NDSU Defense Focusing in on Eastern Washington QB Barriere
Barriere was Big Sky Player of the Year
FARGO, N.D. — The North Dakota state defense has its work cut out for them on Saturday having to stop the Big Sky player of the year and dual threat quarterback Eric Barriere.
The Bison saw the Walter Payton award finalist in the 2019 national title game his first full season as a starter. Now Barriere is a senior with two more years of experience and playing on a different level.
The Eagles QB1 is completing the most passes he’s ever had at 62 percent averaging just under 365 yards passing per game good for fourth best in the FCS.
NDSU’s defense is giving up 173 yards per game which is top 20 in the country and what they’re keying in on most is Barriere’s ability to get outside the pocket.
“I think back about the 18-19 championship game, he was more willing to get that extra yard,” head coach Matt Entz said. “I think now because he’s dealt with some injuries, I’ll slide, I’ll get down. Let’s get lined up and go again. Having greater control of the offense. Again, explosive play, let’s get up on the ball and let’s get the defense on their heels.”
“He’s reading defenses a lot better. He’s checking his alignment to slide in protection the right way,” safety Dawson Weber said. “He’s more comfortable out there having more games under his belt. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. His ability to scramble and makes that way is big for him.”
Last time both teams played at the FargoDome, NDSU won an overtime thriller 50-44 back in 2016.