FOOTBALL

Florida Gators' next opponent: Scouting report on Eastern Washington football

David Whitley
Gator Sports
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Eastern Washington (1-2) at Florida (2-2)

When: Noon. TV: SEC Network Plus. Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850.

Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville. 

Last week: The Eagles lost 38-35 to Montana State in a Big Sky Conference showdown. They rallied for two TDs in the fourth quarter to take a 35-31 lead, but could not hold off the Bobcats.

Best offensive player: Cooper Kupp, only he's graduated in 2016 and now works for the L.A. Rams. That leaves senior quarterback Gunner Talkington. Besides having a great name for a passer, he has seven touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Talkington had three TDs in the loss to Montana State.

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Eastern Washington quarterback Gunner Talkington throws against Oregon during the second quarter Saturday Sept 10, 2022.

Best defensive player: Defensive tackle Joshua Jerome was a preseason All-Big Sky pick and had 14 tackles against Montana State.

Fun fact: The Eagles’ home games are at 8,600-seat Roos Field. It was built in 1966 but became famous in 2010 when the school installed red turf. The only other Division 1 school that doesn’t have a non-green playing surface is Boise State, which performs on blue turf. This is not a home-and-home series, so the Gators will not have the privilege of playing on colored turf.

Series: This is the first game between Florida and Eastern Washington. It was scheduled in 2016, largely at the behest of then-coach Jim McElwain, who’s an Eastern Washington alum. It was also supposed to be played in 2020, but the pandemic moved it back two years. Will Hurricane Ian mess with the schedule again? As of Monday morning, game has not been changed. 

Quote: “Unfortunately, late in the game, we didn't have our best pass protection and we couldn't quite get it done. We'll look at those things and tweak them, but it's not like we're off. I think we can clean up a few things up as we go forward.” – coach Aaron Best after the loss to Montana State.

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