YPSILANTI, Mich. — It is over!
The second longest losing streak in the country is now finished at 18 games, a courageous comeback by Eastern Michigan University capture the first win of the season with some sense of style.
The Eagles came back and defeated Ball State University 41-38 in overtime and on the last play of the game, Saturday October 16 at Scheumann Stadium.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English and the rest of his coaching staff it is back to work and getting a game plan for this week’s game against the University of Virginia Saturday night.
The game plan last Saturday afternoon featured an option style running attack that featured the Eagles quarterback Alex Gillett doing the bulk of the running, he carried the ball 35 times for 189 yards against the Cardinals.
Gillett also contributed by throwing the ball 18 times and completing 10 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
Gillett’s performance Saturday afternoon earned him the Mid-American Conference Player of the Week in the West Division and in the league he also received reconnection as the quarterback of the week from college football performance.com
This week against the Cavaliers, Gillett should get some help from tailback Dwayne Priest who has been out of the line up for two weeks with undisclosed injury.
It will be a homecoming for Priest who lives in Roanoke, Va. when he is not at school.
The last time Priest saw action he ran against Ohio University back on Oct 2 were he ran 19 times for 117 yards and one touchdown it did not appear that he was injuired but he did not play at Vanderbilt University or against Ball State University.
English did not give much description or explanation about Priest.
“He is okay but he was a little nicked up,” English said about Priest absence after the Ball State victory Saturday. “We could not let that out but he is better and he will play next week.”
Priest has played in 39 games for the Eagles and started 19 times in his career he is ranked 10th in the record book with 1,627 yards and is 11th with 19 touchdowns in the Eagle record book.
English running attack needs to find balance and with Priest being able to play Saturday should take away some of the punishment that Gillett endure Saterday afternoon.
Priest would provide the quick slashing style and Gillett is a change of pace but still able to tuck the ball under his arm and make a spin move and get down the field.
Virginia’s rushing defense has given up a total 1,333 yards after six games and have forced nine fumbles recovering four but have given up 24.7 points per game.
Eastern Michigan defense according to English did a pretty good job but he said that there were some issues about assignments and discipline.
The Eagles did give up 38 points but only allowed 243 yards of total offense by the Cardinals.
University of Virginia football coach Mike London who is in his first year at the helm of the Cavalier program after leaving the University of Richmond wants to control the ball offensively and no turnovers.
Virginia offense is a pro style set and does try to balance the run with pass but last week at home against North Carolina, the Cavaliers quarterback Marc Verica was picked off three times completed 15 of 25 for 139 yards and no touchdowns.
The Cavaliers offensive line has given up 17 sacks for the season hopefully Eagles defensive coordinator Phil Snow can develop a blitz package and take advantage and disrupt the backfield.
Eagles defensive ends Andy Mulumba and Kalonji Kashama could have a good day coming around the edge and not get caught in a trap block situation but the linebackers should be in good position to support the defense ends if the follow their assignments.
The Eagle defense need to forget that as a group they are ranked 106th in the nation and give the offense a chance to put some points on the board.
This is the first meeting between the University of Virginia and Eastern Michigan University but the Eagles are no stranger to the Atlantic Coast Conference style of football playing the University of Maryland four times and losing four times.
Virginia is no stranger to the Mid-American Conference either the Cavaliers own an impressive 10-1-1 record against the league.
English says he wants to win more games because it is good for the morale of the team and because winning is lot more enjoyable than losing.
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.