NAU ready for No. 2 Eastern Washington
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona will put its regular season home win streak on the line Saturday when it hosts No. 2 Eastern Washington for Homecoming.
The Lumberjacks (4-3, 2-1 Big Sky) are coming off a 21-17 win at Portland State in which NAU captured its first Big Sky road victory. NAU is averaging 27.6 points per game and is undefeated at home this season with a 2-0 record.
Junior running back Casey Jahn has a team-best 556 rushing yards, including a pair of 100-plus-yard games. Jahn ranks third in the Big Sky in all-purpose yards with an average of 112.4.
Junior Alex Holmes is the top wide receiver for NAU with 359 yards on 23 catches.
For the defense, senior linebacker Austin Hasquet has a team-high 63 tackles and ranks 13th in the league in the category. Junior cornerback Marcus Alford is one of three players in the nation this season to return a punt for a touchdown. He also ranks first in the league in passes defended.
NAU ranks first in the Big Sky in passing defense, and third in scoring defense and total defense.
Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin is 73-26 in eight seasons and 63-23 in seven seasons.
The Eagles (7-1, 4-0) opened the season preseason No. 1 in the country. Since then, EWU has been ranked No. 2 consistently.
EWU's Walter Payton Award nominee quarterback Vernon Adams has missed the Eagles last two games due to injury. Adams, one of the top candidates for the award, has registered 2,157 passing yards and 24 touchdowns in six games.
Replacing Adams has been Jordan West, who has completed 46-of-71 passes with one interception. West has tallied 587 passing yards and five touchdowns. Cooper Kupp as expected has been leading the Eagles' wide receivers.
Kupp has a team-high 713 yards for 10 touchdowns. He's third in the league in receiving yards per game (101.9). Ronnie Hamlin leads the defense with 58 tackles, five for a loss, and one forced fumble.
EWU leads the Big Sky in scoring offense (45.2), and is second in total offense (554.9), and pass offense (344.9).