YPSILANTI, Mich. —- In the city of Ypsilanti and all around the campus of Eastern Michigan University, the community is getting and feeling excited about the Eastern Michigan University football team.
This Saturday afternoon October 22, 2011, the Eagles will be celebrating Homecoming with a football game against Western Michigan University – it is not just another Saturday afternoon but another instate sports rival.
Last Saturday afternoon in Mount Pleasant, Michigan at Kelly-Short Stadium, the Eagles spoiled the Homecoming celebration of the fans of Central Michigan University with a exciting 35-28 victory against the Chippewas.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English said after the game against Central Michigan University this kind of game is special and that everybody involved should feel the excitement.
“The one thing about rivalry games is you have to be able to win them in the end,” English said. “There are going to be tremendous highs and lows. But what happens is, both sides usually keep playing because it means some much to them.”
Showing how much the outcome of the game and playing until the final gun, Eagle quarterback Alex Gillett scored the winning touchdown very late in regulation when he used his legs and his ability to run.
Gillett scored the winning touchdown when he followed his blocking into the hole and made a quick moved to his left and he ran 30 yards without being touched by a Chippewas defender.
Eastern Michigan University rushing game punished the Chippewas defense for 350 yards.
Central Michigan University football coach Dan Enos said the running game proved to be important for the outcome of the game.
“I told our team that the team that rushed for the most yards was going to win the game,” Enos said. “You have to give Eastern Michigan credit, they ran the ball very well. Their backs ran better than I thought. They handled our defensive line.”
The Eagles running backs Dominique White and Javonti Greene both carried the ball 19 times and combined for 265 yards and four touchdown.
English said before the game it is important for the Eagles to be able to run the football, be physical and controlling the ball means that the Eagles control the clock.
The Eagles rushing defense is improving weekly with strong defensive line play and excellent support from the linebackers.
The defense held the Chippewas for just 98 yards for the game and against the Broncos the Eagles defense will be using the same formula.
Last Saturday afternoon, the Broncos playing on the road against Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, Western Michigan University felt the embarrassing defeated against the Huskies 51-22.
Northern Illinois University outscored the Broncos 38-7 in the second half and the Western Michigan University defense gave up 697 yards of offense.
“I’m sorry, I’m still a little bit shocked,” Western Michigan University quarterback Alex Carder said after his team’s performance. “I think we thought we were better than we are. I’m not saying that we can’t get to being the best that we can be, but I think we just came into this game a little bit bloated to be honest.”
“We need to be humbler and focus on football, take one game at a time and not assume anything,” Carder said about this week’s game against Eastern Michigan University.
Eastern Michigan University defense is improving and the question for the Eagles about the defense is it enough to make Western Michigan University offense to change their focus?
The rushing defense is fifth in the Mid-American Conference and ranked in the top 25 nationally at stopping the run.
The Eagle passing defense is still a work in progress ranked 12 out of 13 teams in the Mid-American Conference, overall total defense is sixth in the league it is a giant leap of improvement.
Last season the Eagles defense finished the season as the worst defense in the league and in the nation.
English game plan for Saturday afternoon against the Broncos is to run the ball and control the tempo and the defense will have to limit the big play ability of Bronco quarterback Carder.
Saturday’s contest will be the 84th Homecoming Game for the Eagles, the overall series record is in the favor of Western Michigan University but English believes that his team is embracing the program and that the rival games add to the excitement.
The Eagle football fans are hoping that the continue success continues with a victory against Western Michigan University Saturday afternoon October 22, 2011 at Rynearson Stadium – will be something to get excited about.
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.