EOU falls to No. 24 after loss to Western

By Observer staff October 03, 2012 02:03 pm

EOUís Sean Hurlbut leads the Mountaineers in rushing this season with 202 yards on 54
EOUís Sean Hurlbut leads the Mountaineers in rushing this season with 202 yards on 54

After its 16-3 loss to unranked Montana Western Saturday, the Eastern Oregon University football team dropped to No. 24 in the latest NAIA coaches’ poll.

The 10-spot drop is the most of any team ranked in the top 25.

The Mountaineers (2-2) started the season ranked No. 16 before moving up to No. 8 — their highest ranking in school history — after a 2-0 start.

But with back-to-back losses to Carroll and now the Bulldogs, EOU finds itself on the fringe of dropping out of the poll with a showdown with in-state rival Southern Oregon looming.

The Mountaineers are struggling to find their flow on offense this season.

Against the Bulldogs, EOU was held to 253 yards of offense and managed just 13 first downs.

For the season, the Mountaineers are averaging 266 yards of offense per game.

In 2011, Eastern Oregon had an average of 416.3.

Head coach Tim Camp talked about scaling back the offense in coming weeks to try and get his team going. 

“I think going back and looking offensively at what we have installed and how we go about doing things, I think we can tighten it up a little bit,” Camp said after Saturday’s loss.

“I think we need to simplify some things, but I won’t change what we do because that’s the sign of a losing program.

“We’ve been doing it for five years, we will continue to do it. I will adjust to the players that we have. That’s the key.”

If there is ever a defense for the Mountaineers to find a groove against, it may as well be the Raiders’ defense this weekend.

SOU is allowing 468.5 yards and 32 points per game this season.

Offensively, however, Southern Oregon could pose a threat to EOU.

The Raiders (2-2) enter Saturday’s contest as one of the highest scoring teams in the Frontier Conference.

Through four games, SOU is averaging 586 yards per game and scoring at a clip of 43.5 points per contest.

Last year, EOU fell to Southern 46-34.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Mountaineers down the road as well.

After playing the Raiders Saturday, the always high-scoring Rocky Mountain College comes to La Grande Oct. 13.

These next couple of weeks could go far in determining how the Mountaineers’ 2012 season is defined.

 

Carroll stays at No. 8

Two other Frontier Conference teams are also ranked.

Carroll College (4-2) stayed ranked No. 8 after a 42-6 pounding of Dickinson State.

Montana Tech moved up from No. 16 to No. 13.

The Orediggers pulled out a 48-45 victory in double overtime over Southern Oregon Saturday.

The biggest shakeup in the top 25 came at the top.

No. 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) fell to No. 6 after losing to then-No. 10 Saint Francis (Ind.) 25-13 Saturday. This is the first time since 2009 that Saint Xavier isn’t ranked in the top five.

Marian (Ind.). takes over the top spot in this week’s poll, receiving 11 first-place votes.

The No. 1-ranking marks the third time the Knights have received the top spot since the program was established in 2006. 

The Knights were last ranked No. 1 in the final poll of 2011.

Georgetown (Ky.) is ranked second and received three first-place votes.

Missouri Valley is third, Morningside (Iowa) is fourth and William Penn (Iowa) rounds out the top five.