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The Eagles started the year the butt of college football's jokes. People couldn't understand their red turf and laughed at them because of it. Now, the tables have turned. The Eastern Washington Eagles are the one laughing as they take the national championship back to Cheney, WA.
If you missed the game, or just want to relive the magical comeback, ESPN has all of the highlights you crave
After the game, Eastern Washington players were, understandably, very excited. Bo Levi Mitchell, who ended the game with three touchdown throws in 20 minutes and 302 yards, grew up in Texas and started his college career at SMU. During a post game interview, transcribed by Travis L. Brown from ESPN Dallas, he was very thankful to those who gave him his start:
"Thank you for everyone who got me here and taught me how to do what I do," Mitchell said. "To Coach Jones and Coach Joseph...they got me to where I am right now."
He was also very thankful of his teammates around him:
"In the second half, the receivers just turned it up. They did everything they’ve been doing all year and that’s making plays. My balls weren’t perfect. They weren’t. They made plays and do what they had to do and we won the game because of them."
EWU coach Beau Baldwin also gave credit to the offense, specifically Mitchell and the wide receivers, in this interview provided by the Associated Press:
"We started to go up-tempo," coach Beau Baldwin said. "We wanted to play as fast as we could on offense. We felt like that was going to give us the best chance. We took it to a speed where that would give us a little bit of an edge. It allowed Bo and the receivers to get into a rhythm."
Meanwhile, in the portion I know that you all have been waiting for, politicians were reacting to the news of the national championship. As seen earlier is this story stream, Joe Biden, who appeared in the ESPN broadcast booth to boast about his Delaware Alma Matter, was none too pleased with the fourth quarter permanence of his Blue Hens:
While Biden was sulking, Washington governor Chris Gregoire was busy planning a dinner with food she gained in a bet with Delaware governor Jack Markell.
For the record, had the Blue Hens held on to that 19 point lead, Governor Gregoire would have had to send Washington steak, potatoes, and Walla Walla Wine to Delaware.
The best part about Eastern Washington’s amazing comeback win over the Delaware Blue Hens is the fantastic crowd shots that came about as a result. Delaware was well on their way to victory, up 19-0 in the third quarter. The fans were happy, the team was confident, and the FCS national championship was theirs. And then Bo Levi Mitchell decided it was time to get down to business.
Eagles threatening, but the game is still in hand.
Signs of trouble, but Delaware is still good to go.
Joe Biden, who raved about his Blue Hens on the ESPN2 broadcast early in the first quarter, realizes what happened as reality set in.
Finally, the best smack talk you will ever see. Mad props to this Eastern Washington fan for hitting Delaware where it hurts.
From up 19 and comfortable to stunned in a one-point loss, Delaware fans went on a roller coaster ride. The pictures above, shot by ESPN cameras throughout the game, illustrate the flow of the game, giving us as good a story as any recap would. Happy to sad, all in the span of about 20 minutes of game time.
Congratulations, Eastern Washington and way to put on a great show. You boys did the state proud tonight.
The cardiac kids from Cheney have done it again. The Eastern Washington Eagles, facing a 19-0 deficit with the third quarter winding down, mounted a furious comeback, scoring the final 20 points of the game to shock the Delaware Blue Hens and win the FCS Championship, 20-19. The Eagles had been unable to move the ball all day, but sprung to live using the arm of Bo Levi Mitchell, rallying for the lead. The defense made huge stops when they needed, including a fourth down stop on Delaware’s final drive to seal the game.
Mitchell played an incredible game after struggling in the first half. He finished with 302 yards, all three of Eastern’s touchdowns and one interception. Brandon Kaufman was the favorite target down the stretch, catching two touchdowns, including the game-winner. With little run game to speak of, it was all on Mitchell, and boy did he deliver.
Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin was as-advertised, throwing for 220 yards and an interception. Devlin had carved-up the Eastern defense early, but felt the pressure down the stretch as the Eagles’ defense turned up the heat and dialed-up the blitzes. Andrew Pierce had a standout game on the ground, rushing for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Congratulations to the Eastern Washington Eagles, national champions at the FCS level. If you missed it, you missed one hell of a ballgame and one hell of a comeback from the Eagles. Your final score: Eastern Washington: 20, Delaware: 19.
