The fumbles keep coming in Spokane, but this time it was the home team putting the ball on the turf. Whether it’s the wacky red tint of Roos Field or both teams just feeling charitable, turnovers have been far too prevalent in the FCS semifinal between Eastern Washington and Villanova. The Eagles forced a Villanova punt and had a chance to put themselves in complete control, only to fumble the punt, giving the ball right back to Villanova.
The Wildcats took advantage, using three plays to cover 14 yards, capped by Chris Whitney’s second touchdown of the game. Whitney kept it himself, finding a hole and the oasis that is Roos Field’s black end zone. The extra point was good, bringing the Wildcats to within three with six minutes to go.
With seven turnovers between the two teams, five by Villanova, ball security will be key in the waning minutes of the game. Eastern has the added advantage of a solid running game, despite playing without All-American Taiwan Jones. In place of Jones, Mario Brown has been solid, rushing for 99 yards on 23 carries.
Eastern holds a slim 34-31 lead with just under four minutes to go and a berth in the FCS Championship Game on the line. Watch it live on ESPN2 and see Eastern’s beautiful red field in stunning HD.