YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Once again, I am so glad that all my nieces and nephews decided to stop by and see about your old Uncle Mel.
After watching the second half of last Saturday’s Homecoming football game at my favorite football stadium, the home of the Eastern Michigan University Rynearson Stadium, not only did the weather chill you, to the bone but so did the second half performance of the Eagles.
During the first half, Uncle Mel notice there was some spark in the Eagles, they actually showed some character and charisma because the Eagles came back and tied the Ohio University Bobcats 10-10 but suddenly something happen somewhere between the walk to the locker room and the band marching because the team that took the field after the halftime festivities was not the same team.
Oh yes there were some flashes but mostly it was from the Bobcats offense doing what they really wanted to do on the field.
The Bobcats offense scored 20 unanswered points in the third quarter and the Ohio University offense would finished the game with 412 yards of total offense but blistering the Eagle defense seems to make a lot of opponent offenses feel better about themselves because it is so easy to move the ball.
The defense had no answer in containing the Bobcat quarterback Boo Jackson or tailback Vince Davidson, Jackson carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards and Jackson scorched the Eagle defensive backfield for 218 yards.
While Jackson seemed to be able to move the Bobcats at will, the Eagles gave away three touchdowns to Davidson, for the first time in his career at Ohio University.
After the game, Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English slowly walked up to his table in the meeting room to face the media, he sat down in the chair and deliberately took his time to begin his opening statement about the Eagles’ performance.
He said the Eagles missed some defensive assignment but they tried to stay competitive offensively but just did not play well enough to win.
They have not played well enough to win in 17 games and counting.
The Eagles lack of performance is slowly eating away at English’s gut but he believes that he can change the atmosphere of losing but there are moments when he must be asking himself in private.
Why did I take this job?
Last season English stood on the sidelines and many times he shook his head in disbelief and he challenged his team to play hard while he searched for answers to the issue of his defense.
This season with a new defensive coordinator Phil Snow, English felt like that his concerns about his defense were answered but the numbers tell a different story.
The total defense is ranked 112 in the nation giving up an average 459.8 yards a game, the scoring defense is ranked 116 in the nation the Eagles give up an average of 42.8 points per game and the rushing defense is ranked 119 letting opponents run all over the field– it is a nightmare.
This season English is still seeing no progress from the defense but on the positive side there some improvement offensively but the Eagles do not have the offense to score 50 points per game.
English still paces up and down the sideline and watches his defense disintegrate right before his eyes the blown assignments,too many missed tackles and a lot of his players searching for answers.
This Saturday night, the Eagles will be playing Vanderbilt University under the lights in the city were country music is king.
English is hoping that at the end of the game there will be some sweet harmonies of the fight song in the locker room being lift toward the ceiling but without a strong performance from the defense then the sound of music will fall silent.
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.