YPSILANTI, Mich.— EMU GAME NOTES FOR SATURDAY 11-13-2010
The Series: Eastern Michigan University spent last week healing nagging injuries and getting some work in preparing for this week’s game in Kalamazoo, Michigan against Western Michigan University beginning at 2 p.m. at Waldo Stadium.
It will be the 46th time these two programs have played on the football field with Western Michigan leading the series with a record of 28-15-2 including last year’s game when the Broncos came to the cozy home of the Eagles Rynearson Stadium and left Ypsilanti with a 35-14 win over the Eagles.
The only bright spot of the game for the Eagles that day is when running back Dwayne Priest ran for 151 yards and the offense finished the game with 392 yards of total offense while the defense held the Broncos offense to 199 yards of total offense but that was last year and it still ended up as a another lost.
The last time the Eagles defeated Western Michigan was back in October of 2007 when the Eagle’s defense actually dominated the game by forcing the Broncos into six turnovers on the way to a 19-2 victory.
What to Look Out For: Western Michigan University running backs are having trouble with hanging onto the football. The Broncos have put the ball on the turf 19 times and have lost 13 fumbles.
The ability to put the ball on the ground cost the Broncos last Friday night defeat against Central Michigan University.
The Eagles are hoping that the Bronco’s offense is still in a generous mood and dwell on the past performance against the Chippewas and if that happens it could be a surprising night for Western Michigan University football coach Bill Cubit and his squad.
“We are going to have to play pretty hard,” Cubit said about facing the Eagles. “Eastern Michigan is much, much improved. They play with a lot more confidence and aggression.”
Key Players to Watch for Eastern Michigan:
QB Alex Gillett – He is a gritty player and is not afraid to get his nose bloody and dirty, he leads the Eagles in rushing and passing, Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English is hoping that Gillett can play with more consistency.
RB Javonti Greene – This is a raw talent coming out of the Eagles’ backfield position, he does possess the power, the speed and the ability to make defense miss him but he also is a freshman and he tends to not see a potential cut into a better hole. He does have very nice set of hands and is an extra receiver in the passing game.
C Eric Davis – He is a large mobile offensive lineman and he is the anchor in the middle of the line. Davis is a three year letterman, so he has seen a lot of different defenses, if he can call out the right protection and his line mates can recognize that they can make some big holes for the running game building the confidence of the entire offense then it could be a good day for the Eagles.
What about the Defense?
The defense is still on the road of recovery, they are the worst defense in the Mid-American Conference giving up 43 points per game.
The Eagle defense can play against the run well but the passing defense is described as ugly, too many plays go for big yards for example English said against the University of Toledo they stopped a pop pass but could not finish the play by stopping the receiver and the result was six points. His description of the play of the pass defense as disturbing and a disappointment.
The weakness of the Eagles pass defense will play into the strength of the Broncos offense attack, Western Michigan University is rank 14th in the nation in passing offense at 298.8 yards per game, Eastern Michigan passing defense is allowing 223 yards passing and 24 touchdown passes.
Eastern Michigan University defensive coordinator Phil Snow worked with the defensive backs this week improving there skills at breaking up passes and looking for the opportunity to get an interception.
The Eagles defensive line will have to push the pocket back and force Bronco quarterback Alex Carder into making wrong reads of coverage packages forcing passes and making some mistakes.
Carder is a sophomore and it might be possible for Snow to work some blitz package to add more heat on the quarterback again looking for the mistake.
The description of the Bronco’s running game is that it has been a disaster and has shown no improvement over the course of the season. Running back Aaron Winchester fumbled twice against the Chippewas and has been ineffective, the lack of a ground game has put a lot of pressure on Carder.
If the Eagles can put the emotion of the five players suspended by English behind them and get a good game from the defense then the ride back home to Ypsilanti might be a short trip down the expressway.
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.