YPSILANTI, Mich. —- The dog days of the football season is upon the Eastern Michigan University football team and coach Ron English, just two more game remaining in the season but first there a little matter on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the cold and cave-like UB Stadium the home of the University at Buffalo.
The Bulls have had struggle this season – first year Bulls coach Jeff Quinn is struggling with an overall record of 2-8 and is 1-5 in the conference that is good enough to be tied in fifth place with Bowling Green State University in the Mid-American Conference East Division.
Buffalo is struggling in finding a quarterback that can play with consistency, Quinn finally has named previous starting quarterback Jerry Davis to lead the Bulls offense against Eastern Michigan University porous defense.
Davis started the first six games of the season for Buffalo and he has had trouble at times in executing plays and has become inconsistent which is way Quinn was looking at true freshman Alex Zordich to step up and take control of the offense in spite of his class status.
Davis has passed for 1,263 yards and completed 12 touchdown passes but 14 interceptions and completion percentage of 44 has put Davis on the hot seat to perform.
During last Saturday afternoon’s game against Ball State University, Zordich had to be replace in the game by Davis after Zordrich had went down with an injury. Davis’ performance did not provide too much confidence for Quinn, Davis finish the game against the Cardinals five of 13 for 39 yards and he threw two interceptions plus he had the ball ripped from him by Ball State linebacker Sean Baker who scoped up the ball from the turf and ran 26 yards for the score, Ball Sate defeated Buffalo 20-3
“He’s struggled and we are going to have to keep coaching him up,” Quinn said about this week’s starting quarterback. “We have to get him position just keep moving them chains and keep an understanding of what we need to get this offense moving.”
What might make the Buffalo offense work better is a afternoon of football against the weak Eastern Michigan University defense.
The Eagles are the worse defense in the entire conference, they are last in total defense giving away 450 yards per game and 44 points and the rush defense is ranked in the familiar place of – last. The defense has allowed more than 40 points in six of 10 games.
The Broncos only needed 48 plays called on offense to gain 491 yards and to score 45 points.
At the end of the game, English said that he is not satisfied with the coaching of the defense squad and he included himself in the comparison.
He feels the players on defense are not in the right spot for the play that is called and the coverage that they are supposed to be deployed.
The inability of the defense to make plays and to provide a stop most of the time does kill any momentum that the offense has provided but the defense can not support the noticeable improvement that offense has provided.
“It starts with me, the ability to get the defense to do what they are supposed to do consistently and they have a hard time doing that,” English said about his ability to coach defense. “Obviously, we are not coaching well-enough defensively because we do not do what we are supposed to do,”
The Eagles offense is led by quarterback Alex Gillett, last Saturday afternoon at the world famous home of Western Michigan University the famous Waldo Stadium, the Eagle offense shreded the Broncos defense for 491 yards and 30 points but it was not enough because the record fell to 1-5 in the league.
Gillett carried the ball 22 times for 159 yards and he completed 13 of 24 for 214 yards and three touchdown passes but Gillett did throw two interceptions late in contest something that English said he spoke to Gillett about in the locker room after the game.
English’s game plan against the Bulls is simple which include the option-style of rushing attack – it keeps the ball away from Buffalo’s offense but it also eats away the time on the clock.
In order for the offense to run though, it must get a balance running attack from the other tailbacks which can make this offense exciting to watch.
Leading the way, must be Dwayne Priest who is back after his suspension and rushed for 87 yards mostly inside between the tackles against Western Michigan also running hard in the middle of the line will be Javonti Greene and Corey Welch, the tailbacks need to provide a balance and take the heat off of Gillett.
English’s offense works if the running game can get establish so Gillett can introduce the rest of the offensive package into the game – the control passing game.
The key to obtaining the second win of the season,
Run the Ball
Protect the Ball
The Defense will have to keep up with Eastern Michigan’s offense.
Just two more games to go and then the real work and coaching for English and his staff will begin including keeping the lights on and burning the midnight oil and keep searching for players to help the squad improve.
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.