DETROIT — Well nieces and nephews it is that time of the college football season that has everybody excited, it is just the beginning of the 2012 NCAA football season – Mid-American Conference style which is rough and tough just like the players, coaches and your favorite old school Uncle Mel.
This year Uncle Mel gassed up the official news media vehicle and left the backyard gate of the world were the media gathering newsroom is located and made the trip to the bright lights of the city of Detroit and the home of the Detroit Lions-the spacious Ford Field.
Now,the last time your old Uncle Mel made a trip to the big city by the river that shears it name with was way back in December and watching the best bowl game of the bowl season-the Little Caesar Pizza Bowl featuring from the Big Ten Conference Purdue University and the reprehensive of the Mid-American Conference Western Michigan University and you know something both teams put on a pretty good entertaining football game in front of the world to watch.
The Broncos were defeated by Purdue 37-32, the game should’ve made the Mid-American Conference Commissioner the honorable, Dr. Jon A Steinbrecher proud, the whole wide world saw a really good football game.
Quoting the best looking Jackson and that would be Janet “What have done for me lately!” because that was last season and Uncle Mel is ready for something new and exciting baby!
Oh wait don’t call me baby it is Uncle Mel!
Sorry Uncle Mel got carried away with Miss Janet Jackson.
The crystal ball that the rest of the media representation uses to pick this seasons winner of the conference like the team to beat and is the beast from the east-the Ohio University Bobcats is the team to catch for the title.
Rising from the ashes of the city that is south of the boarder of the state of Michigan, Toledo, Ohio the Rockets of the University of Toledo is the team from the west that has the eye on the prize and is picked to grasp the division crown.
The Rockets have an experience team coming back to the Glass Bowl, 48 letter winners including 15 starters that finished with an overall record of 9-4 and went forward and defeated the Air Force 42-41 at the Military Bowl played in Washington D.C. December 28, 2011.
In the words of another television star and former football coach at that powerhouse in the Big Ten Conference – Indiana University Lee Corso “not so fast my friends!”
Ohio University is a pretty and sexy choice, a pick that is safe but thinking outside the box how about the Western Michigan University Broncos with Bill Cubit and his returning quarterback Alex Carder who along with Bobcat quarterback Tyler Tettleton have been named to the Davey O’Brien Award which is given to the best quarterback in the country.
Wait just a second, back home on the banks of the mighty Huron River another program is waiting to be recognized as a program to be dealt with, a team that made gigantic stride and a team looking for some respect,
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English sat at the round table with his back toward the wall and fielding questions about his program.
“No respect! We got to earn respect and the way to do that is win a championship or a bowl game,” English said. “We want to do things that allow us to win games”
English said that last season’s success is something to make a program strong but also there were things that happen on the field that could of not help with the team gaining more success.
He said that he would like to see more touchdowns from his offense.
“We didn’t score enough in the scoring zone looking at our touchdown field goal ratio, we are looking at doing things offensively in scoring more points,” English said. “We have a veteran offensive line with improved depth I always start there because to me that is the foundation of the football team.”
Eastern Michigan University is no stranger to rushing the football, Eastern Michigan University running game checked in to 14th place in the entire NCAA in running the ball.
The Eagles ran the ball for 2,620 yards and not too bad of an average either, they carried the ball for 4.6 yards but when it came to the passing game the Eagles were last in the conference finishing the season with 1,520 yards and an average of 7.5 yards per passing play.
English said at the start of spring practice that his quarterback Alex Gillette is going to have to improve his passing game.
“Gillette is a senior and he needs to make better decision in throwing the ball, we all know that he can run with the ball.” English said about his senior quarterback. “For us to score more points we need to pass the ball better we all know that, it is matter of Alex helping himself and get the ball to players that can help. I believe that he is going to do that.”
Gillette passing can only get better if he has receivers that can catch the ball, the good throws in the open and the passes that are not looking so good with other people in the area and one player that can help and showed that he could be a star is tight end Garrett Hoskins.
Hoskins is a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan and stands 6 foot 2 inches and tips the scale at 253 pounds, he is strong and he is fast, he makes a good target for Gillette-a pair of hands that are security blankets for Gillette and the Eagles.
Last season Gillette found Hoskins 22 times for 328 yards and three times in the end zone and that is something that English is hoping to see more of during this season.
“Hoskins can help himself by being consistent more consistent than he has been, he is certainly a great talent he is going to be in a NFL camp he is going to do that but now is he going to be consistent aggressive,” English said about Hoskins. “He has all kinds of ability is he going to be cut-throat about it is he going to play the very best that he can and get after people.”
Hoskins name appears on the list for the John Mackey Award that is given to the best tight end in the NCAA.
English said that the running game for the Eagles going into camp will be competitive and that the backs are going to be working hard to get carries in camp and in the games.
“It is hard to get carries we have a lot of backs,” English said about is acceptation of the Eagles’ offense. “All our tight ends are back and they are talented, we dug down in our receiver and those guys are a lot better already. The issues is can they come through in the fall, we have some incoming guys that I think that are going to play a roll.”
The Eagles defense according to English will be better than some people think, the linebackers are a veteran group and so are the players covering the corners English said .
“Typically if you got good corner play and linebacker can play you have a chance to be a good team,” English said. “We have a couple of safeties that have transfer in one from North Carolina State and one from the University of Michigan we have some young safeties that can play.”
English believes that he has the right players that wear the green and white, he believes his team will compete and will surprise opposition because they work hard and working hard builds confidence.
“It is how the pieces fit together to me it is not about the talent level we are good enough there, are we going to play as a team and how are we going to handle adversity,” English said. “We all know that there is going to be adversity, hard work build confidence and transient that confidence Saturday it is nothing magic about it and I am not concern about confidence.”
Eastern Michigan University is picked to finish fifth in the West Division but many Eagle football fans think that that might be a sign of no respect to a program that has been laboring to find just a little respect but winning will cure a lot of ill feelings and that will place more fans into the seats of the coziest football stadium in the conference and the home of the Eagles-Rynearson Stadium. Winning will aid in gaining confidence and plant the seed of respect because the Eastern Michigan University football team is working hard to earn the respect.
The 2012 college football season is officially started and the Eagles will be hard working on the practice field bright and early Friday morning August, 3 2012. But for now Uncle Mel is ready to enjoy the rest of the hospitality of the city of Detroit and listening more to the great sounds from Motown and basking in warm summer air.
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.