UND not sure what to expect from EWU without All-American QB
When the UND football coaching staff found out Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud was going to be suspended for Saturday’s 1 p.m. matchup at the Alerus Center, the guessing game began.
“It sure has us wondering what we’re going to see,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “He’s a very good player. He’s a top guy. Not just in our league, but in the country. You always want to challenge yourself to play those guys, but how does that change their attack? I don’t know, I guess we’ll know Saturday.”
On Sunday, Eastern Washington announced Gubrud, an All-American, and starting linebacker Kurt Calhoun would be suspended for the game in Grand Forks for violating team rules.
On Monday, the Spokesman Review newspaper in Cheney, Wash., reported Gubrud and Calhoun had been arrested for obstruction.
EWU is coming off a rare two-game losing streak (Southern Utah and Weber State) and needs to win at North Dakota and against Portland State to have a shot at the FCS playoffs.
Gubrud has thrown for 2,897 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He was a Walter Payton Award finalist last year as one of the outstanding FCS players in the nation.
Calhoun had 13 tackles in last Saturday’s 28-20 homecoming loss to Weber State.
EWU is expected to play backup quarterback Eric Barriere, a redshirt freshman who has appeared in only three games this season.
He’s 1-for-2 for 13 yards and an interception, all coming in the season opener at Texas Tech.
Gubrud, a junior from McMinnville, Ore., has started 23 straight games and is a team captain.
Barriere, who’s 6-foot and 195 pounds, is from Inglewood, Calif. He had an incredible prep career at La Habra High School, where he accounted for 9,304 yards and 130 touchdowns rushing and passing. In eight career playoff games, he had 36 touchdowns.
“We know this, with their history, they’re going to recruit a quarterback that’s pretty skilled,” Schweigert said. “He’s going to be able to run the spread offense, move with his feet and throw it around pretty well.”
It’s the final game of the season for UND, as the Fighting Hawks have a bye week next Saturday. UND is 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky Conference.