Eastern prepares for rivalry game with Montana
"I really just don't like them. You really don't even understand why," Eagles defensive lineman Evan Cook says.
The next game is always the biggest game for Eastern Washington, but circled, starred and highlighted on the schedule? The Montana Grizzlies.
"I mean it's Montana week, I mean this is really why you come to Eastern," Eagles linebacker Grant Williams proclaims.
Adds Cook, "We're pumped. Anytime it's Montana week it's always live around here."
"It's always a big game, there's always controversies, there's always surprises within it," Eagles All-American wide out Brandon Kaufman says.
The natural hatred between the two teams stems from a mutual respect considering how dominant both schools have been in recent years.
"Montana's won more games than anyone else in the last ten years, but I think what most people don't realize is that Eastern Washington, and this started well before I got here, has the second most wins over the last decade," Eastern's head coach Beau Baldwin says.
Cook adds, "Usually the winner has some sort of role in winning the Big Sky and so that gets the game amped up that much more."
For the 11th time in the last 17 years, both teams are nationally ranked heading into the big game, creating the perfect match-up for Eastern's home opener.
"First game it's going to be wild. The black-out, we got a new jumbotron, stands are coming in. I'm pumped," Eagles freshman quarterback Vernon Adams says.
"You know being a senior, it being my last home opener, who else would you rather play than Montana," Williams adds.
In this case, the next game really is the biggest game on Eastern's schedule.