Eagles win, Barriere era begins

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Eagles win, Barriere era begins

Sophomore Eric Barriere throws a pass against Idaho. Barriere threw for a career high 326 yards in the game.

Sophomore Eric Barriere throws a pass against Idaho. Barriere threw for a career high 326 yards in the game.

Mckenzie Ford

Sophomore Eric Barriere throws a pass against Idaho. Barriere threw for a career high 326 yards in the game.

Mckenzie Ford

Mckenzie Ford

Sophomore Eric Barriere throws a pass against Idaho. Barriere threw for a career high 326 yards in the game.

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

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The Eric Barriere era officially began today, as head coach Aaron Best announced that senior quarterback Gage Gubrud will undergo season-ending surgery that will effectively end his EWU career.

The sophomore, Barriere, made his third-straight start against the University of Idaho, leading the No. 5 Eagles (6-2, 4-1) over the Vandals (3-5, 2-4) by a score of 38-7.

“It might give us more of a ceiling,” Best said about Barriere stepping into the starting role. “Because Barriere is untapped, just like any guy you haven’t seen. He threw some balls out there that I was looking around to see if anyone [else] saw that ball traveled 68-72 yards through the air and still overthrew them.”

Barriere threw for a career-high 326 yards with three touchdowns in the Eagles’ homecoming game, in front of a crowd of 10,023.

Mckenzie Ford
Barriere aims for a target downfield. He threw three touchdowns against the Vandals.

“I think our wideouts were just quicker and better,” Barriere said about the Vandals’ secondary. “If I have to extend plays then I try and buy time with my legs. Just move around, but also keep my eyes downfield because defenses aren’t very good when quarterbacks start to scramble. They start to break down.”

Barriere evaded multiple defenders in the pocket, pulling Russell Wilson-esque spin moves and throwing deep downfield. Barriere ran 48 yards for the Eagles’ first score of the day, and late in the third quarter bought time with his legs to complete a 64-yard pass to Terence Grady.

Senior linebacker Ketner Kupp forced a fumble in the red zone on the Vandals’ first possession, and the Eagles went on to score 31 unanswered points. The EWU defense held UI scoreless until 6:33 remaining in the third quarter.

Cheney High School graduate, senior defensive end Keenan Williams led the team with six tackles and added a half sack.

“The last time I saw an [EWU] defense this good,” Williams said. “I’m thinking all the way back to 2010. I don’t think I’ve seen a defense this dominant since then, and I don’t think there’s a reason we can’t do the same thing they did in 2010 and make it all the way.”

Looking ahead, the Eagles will travel to Greeley, Colorado to play Northern Colorado next week, who is second to last in the Big Sky. EWU will then come back to Cheney for a matchup with playoff implications against No. 6 UC Davis on Nov. 10, who is first place in the Big Sky.