(STATS) – Eastern Washington is faced with having to win its final two games to have a chance for a bid to the FCS playoffs, and it’s going to play the next one without All-America quarterback Gage Gubrud.
Eagles coach Aaron Best announced on Sunday Gubrud and junior linebacker Kurt Calhoun have been suspended for their Big Sky game at North Dakota next Saturday for a violation of team rules. Both have started every game this season.
“I was made aware this morning of a situation that occurred last night involving both Gage and Kurt,” Best said in a university statement. “The incident is in violation of our team rules, and in response to the situation, I have suspended both players for this week’s game at North Dakota. Unless something else unveils itself, we will then move forward. I do not plan on elaborating any further than what I have just indicated on the incident.”
Eastern Washington, ranked 11th nationally last week, lost its second straight game on Saturday to fall to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big Sky.
Best said Gubrud and Calhoun will practice with the team this week, but won’t be with the Eagles at North Dakota. The two teams shared last year’s conference title.
Gubrud has thrown for 2,897 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, ranking seventh in passing yards per game (321.9). Last year, he set the FCS single-season record with 5,160 passing yards, was named to the STATS FCS All-America second team and voted third for the Walter Payton Award as the national player of the year.
Backup quarterback Eric Barriere, a redshirt freshman, is expected to make his first start against North Dakota.
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Katenberger could start in place of Calhoun, who is second on the team with 68 tackles. He collected a career-high 13 stops in Saturday’s 28-20 loss to Weber State.