EWU FB Playoffs


Taylor Newquist

Freshman Talolo Limu-Jones consoles Sophomore Eric Barriere after the Eagles 38-24 loss to NDSU in the FCS National Championship on Saturday. Barriere threw for 198 yards and rushed a touchdown in the game.

By Randle Kinswa, Co-Managing Editor/Sports Editor

The EWU football team has been selected as one of the 16 teams to participate in the Division 1 Football Championship Series playoffs for the 2021 season. 

The FCS playoffs for the 2021 season include 16 teams who were selected by the committee- except the six-at-large bids.The first round begins on April 24, followed by a second round on May 1-2, followed by the semifinals on May 8. The championship is scheduled to be played at Toyota Stadium in Friso, Texas on May 16.  

EWU finished the shortened regular season, 5-1, winning five games straight to end the season after dropping the first game at Idaho. 

EWU will play North Dakota State University (6-2), on April 24 in Fargo, North Dakota. 

Redshirt junior defensive lineman Mitchell Johnson, who made the game-clinching interception to secure EWU’s win over Idaho on April 10, said the goal has been to extend the season from six games.

“Our goal has always been to earn a seventh game,” Johnson said.

NDSU was the last team the Eagles faced in the playoffs. The last time these two teams met was in the 2018 FCS Championship game, where NDSU defeated EWU 34-24. EWU is 1-3 all-time against the Bison of NDSU.

NDSU has won eight of the last nine titles, the lone exception being James Madison’s championship run in 2016.

EWU quarterback Eric Barriere is one of the 16 finalists for the Walter Payton Award. This award is given to the best offensive player in the FCS. Past EWU greats Erik Meyer, Bo Levi Mitchell and Cooper Kupp have won the award. Barriere himself finished fifth in the voting when he was a finalist in 2019.

Redshirt senior wideout Talolo Limu-Jones, who torched the Idaho secondary on April 10 for 140 yards on 4 receptions, including 81 yards after the catch, said that he and Barriere have a great connection on and off the field.

“We got a little bit of chemistry going on,” Limu-Jones said. “Off the field …  he’s like my best friend … I think it just comes easy when we get on the field.” 

Before it was announced early Sunday morning that EWU was officially in, Limu-Jones said that the team was confident they would be selected.

“I’m pretty sure that we will get in,” Limu-Jones said. “The whole team is pretty confident that we will … it’s just a matter of who we will play.”

Early Sunday morning, Limu-Jones and the rest of the team’s assumptions were confirmed.  

The EWU and NDSU football game will be available to watch and stream on ESPN 3. Kickoff is at 12:30 P.M. Pacific Time on April 24.