The Eastern Washington Eagles rallied all the way back from down 19 to take a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter against the Delaware Blue Hens. The FCS Championship Game appeared to be all but over in the third quarter, with Delaware holding a commanding 19-0 lead. Eastern quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell would have none of it. Three times Mitchell has carried the Eagles down the field, using his arm to guide them into the end zone.
On the go-ahead drive, the Eagles faced a fourth down from the Delaware 21. The Eagles elected to run, appearing to come up just short of the first down. A favorable spot, and two reviews, gave the Eagles a first down, setting up the go-ahead score. Mitchell hit Brandon Kaufman in the back of the end zone, the second time the two have hooked up, for the score after Kaufman made a tremendous acrobatic catch.
With 2:30 to go, the Eagles have the lead, but this game is far from over. Eastern’s defense has been strong in the second half, shutting down the Hens since they scored to make it 19-0. The Eagles hold a slim one-point advantage, 20-19.
The Eastern Washington Eagles are storming back in the fourth quarter and we have ourselves a game in the FCS Championship. Needing a touchdown, the Eagles took care of business, driving 89 yards and 14 plays to make it a one-score game. The Eastern Washington defense has held in the second half after allowing Delaware to run all over them, setting up what looks to be a frantic fight to the end.
Bo Levi Mitchell again converted down the stretch, picking up crucial third downs, and even a fourth down, while moving the Eagles down the field. Mitchell found Nicholas Edwards in the back of the end zone from nine yards out to cap the drive with a score, bringing the Eagles to within six. After two and a half quarters of Delaware in control, Eastern should its propensity for late comebacks, scoring the last 13 unanswered points.
Mitchell did it all on the scoring drive as the Eagles never ran the ball. The Eagles threw 15-straight times, finally finding holes in the Blue Hen defense. Like he has during the playoffs, Mitchell has been clutch, somehow finding ways to make plays with the game on the line.
With just over five minutes to go, Eastern is within striking distance, trailing Delaware, 19-13. The Eagles do have the ball with the chance to take the lead after stopping Delaware on third down.
Stop the presses! The Eastern Washington Eagles lurched to life with their backs against the wall, finally putting together a scoring drive in the third quarter. Down 19-0 to the Delaware Blue Hens in the FCS Championship, Eastern came roaring back, putting together a “where have you been all day” drive, capped with an acrobatic 22-yard touchdown catch by Brandon Kaufman.
The drive was just what the doctor ordered for an Eagle offense that struggled to move the ball against a stout Delaware defense. The Eagles used the quick strike, driving 80 yards in just five plays to get on the board. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 3-4 on the drive, throwing for 79 of Eastern’s 80 yards. Kaufman was the favorite target, catching two passes for 46 yards, including an impressive catch and run to find the end zone. Kaufman broke a tackle, went airborne and dove into the end zone, barely breaking the plane. The two-point conversion failed.
With just one quarter to go, the Eagles are alive, but just barely. Delaware holds a 19-6 advantage heading into the final frame in Frisco, Texas.
The Eastern Washington Eagles started the second half of the FCS Championship on the right foot, forcing the Delaware Blue Hens to punt and finally beginning to move the ball. A high pass by Eastern quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, a tipped ball and an interception ended the drive and gave Delaware the chance to, effectively, end the game in the third quarter. Again, Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin look sharp putting together a strong drive for the Hens.
It took 10 plays to travel 60 yards, but Delaware finally found the end zone again, after settling for field goals in the first half. Andrew Pierce did the work on the ground, breaking a 17-yard run early in the drive to jump-start the Hens. Devlin only threw two passes, letting the Delaware rushing attack do the talking as they wore down the Eagles defense. David Hayes ended the drive, plunging into the end zone from one yard out.
With that, the Eagles look to be in serious trouble, trailing Delaware in the third quarter, 19-0. With the offense stalling and the defense looking worn out, it’s a tough road ahead for the Eagles to claw back into this.
