YPSILANTI, Mich. — Last Saturday night’s game at the University of Virginia inside Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. Eastern Michigan University really did not look as bad as the 48-21 would indicate but the first win in 18 games is now history.
“I was happy. Do not get me wrong, I was happy. But it is sad because you can never enjoy it because you have to get onto the next game,” Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English said. “It is sad because you should enjoy the wins more but you do not because you are trying to win the next game.”
The silver lining behind the dark cloud of defeat, English found another piece to his running game puzzle.
Eagles freshman running back Javonti Greene break through game against the University of Virginia and he joined Eagle quarterback Alex Gillett as a formable combination duo from the backfield.
Greene touched the ball just eight times but he slashed through the Cavalier defense for 155 yards including two touchdown runs over fifty yards, he also had a pass reception for 13 yards.
English’s rushing game is been a proven weapon but it has been a long hill to climb for the Eagles’ offense.
Eastern Michigan University offensive coordinator Ken Karcher and English have been waiting for senior tailback Dwayne Priest to make more of a contribution to the offense but a nagging groin injury has been slowing down Priest, his absent from the line up has been noticeable.
Priest is seventh in the league in rushing with 378 yards, five touchdowns and a rushing average of 4.4 in only just five games.
Priest made his homecoming to the state of Virginia against the Cavaliers ran eight times for 38 yards.
Defining Eastern Michigan running game with some character, the Eagles feature a runner with a lot of grit and determination – Corey Welch is a red shirt senior who is English’s utility runner, Welch gives the running game a change-of-pace, he can get up between the tackles and he as the ability get to the edge but he is also the kick off return specialist and he is also been asked to return punts.
English is planning to put the game plan together for Saturday night’s game against University of Toledo at the home of the Eagles, Rynearson Stadium, that would include incorporating all of the talents of his rushing game.
The Eagles could not match Virginia score-for-score but the offense showed promise of continuing to get better as the offense rolled up a season-high 290 yards on the ground and a total of 364 yards offense.
English will need to keep the ball in the hands of his offense because it is the Eagles offense that is their best defense.
Eastern Michigan University defense is ranked 11th in the conference in total defense and is last in the league in stopping the opposition running game.
Toledo is improving its offensive production and balance last Saturday afternoon at the Rubber Bowl, Toledo defeated Ball State University 31-24 after spotting the Cardinals a 17 point lead.
The Rockets offense had a season high 446 yards of total offense which included a balanced running game that produced 249 yards and opened up the passing game for 197 yards.
The Rockets offense overcome a number of mistakes and miscues by hitting big plays, Toledo football coach Tim Beckman directs the fact that the Rockets sometime resemble Jekyll-and-Hyde personality football team.
“We know how good we can be and we never get down,” Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin said about his team mates. “We put things behind us and we go out and do things we need to do.”
The play of the Eagle defense will be the key of Saturday evening game the ability to force Toledo into mistakes and turnovers that put the Eagle offense in position to score points.
In the spirit of the season of Halloween if the Eagles can drive the ball with authority it might be drive away the demons of mistakes, English and the Eagles will be celebrating with treats and not with tricks.
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.