College football • Sears, Baldwin were EWU coordinators.
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Friends, colleagues, whatever you want to call it, prior to kickoff there will be little time to reminisce about old times between head coaches Saturday when Eastern Washington travels to Weber State for the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
Weber State coach Jody Sears and the Eagles' Beau Baldwin were the EWU's respective defensive and offensive coordinators under Paul Wulff between 2003 and 2006.
Since those days, which included a pair of BSC titles, life for the coaches has gone in different directions.
Baldwin took over when Wulff became head coach at Washington State and eventually led Eastern Washington to the 2010 FCS National Championship. Sears followed Wulff in an unsuccessful bid to turn around the Cougars' fortunes.
Kickoff Saturday at Stewart Stadium is 6:05 p.m.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Sears, still looking for his first victory at WSU (0-3). "A lot of faces have changed. … It will be fun to see Beau and the boys.
"I loved my time there."
Ninth-ranked Eastern Washington (1-1) is coming off a bye week. The Eagles have beaten Idaho but lost 24-20 to Washington State.
"I'm rooting for [Weber State] in every game, except for this one," Baldwin said.
As far as recognizing the other's tendencies, both coaches acknowledged it will happen. In the end, though, it comes down to the players.
For Weber State, playing EWU means taking on a ranked opponent for the second consecutive week. The Wildcats lost to then-No. 19 McNeese State 35-21, on Saturday's home opener.
"Philosophically-wise, they are similar," Sears said. "You can't dive too far into that kind of thinking.
"My concern is our consistency."
Weber State's struggling offense received a blow Saturday when junior wide receiver Shaydon Kehano fractured the fibula in his right leg. He underwent surgery Monday and will miss the remainder of the season.
Kehano had 11 catches for 149 yards and caught the Wildcats' only two receiving touchdowns.
WSU's 14.7 scoring average ranks last in the Big Sky. The Wildcats are last in total offense and defense. But the mystery is the offense, which has been outscored 59-3 in the first half, often leaving the defense on the field for large stretches.
Quarterback Mike Hoke was 9-of-19 passing for 69 yards with one touchdown and one interception against McNeese State.
"I've watched them do it right in practice," said Sears, surprised at his offensive struggles. "We're working them hard."
E. Washington at Weber State
P Saturday, 6:05 p.m.
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