On heels of blowout win, Eastern Washington football climbs to No. 2; QB Eric Barriere earns Big Sky honors

<p><p>Eastern Washington continued to climb in the national rankings, and its quarterback continued to collect conference honors on Monday after the football team improved to 6-0 over the weekend.</p></p><p><p>The Eagles (6-0, 3-0 Big Sky) are now ranked second in the Stats Football Championship Subdivision poll, receiving nine first-place votes. They climbed two spots from last week, after South Dakota State and James Madison lost on Saturday.</p></p><p><p>The last time the Eagles ranked second in the Stats poll was at the end of the 2018 season, after they lost the national title game to North Dakota State.</p></p><p><p>This week, Sam Houston (5-0) remained No. 1, earning 39 first-place votes. North Dakota State, also 5-0, is third and received the other two first-place votes. Montana (4-1, 1-1) jumped up one spot to No. 5.</p></p><p><p>The Big Sky is also represented among the top 15 by Montana State (5-1, 3-0) at No. 9, and UC Davis (5-1, 2-1) at No. 13.</p></p><p><p>Eastern began the year at No. 11 and has steadily climbed. In addition to its overtime victory against UNLV, it picked up a signature victory over then-No. 4 Montana two weeks ago. The Eagles beat Northern Colorado 63-17 on Saturday, the third time this year they have scored more than 60 points.</p></p><p><p>Senior quarterback Eric Barriere threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, an effort that earned him his fourth Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week honor. It is the 10th time in his career he has been given the distinction.</p></p><p><p>Barriere improved to 26-9 as a starter and currently leads the FCS with 21 passing touchdowns, 2,452 passing yards and 411.2 passing yards per game. Barriere’s completion percentage so far this season (69%) is better than it was in any of his previous seasons with Eastern.</p></p><p><p>In his career, he now ranks 12th in Big Sky Conference history with 11,206 passing yards, jumping one spot ahead of Idaho’s Ken Hobart, who threw for 11,126 yards in 44 games — the same number as Barriere has played — from 1980 to 1983.</p></p><p><p>Two other EWU quarterbacks are ahead of Barriere on that list, including Vernon Adams Jr. (eighth with 11,670) and Matt Nichols (first with 13,308).</p></p>