YPSILANTI, Mich. —- There is nothing more exciting than the celebration of home coming and here in Ypsilanti there would be nothing better than to continue the festivities with a win over Ohio University Saturday afternoon at Rynearson Stadium.
Both teams are suffering through a tough season and both teams have faced the No.2 team in the nation Ohio State University and both teams did leave the home of the Buckeyes with a good old fashion defeat.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English is preparing for the Bobcats with the same idea as last week improvement especially the run defense.
Ohio University football coach Frank Solich also is looking for his team to rebound after they were defeated by the Buckeyes 43-7and last week his team lost a heart breaking 24-23 defeat against Marshall University, Solich will look to take advantage of the Eastern Michigan University run defense.
Eastern Michigan University defense has given up 46 points after four games, the defense last in the conference at stopping the run giving up an average of 6.2 to opposing ball carriers and the opponents have rushed for 275 yards per game.
The defense will be focused on containing Bobcats quarterbacks Boo Jackson and Phil Bates and tailback Vince Davidson after four games the Bobcats have rushed for 486 yards and have scored four touchdowns.
Bates leads the Bobcats on the ground by rushing for 161 yards in just three games. Jackson has played in four games and has only 61 net yards.
Davidson is the leading tailback for the Bobcats rushing for 123 yards from the backfield his longest run from scrimmage is 16 yards.
English said last week after the Buckeyes scored 73 points that his defense need to remain to be focused and he says like in baseball you have to be strong up the middle and on defense he is not strong but his defense has kids that will work hard to get the job done and improve.
“My thing is this: You have to stop them,” English said about Ohio State’s scoring barrage. “So I will never whine about that. That is the nature of the beast.”
Being on the end of too many lopsided scores there were some that watched in amazement that the Eagles scored 20 points on the No.2 team in the nation, the Buckeye defense have only given up just two offensive scores in the first three games, so for Eastern Michigan University quarterback Alex Gillett to direct three scoring drives has to help the Eagles confidence.
“Gillett is getting better! He can stay alive in the pocket and find guys down the field and complete some passes,” English said about the performance of Gillett against the Buckeyes. “I was pleased!”
Making English smile is the play of wide receiver Kinsman Thomas is comfortable making big plays, he had three catches against the Buckeyes for 65 yards and one touchdown and in his short two years Thomas has 22 receptions and six touchdowns.
Giving Gillett another target with sure hands and the ability to make catches in traffic tight end Ben Thayer, he leads the Eagles with 15 receptions.
The offense needs to find some kind of balance because if the Eagles can control the ball and limit the time of position could give the Eagles a chance to make the 16-game losing streak just a recent passage into ancient history.
The running game will need to step up and play solid and have an error free game.
Eagle’s tailback Dwayne Priest in limited time against Ohio State University only rushed for 24 yards and scored one touchdown but the Bobcat defense is not the Buckeyes.
The Bobcat total defense is third in the league giving up an average of 315 yards per game but the rushing defense is rank sixth in the league allowing 144 yards.
The Eagles need to stand together and make a statement and there is no better day to make this statement than home coming with all the pageantry and color that surrounds the celebration the echo of the fight song by the players and the band would add and complete the color.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.