"Any time you go on the road in this conference and find a way to get a win, it's huge," said Eagles head coach Beau Baldwin.
The Eagles (7-2, 5-0 Big Sky) fell behind with five minutes left in the first half but didn't stay down for long. They took the ensuing kickoff down to the Bengals 20-yard line, and two plays later were in the end zone.
"I give Idaho State credit. They went up 24-17 and we were reeling a little bit," Baldwin said. "In the second half we were able to get on a roll, and play a better fourth quarter. But there are definitely things to work on."
While the Bengals seemed to be grinding it out on offense, frequently moving the chains, the Eagles feasted on big plays, including touchdown receptions of 35 yards and 54 yards from Cooper Kupp and an 83-yard touchdown run from Quincy Forte. Kupp finished the night with 205 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches.
"We were certainly explosive and our players made plays. We got more out of our running game, which was huge," Baldwin said.
Collectively, the Eagles ran for 318 yards, including a team-leading 119 yards from Forte on six carries. Jabari Wilson added 83 yards on six carries, Adams had 60 yards on five carries and Mario Brown finished with 34 yards on eight carries.
The passing game did not suffer much either. Adams was efficient, picking up his 432 yards passing on 26 completions. He threw 44 times, including five touchdowns and one interception. Eastern Washington finished with 743 yards of total offense, best in school history, eclipsing the 740 yards total offense racked up against Rocky Mountain in 1997, when Mike Kramer, now ISU's head coach, was leading the Eagles.
Justin Arias was 44 of 64 for 441 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for the Bengals (3-5, 1-5) and Luke Austin added 177 yards and one touchdown on 10 catches.
"We wanted to play in a rhythm, and we got in a great, great rhythm. Justin was getting excellent time to throw the ball and his decision making was right on the roll of the dice," Kramer said. "He got a little out of sync in the second half and started holding the ball and looking for other plays. Overall, tremendous performance from our quarterback and by our offensive line."
Idaho State actually led Eastern Washington in several offensive categories 32-31 in first downs, 96-77 in offensive plays and 32:50-27:10 in time of possession.
Though the Bengals trailed only 31-24 at half time, they never presented a substantial threat to the Eagles during the second half.