Football

Weekly Conversation: Eastern Washington

Hello friends. It’s the return of Travis and I for another year of weekly conversations, where we discuss whatever comes into our big, bad brains. This year, we decided to change things up a bit and divide things up into sections. Some of these will be self-explanatory.

Last week’s game.
Suburban gangsters.
This week’s game.
The best thing ever.
Random top five.
Game predictions.

Let’s do this.

Last week’s game

Seth: I’ve written more than my fair share about the team. I go back and forth all of the time about the status of the team, on one hand, I think the team is really going to be significantly better, but then the devil shows up on the other shoulder and says, “You lose Giles, Fehoko, Hinton, Brown AND Mahomes in one offseason and you think you’re going to be better?” Still though, I think the pieces are in place for there to be significant turnaround this year. What’s your overall feel for the team this year and the steps that Kingsbury took to improve as a head coach, not just an offensive coordinator?

Travis: I’m in about the same place as I am every August- optimistic to a fault, but fully prepared for the bottom to drop out before October ends. I’ve been pretty disconnected from almost everything for the last few months, but I have caught bits and pieces of info every now and then. I think Shimonek is going to be a steady hand, which, ironically, should help the defense. If he runs the offense the way Kingsbury intends (which he showed he’s fully capable of during the KU game last year), the pace could be much more methodical. I’d love to see some 8-9 minute drives, just chewing up the clock with short passes and zone reads and letting the defense rest for long stretches. If they can pull that off, then it should be a better year.

It seemed pretty dire there for a while with all the defections, but hopefully things have settled in and the guys that are still here, really want to be here.

So tell me one thing about this team that you haven’t written about so far? Is there anything you’ve been holding back?

Seth: I haven’t held anything back. That’s the one thing about the offseason as I move along, which is that if I can write about it, I will. The offseason is tough for fans, but it feels tougher for me to just crank out content on a daily basis. So if it pops in my brain, it gets written about. The only thing I’d add is something I’ve written about in the 7 Point preview, is how this team is really a team a transfers. Take a look at the two-deep and consider how many players started their careers elsewhere. It’s a lot. This is essentially half of a team of transfers.

Suburban Gangsters

Seth: Our next section is going to be all about the #DadLyfe or generall what we’re doing and where we’re going with our kids or families. From following you on Twitter, it appears that you have driven all over the state for basketball and a son that’s an internet sensation. What’s been happening this summer?

Travis: I never imagined the amount of work that these kids put in just to stay competitive in today’s sports environment. When I was in school we laid around all summer eating peaches and watching wrestling. Young athletes today are training year-round, just to keep up. It’s mind-boggling.

But it’s a lifestyle we’ve all embraced. We’re at the gym almost every night and on the road all summer. If you were to track our movements, you’d find a familiar triangular pattern: We’re either at the gym, hotel or a CVS stocking up on water and popcorn. The boys enjoy it for the most part (especially the hotels) and my wife and I love to watch Claire play basketball. It’s almost all-consuming, and eats into other hobbies (writing in particular) but we love it. And she loves the game. She works harder than anyone I’ve seen at perfecting her craft, and it’s so rewarding to watch her improve and grow.

Seth: You had previously asked me about my running before starting our weekly convo and any question is up for grabs. Although I’ll just tell you that this really happened because I wanted a new challenge and what I was doing was great and all, I felt like I was in really good shape, but I needed to push myself a bit. So, I went to my parents place and from the coral to the road is a half a mile. It’s a good rock road, doesn’t get muddy and the only thing there are cows and a rabbit that has a home along some brush halfway along the way. I started to run 3, then 4, then 5 and 6 miles before running 7 miles last weekend. The hardest thing to do is to run without music or a distraction, just me and my breathing. The running hasn’t been difficult for me. Once you get past 4 miles, it’s all mental, at least it is for me and it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other (as Big Bird says) and just keep going. I’m not out there to break any records. I’m running about 8 minute miles and that seems like a good pace for me. I have short legs, so they’ll only go so fast. I’m looking forward to heading out in the winter and spring and taking these small “Seth vacations”. Just camping in my car, getting up and running some trails, maybe 10 to 15 miles worth and then getting home. If I keep pace, I can see 15 miles in 3 to 4 hours, depending on how long I rest or take in the scenery.

This week’s game

Seth: Let’s discuss the vaunted Eastern Washington Eagles, the same Eagles that knocked off an 8-5 Washington State team last year. And maybe this isn’t so much about the Eagles, but Vegas only has Texas Tech favored by 14 points and there appears to be a lot of folks that think that Texas Tech is headed towards a severe drop-off in terms of wins and losses.

Travis: I’ve got a good friend that lives in Oregon and went to EW. We’ve been texting back and forth quite a bit and he’s rightfully confident, but also wary of Tech’s firepower if they get rolling. He said that it’ll either come down to the wire or Tech will roll. Apparently they have an all new coaching staff and lost some of their big guns in offense. However, their new OC was the QB coach at Oklahoma State for the last few years, so he’ll know to attack our CB’s pretty hard.

I’m of the mindset that I hope Tech wins, but a loss won’t necessarily mean the beginning of a terrible season. Those top tier FCS schools can hang with most BCS schools, so we’ll just have to see who’s more ready to play.

What are your expectations going up against EWU?

Seth: I think Texas Tech is significantly better, but I’m also the crazy optimistic fan that thinks that the defense is going to be better and the offense always seems to never quit. This team seems pretty focused and Kingsbury does too. Eastern Washington is missing a bunch of players, one of which is a kid named Cooper Kubb, who just finds touchdowns. He was awesome for EWU last year. And that’s the thing about EWU is that they don’t just lose some guys on offense, but they lose their most productive defenders too.

Best Thing Ever

[Ed. note: The Best Thing Ever is one thing, book, movie, article, television, etc. that you’ve recently enjoyed.]

Seth: As you know, I”m way behind the times. With that being said, I’m also a big old nerd and embracing my nerdom, I’ve started to watch Daredevil on Netflix and I’ve really enjoyed it. I think you’d probably enjoy it even if you didn’t care about comics, but I very much care about comics and this is a pretty good show. What about you? What’s your’ best thing ever for the week?

Travis: On the Monday morning before the eclipse, I stumbled across this fantastic, haunting story in The Atlantic about the first time the author witnessed one:

“It had been like dying, that sliding down the mountain pass. It had been like the death of someone, irrational, that sliding down the mountain pass and into the region of dread. It was like slipping into fever, or falling down that hole in sleep from which you wake yourself whimpering. We had crossed the mountains that day, and now we were in a strange place—a hotel in central Washington, in a town near Yakima. The eclipse we had traveled here to see would occur early in the next morning.”

Top 5

Travis: So, top 5 sandwiches? Mine are:

1. Pastrami and corned beef with mustard on rye
2. Roast beef au jus
3. Tuna
4. Turkey and mayo
5. Club

Seth:

Top 5 sandwiches
1. Turkey on wheat with mayo, tomatoes, pickles and pepperjack cheese. This is my favorite because it’s my go-to sandwhich.
2. BLT
3. Italian beef
4. Pastrami on rye
5. Muffaletta

Game Predictions

Travis: And game predictions? Since folks are now donating to hurricane relief efforts based on the number of points Tech scores, I say they win by at least a hundred.

Seth: As far as my game prediction, I think Texas Tech is going to win, 49-14. The defense is going to surprise some folks and they’ll play well. I’m going to also pass out as a result of getting past the first week and am glad there is a bye.

I’ve got you down for 107-7 win, right?

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