BRADFORD, Ark. — Well I hope that all my nieces and nephews have enjoyed all the turkey and sweet potatoes for another Thanksgiving and Eastern Michigan University football season has mercifully finish and the basketball season is now like the Arkansas sunshine it is blazing and surrounds all of us.
Now that the season is over and final exam at school cast its shadow across the campus it also a time for your old Uncle Mel to reflect about the 2010 football season.
Well the two wins were exciting especially the comeback style of a win against Ball State University but the win against the University at Buffalo was as satisfying because of the domination of style too but the 10 defeats were hard to swallow.
Here are the grades for the 2010 season:
Offense- This squad made the most improvement as the season continued including the offensive line and quarterback Alex Gillett ability to make plays.
Gillett and the offense line both fought a courageous battle against Western Michigan University but they could not overcome 45 points given away by the defense.
Gillett did throw 14 interceptions but he did lead the Eagles running the ball for 766 yards and scored five touchdowns.
The skill of the running backs could have been an addition to the arsenal but because of team violations by Dwayne Priest and four other Eagles derailed any progress because what was described by Eagles football coach Ron English by an in-house problem and not open for public forum.
Priest scored eight times this season and rushed for 716 yards an averaged just 4.3 yards per carry.
Freshman tailback Javonti Green showed up against the University of Virginia, he ran for a career best 151 yards against the Cavaliers and raising the hopes of Eagles fans but the dream never really materialized as he struggled during the rest of the season.
In the beginning of the season the wide receivers were a featured portion of the offense led by the big ability of Kinsman Thomas but when Gillett needed a good possession catch, the waiting hands of tight end Ben Thayer were more than capable the best example the great over the head catch against the Cardinals ending the 18 game losing streak.
Thayer led the Eagles with 30 catches but Thomas had more yards with 473 and four touchdowns.
Many years the offensive line at Eastern Michigan never seemed to be on the same page but this years edition the offensive line gelled into a very good Mid-American Conference offense line, they were able to open holes for Gillett and if the Eagle running backs were able to read the holes – then this offense would have given the rest of the rest of the conference trouble.
So here we go with the grades for the offense:
Quarterback – B
Tailbacks – D+
Receivers – B-
Let Uncle Mel warn those who have a weak stomach if you are easily nauseated – you are going into a dangerous area.
Talking about the Eastern Michigan University defense makes Uncle Mel’s blood boil because they have ruin a good man and the mistakes made by the defense should have been corrected by the players who strap on the green helmet and represent the Eagles.
These players should be investigated for impersonating football players.
English said before the season started that defensive coordinator Phil Snow could coach any place and anywhere well maybe he should see about that new anywhere because he could not get his philosophy across to this squad.
The defense is ranked at the bottom of the league – the worst.
The defense allowed 43.9 points and gave up 2767 yards of total offense and again this is the worst in the conference.
There were too many times that players were out of position or missed assignments, Snow and English took responsibility and tried to explained what happen on the field.
The defensive line is the best of the group and dominated the University at Buffalo they put pressure on the Bulls in the backfield but that is the only shining moment of the season for this squad.
The linebackers found themselves too many times on an island and at times they tried to support the line but they often found themselves grasping at air.
The weakest link of the squad is the corps of defensive backs; they are the worst in the conference and could only manage two interceptions.
Defensive Line: C
Defensive Backs: F-
There is nobody pacing the floors late at night inside the Athletic Department as they decide about the future of English and his staff.
English does have a plan trying to be installed at Eastern Michigan and it will take time and money for the program to develop but most important will be getting talent and depth.
English is a good teacher and a good coach he just need some commitment from players to step up and take responsibility to learn the system and philosophy.
English stood under the wet sky at the world famous home of the Western Michigan University Broncos – Waldo Stadium and he took the blame for the lost but English stood on the sideline at the most critical time of the game and watch sophomore cornerback Marcell Rose get burned so bad he had to go back to Waldo Stadium and pick up the rest of his uniform that he had left behind on the turf.
“We are putting a program in place. It does not always show but we have made huge strides,” English said about his team and program. “I feel good about the season.”
Well nephews and nieces it has been a nice trip thought the football season and now Uncle Mel will get the Chuck Taylor’s out for the winter and we will see everybody from the cozy confines and the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference the home of the Eagles the Convocation Center.
Before I say good by let me say thank you to those who have send their prayers and condolence as Uncle Mel says good by to his mother and inspirations Jenitta Suiter of Bradford Arkansas who fought the good fight against pancreatic cancer but is now at the court side seat up in heaven.
Again thank you all for so much.
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.