ANN ARBOR, Mich. —- Sitting on top of the world!
If you are a fan of college football, a student of any level or grade or you might just be a hard working individual, there is no other experience in the world when you are sitting with 110,343 football fans and watching a football game inside the home of the Wolverines – Michigan Stadium.
The view toward the north there is a great view of downtown Ann Arbor and the campus of the University of Michigan and toward the south there is a panoramic view of Mother Nature portrait of the green trees before the time of autumn paints the leaves.
All of the football focus and all of those pairs of eyes in side the stadium will be watching the gridiron Saturday afternoon under the blue sky and the sunshine beaming down on the green field with two teams representing schools separated by just a short seven miles car ride.
The University of Michigan defeated Eastern Michigan University 31-3; they continue to rein as the King of the college football world in Washtenaw County.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English wanted his team not to be intimidated by the view when coming out of the tunnel or by the team dressed in the maize and blue uniform.
English remembering the days back when he coached at the University of Michigan, the philosophy of Michigan – run the ball and control your team’s fate.
“We are a running team first,” English said. “We need to find different ways to run the ball.”
Eastern Michigan University rushing offense ran for 207 yards and leading the way for the Eagles Javonti Greene who ran the ball 21 times for 80 yards.
English said that the turning point of the game came in the first quarter when the Eagles could not punch the ball over from the Michigan one-inch line. He said that he would go for it anytime when you are at the one- inch line.
“You have to score from the one-inch line, if you can not score from the one-inch line you are going to have a hard time winning,” English said. “Denard (Robinson) made some plays in there and it took some of our steam.”
University of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke recognized the danger that Eastern Michigan University could posses and decided to also reach into the basic of University of Michigan football and keep the ball on the ground.
“Offensively we ran Desmond a little more than we’d like to because we’d like to keep him healthy for the year,” Hoke said about his quarterback.
“I give Ron and his staff at Eastern a lot of credit because they came out with a good plan,” Hoke said after the game about Eastern Michigan. “Phil Snow is a good defensive coordinator and he was going to load the box up any time we got into the I.”
The size of Michigan offensive line and defense line, the speed and the over all athletic talent separates these team more just the miles.
Eastern Michigan University defense tried to contain the many talents that University of Michigan quarterback Robinson can display.
Robinson running ability demoralizes the Eastern Michigan University defense according to English.
“We came out a little flat,” Robinson said. “We have been focusing on everyday and talking about coming out fast and trying to get off to a good start.”
“Denard is a special player,” English said. “It is demoralizing “We had guys there we just could not tackle him but Denard made some plays in there and he can be demoralizing.”
The University of Michigan offense rolled up 464 yards of offense; Robinson ran for 198 yards and scored one touchdown.
Wolverine tailback Vincent Smith ran the ball just nine times but he found too many openings and there were too many missed tackles as he finished the day with 118 yards.
English said his defense missed some assignments especially in the second half
“I have said all along that we are a physical team,” English said about his defense. “The next step of the evolution is that can we execute. This was the first time we face adversity and it will be interesting but my gut tells me I do not think that the players got down on themselves I have been in that situation when you got a guy stopped and he makes a play and I know that can be demoralizing.”
The road trip to Ann Arbor back home to Ypsilanti is a short drive but the 2011 football season is a journey and for the Eagles the road will get longer next week when Eastern Michigan University football team travel to take on another Big Ten Conference opponent.
It will be another football stadium that will contain some special attention for English and the Eagles.
The Eagles will be playing against a coaching legend, Joe Paterno and the Penn State University Nitty Lions at Beaver Stadium next Saturday September 24, 2011 the kickoff is scheduled for noon.
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.