The Delaware Blue Hens are pitching a shutout, holding the Eastern Washington Eagles offense completely in-check for the first 30 minutes. The Eagles finished the half with no points and just 62 yards, heading into the half with a 12-0 deficit. Delaware, on the other hand, has been efficient on offense, scoring on three of its first four possessions in the half. Pat Devlin has been as advertised, guiding an impressive Delware offense.
Devlin finished the half with 114 yards passing and 14 yards rushing at the helm for the Hens. Andrew Pierce was the workhorse on the ground for Delaware, rushing for 78 yards and a score — good enough to outgain the entire Eastern offense. Nihja White added five catches for 73 yards to lead all receivers.
For Eastern, Bo Levi Mitchell had a tough half. With his receivers having issues with drops, Mitchell completed just six of 11 passes for 36 yards in the half. Mario Brown led the Eagles on the ground with 21 yards on six carries. Greg heard had a team high 20 yards on two catches.
With 30 minutes to go in the FCS Championship, Eastern trails Delaware, 12-0. The Eagles have to find a way to slow down Devlin and Pierce while somehow getting their own offense on track in the second half. Judging by how Eastern got here, and the heroics they’ve pulled before, we’re in for a fun second hafl. Follow all the action live on ESPN2.
The Delaware Blue Hens are making it look easy in the FCS Championship, marching the length of the field twice in their first two possessions. The first time, Delaware drove 80 yards and found the end zone on an Andrew Pierce run. The second time, it was Delaware driving again, this time kicking a field goal from inside the five. In the second quarter, Eastern Washington is trying to settle in, trailing Delware, 9-0
The Eagles had a chance to get off the field after an interception, but instead saw a great play negated by an offside penalty. It proved to be costly, though it could’ve been worse, after the Blue Hens got on the board for the second time in as many tries. A great play in the end zone by Eastern prevented a touchdown on third down, forcing the field goal.
Again it was Pat Devlin leading the way, throwing with clinical precision and executing impressive zone-reads. Devlin’s arm, and the added bonus of his legs, have been tough for Eastern to stop as Delaware wears down the Eastern defense. The Eagles’ offense has to get something going with Delaware in control early, 9-0.
The Eastern Washington Eagles got the ball first to open the FCS Championship and looked poised to start-off on the wrong foot. A first down, a 16-yard strike from quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and the Eagles were in business. It wasn’t to be, however, as Eastern was forced to punt, giving the ball to the Delaware Blue Hens and dynamic quarterback Pat Devlin.
Taking the ball at their own 20-yard line, Delaware strung together a drive, mixing the run and pass to gash the Eagles as they moved down the field with precision. Andrew Pierce, the perfect compliment to Devlin’s abilities, finished the drive off with a two-yard plunge into the end zone. Devlin finished the drive 4-5 for 34 yards. Pierce added 24 yards on the ground and Devlin scrambled for another 21.
The Blue Hens have the early lead with the FCS Championship on the line, 6-0. Eastern did get a small victory, blocking the extra point.
As a nice display before tonight's FCS Championship game, skydivers dressed in both Eastern Washington and Delaware colors were to parachute into the stadium with flags tied to their body. The Eastern Washington skydiver, with American flag in tow, looked great soaring through the air. One problem ... he missed the target. Not only did he miss the target, he apparently missed the entire stadium. I mean, it is a small target and all, but you've gotta be better than that.
Here's a picture of the skydiver from SWXRightNow on Twitter.
Woops. Close, but not quite, champ. Not exactly the best start, or a good omen, for the Eagles. The Delaware-dressed skydiver, on the other hand, did stick the dismount, landing in the stadium just fine. One of two ain't bad, at least.
The 2011 FCS Championship Game kicks off at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Follow our StoryStream for all the action from Frisco, Texas as Eastern Washington battles Delaware.
Friday night’s FCS Championship game features the chance to get a look at NFL Draft prospect Pat Devlin, quarterback of the Delaware Blue Hens. Devlin began his career at Penn State, spending two years with the Nittany Lions before transferring in an effort to find more playing time. At Delaware, he stepped in as the starter right away in 2009, and has been a big key to the Hens success in 2010.
