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Eastern Washington at PSU

When, where: 6 p.m. Saturday, PGE Park

Radio: KTRO (93.1 FM)

• Running back Mu'Ammar Ali had just 59 yards on 23 carries last week against Idaho State, slipping several times on the PGE Park turf as he tried to find a hole in the defense. He hasn't found a rhythm in two outings with the Vikings. 'He sat out for five games (with an injury), and I think he's trying to make up for it in one run, and you can't do that,' coach Tim Walsh says. 'The more patient he is, the better he'll play.'

The Viking offensive line hasn't found its consistency, either, though.

• Wide receiver Tremayne Kirkland could return Saturday after missing the ISU game with a pinched nerve in his neck. 'But he still has limited mobility,' Walsh says.

• Eastern Washington (2-5, 2-2) is coming off a 34-0 victory over Northern Colorado. The young Eagles need to win their remaining four games to post their eighth consecutive winning season. Their offense relies on a redshirt freshman QB, Matt Nichols, true freshman running back Jesse Hoffman and redshirt freshman receivers Aaron Boyce, Tony Davis and Brynsen Brown.

'It's a big game because we do so much recruiting against each other in the state of Washington,' Walsh says.

It's also a big game because the Vikings' goal is to go 3-0 in their remaining conference games. That might give PSU (4-3, 3-2), which also plays Oct. 28 at Oregon, a shot at the Division I-AA playoffs.