TOLEDO, Ohio. —-The skyline of downtown Toledo sat majestically in the distance, the blue sky and the warmth of summer trying hard not to let go with the blue sky and the bright sunshine streaking across the famous Glass Bowl located in the heart of the campus of the University of Toledo.
Eastern Michigan University football team made the short trip from the bright lights of the city of Ypsilanti to face for the 38th time the University of Toledo and the last time the Eagles won a game inside the Glass Bowl was back in 1999.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English started the game looking for the Eagles to bask under the sunshine and go back home to Ypsilanti with a hard earned victory over the University of Toledo.
The Rockets continued their winning streak against Eastern Michigan University defeating the Eagles, 54-16 in front of 22,909 loud and happy crowd of Rocket fans.
Eastern Michigan University offense struggled all day against the University of Toledo, even when the Eagles tried to make the comeback the snake venom would flow – untimely penilities and an offense that would go stale would continue to snakebite the Eagles.
The Rockets beat the Eagles in every phase of the game.
The Eagles defense front six played well but the defensive backfield missed too many assignments and the Toledo quarterbacks found no trouble in finding streaking receivers wide open and looking for and cradling touchdown passes.
Toledo’s quarterbacks Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens shared the playing duties and against the Eastern Michigan University defense made this continuing idea by Rocket’s football coach Tim Beckman having a platoon system at quarterback an even a better situation for Beckman.
Dantin threw 16 times and completed 14 passes for 156 yards and two touchdown passes but Owens look even more impressive by hitting 13 passes out of 14 attempts for 146 yards and he also threw two touchdowns.
Eastern Michigan University usually plays a solid special team play but against the Rockets it sputtered and crashed.
At the 8:16 mark in the second quarter, punt return specialist Eric Page turn the corner around the west sideline and watched his blockers mow down the Eagle defenders including Eagle punter Jay Karutz, he set up well with a good tackle forum only to catch a bone-crushing block that cleared the rest of the way for Page.
Page looked a little winded after running for 85 yards but he continued the suffering for the Eagles and in the first quarter Page became the Rockets leader in pass receptions 235 career catches.
Coming back to the field after halftime and trailing the Rockets 23-9, Toledo with the ball to start the second half.
Eastern Michigan University overcame a personal foul by defensive end Andy Mulumba and forced the Rockets to punt the ball to Eastern Michigan University offense.
Toledo’s punter Vince Penza shanked his punt attempted and the ball sailed out of bounds for 20 yards giving the Eagles offense a spark but that chance flickered out like an ember in a fireplace smothered with water.
Toledo’s defense clamped down during the third quarter forcing the Eagles offense out of sync during the second half and in fact for the entire game. The Eagle offense kept looking for any combination of success but the run game could not get on track and the passing game suffered.
English said after the game, that Eastern Michigan University quarterback Alex Gillett just needs to play betterand make better decisions on the field.
Gillett threw for 105 yards with one touchdown pass but he also threw one interception.
Eastern Michigan University offense finished the game with just 227 yards of total offense.
The Rockets offense kept the Eagle defense on their collective heels and Eastern Michigan University gave up 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.
Toledo’s offense rocked the Eagles defense running 76 offiensive plays for 542 yards.
“We are still are trying to teach and learn regardless of the circumstances just keep playing and I think we became distracted enough that we do not execute with detail, English said after the game standing outside the clubhouse. “The game snowballed on us.”
“My deal is this, everybody involved and what has happen here there is an attitude change and people lessen their commitment,” English said. “My words in that locker room to everybody that has a Eastern Michigan shirts on today I will be on the look out for that and we will not have that and we have a good football team and we have to continue moving forward.”
Next weekend, the Eagles will be back on the road traveling to city of Mount Pleasant, Michigan to face Central Michigan University.
Eastern Michigan University is hoping to find an answer to the offense and upset the Chippewas and their homecoming celebration.
The kickoff is scheduled at Kelly-Short Stadium at 3 p.m.
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.