On paper, Eastern Washington may have been the underdogs Saturday against Washington State. They lost 24-20, as many suspected they would. But the Eagles believe it will be a game that will shape the rest of their season.
"We knew we could play with these guys," said T.J. Lee, who had one interception on Saturday. "We're very sad we didn't get the win. We have nothing else to do but to prepare and get ready for next week."
The players were clearly disappointed because they did, in fact, hang with a team from a higher division in a major FBS conference. Rather than chastise his team for a loss, however, coach Beau Baldwin chose to look on the bright side.
"I'm not panicking because I told the guys this: if it were for a lack of effort or a lack of heart or intelligence – things like that – then I would be a little worried. We don't lack that stuff," said Baldwin. "I love them for that."
Eastern, now 1-1 against two FBS teams, has the week off to prepare for Weber State. Weber (0-2) played at No. 25 BYU on Saturday and lost 45-13.