. He warmed to the subject.
"It might be one of the worst games I've gone through," said Baldwin, who was the Eagles' offensive coordinator that year under Paul Wulff. "It was bitter, it was nasty, but I give (Sam Houston) credit, they made plays in the fourth quarter."
Finally the hot button had been pushed. Baldwin probably has the pregame speech already written, a player from 2004 hand-picked for the occasion. Right?
"I guess I'm kind of with the players on that one," said Baldwin.
Some Eagles fans probably remember and want some payback, Baldwin speculated, but then he put himself in the shoes of his current players, most of whom are on the other side of 20.
"Payback for what? I was in the third grade."
• Eastern offensive tackle Will Post was named to the FCS All-America first team. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Post is from Portland and has allowed just one sack. Receiver Brandon Kaufman was named to the second team and kicker Jimmy Pavel to the third team.
• Tickets for Saturday's game can be purchased at www.ticketswest.com or 1-800-325-SEAT.
• With starting cornerback T.J. Lee III listed as questionable with a lower back strain, backup Schuetzle might see more action.