When and Where: 7:30 P.M. Saturday at Rynearson Field in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Series History: Army leads the series against Eastern Michigan 3-0. (1992: 57-17, 2008: 17-13, 2009: 27-14)
Last Season: Head Coaches Rich Ellerson and Ron English were both entering the first season at their respective schools in 2009. Ellerson and the Black Knights finished 5-7 while English failed to win a game at Eastern Michigan (0-12).
Matchup: Army is the better team. Eastern Michigan’s young players gained valuable experience in 2009, but experience cannot make up for a lack of talent. The Eastern Michigan defense was the worst in the country in 2009 and most of those players return, which should bode well for Army. The Eastern Michigan offense was not very good last season either, ranking 88th in rushing and 108th in passing. Eastern Michigan quarterbacks threw 16 interceptions last year. Eastern Michigan has questions on special teams as well, with newcomers at punter and placekicker.
Player to Watch: FB Jared Hassin. There are high expectations for the transfer from Air Force this season. If he can prove his inside rushing ability, it will set up the Black Knights to have a much more dynamic offense in 2010. If Army can consistently gain yards up the middle it will make Trent Steelman’s job much easier and will give Offensive Coordinator Ian Shields more options with his play calling.
Potential X-Factor: WR Davyd Brooks. If Army finds early success on the ground as I expect they will, watch for an option pass looking for Brooks deep. Brooks has the speed to be a big-play receiver and the Black Knights would surely like to give opposing defenses one more thing to account for. Trent Steelman has worked on his passing this offseason and this would be a chance to show off his development.
Prediction: Army comes out and dominates on both sides of the ball. Look for Army to rack up a lot of yards on the ground. Army will not need to go to the air too often, but a big play or two will break the game open. Expect the defense to pick up where they left off in 2009 and shut down the Eastern Michigan offense.
Army 27, Eastern Michigan 7
About the Author
Written by Donald Lappe
Senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Double Major in Media & Society and United States History. Also writing for TapouT Magazine and MMA Worldwide Magazine.