Here’s a look at the two prospects in the FCS Championship Game.
Pat Devlin, Delaware quarterback: Ranked as the No. 98 overall prospect in the 2011 Draft by SB Nation’s Mocking the Draft, Devlin is completing just below 70 percent of his passes in 2010. The senior threw for 2,810 yards and 22 touchdowns to just two interceptions thus far and is a load to handle for any defense. The Eagles have a tough task ahead, so keep an eye on this talented prospect.
Renard Williams, Eastern Washington defensive tackle: Williams just barely makes to top-200, sliding in under the wire at No. 198. In 2010, for the second-straight year, Williams was named to the All-Big Sky first team for his work in the trenches. Williams turned heads with a breakout sophomore year, and has seen his share of double- and triple-teams as a result. While his stats are down this year, the big man did scoop up a fumble and run for a touchdown. Keep an eye on him.
Even though it’s FCS football, a division lower than the big boys, there’s still plenty of talent to see. The FCS Championship between Eastern Washington and Delaware features some of the best the FCS has to offer and should be a great show on Friday night. Stay tuned to our StoryStream for updates throughout the game.
With the FCS Championship Game a foreign concept to most -- PLAYOFFS? -- it's time for a little primer. Ahead of Friday night's game between the Eastern Washington Eagles and Delaware Blue Hens, we've got all your facts, figures and information. Time to get educated!
Location: Pizza Hut Park in beautiful Frisco, Texas, home of FC Dallas.
Teams: The Eastern Washington Eagles (12-2) versus the Delaware Blue Hens (12-2)
Broadcasters: Dave Neal, Andre Ware and Jon Berger are on the call for ESPN2. Nothing like the smooth sounds of Andre Ware to get you through the FCS title game.
Weather: Clear, but cold today in Frisco. The high is 65, but the low should inch down toward freezing. A wee bit of wind is also expected, with it gusting about 10 mph right now.
Closest Game: There have been two one-point games in FCS Championship history, the latest of which came in 1997. Youngstown State barely got by McNeese State for the title, winning 10-9 in what sounds like an exhilarating game.
Most Lopsided Game: In 2003, Delaware walloped Colgate in the championship game, 40-0. The win was the most lopsided in FCS Championship history, and a bad omen for the Eagles.
Notable Facts: Delaware has been in the finals three times before, compiling a 1-2 record. In their first appearance in the championship game, the Blue Hens lost to Eastern Kentucky, perhaps a good sign for Eastern Washington. The Eagles are making their first appearance in the FCS Championship Game. Georgia Southern, the team Delaware eliminated in the semifinals, boasts the most FCS Championships, with six.
Stay tuned to our StoryStream for the latest leading up to the FCS Championship tonight at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
It all comes down to this for the Eastern Washington Eagles. On Friday night, in Frisco, Texas, the Eagles hit the field looking to cap their FCS playoff run with a championship. The top-ranked, and fifth-seeded, Eagles have a date with the Delaware Blue Hens, and prolific quarterback Pat Devlin.
Unfortunately for Eastern Washington, All-American running back Taiwan Jones will be watching from the sideline. The Eagles leading rusher broke his foot ahead of Eastern's FCS semifinal win over defending champion Villanova on Dec. 17. The Eagles fared well against the Wildcats, using a strong performance by quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and a defense that locked down in critical moments. Against the Blue Hens, Eastern needs more of the same, especially from Mitchell.
Delaware makes its way to Frisco after a 27-10 win over Georgia Southern in the other FCS semifinal. Quarterback Pat Devlin, a bonafide NFL prospect and transfer from Penn State, is a handful for opposing defenses, and can break a game open at any moment. Devlin finished the FCS semifinal with 137 yards and two touchdowns. With Devlin under center and Andrew Pierce, whose 186 yards in the FCS semifinal took the pressure of the Blue Hens' quarterback, manning the backfield, the Hens offense is a handful.
The Eagles and Blue Hens hit the field at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Stay tuned to our StoryStream throughout the game and follow along with all the action as the Eagles play for the FCS Championship in Frisco, Texas.
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