MUNCIE, Ind. — As the sun sat in the western sky and the full moon began to rise in the east, the opening of the 2012 NCAA College Football season for Eastern Michigan University got kicked off on the road with a Mid-American Conference game against Ball State University at Schumann Field.
Ball State University used ball control in the second half and dominated a mistake prone Eastern Michigan University 37-26 and winning the 2012 football season opener.
“We did not stop the run and if we don’t stop the run you don’t give yourself a chance,” Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English said after the game outside the locker room. “I don’t think we played with any energy for whatever reason. I thought even when we had a chance to take control in the second quarter, we were lifeless We have to get that fixed.”
Cardinal tailback Jahwan Edwards scored three touchdowns with runs of three, seven and 75 yards and rushed for 200 yards against the Eagles.
English committed the he did not like the idea of opening the football season with a conference game but he is hoping that his team can start earning some respect but he said at the MAC Media day event in Detroit July 24, 2012 the only way for the Eagles to do that is to start winning games-big games.
The Eagles failed at gaining any respect in the first quarter.
Ball State University did not waste any time in getting into the end zone scoring a touchdown on the first possession of the ball of the season.
The Cardinals marched down the field 80 yards in 10 plays to get the first touchdown of the season.
“We just seem lifeless to me we just didn’t seem like our selves,” English said. “So I got to go back and look at what we are doing and maybe change some things.”
English gambled in the first quarter by trying to pick up a first down, by running a fourth and one play that tried to go off tackle with tailback Dominique Sherrer but he was greeted at the line of scrimmage by the entire front of the Cardinals and a couple of linebackers wearing red jerseys.
The play failed at the Cardinal 49 yard line and Ball State University took over and moved the ball down the field but a offensive pass interference by Cardinal wide receiver Willie Snead ended the momentum of the drive and the offense had to settle for a career best 52-yard field goal by Steven Schott.
Eastern Michigan University offense came alive in the second quarter and the Eagles scored their first touchdown of the season by moving the ball 71-yards in six plays for a touchdown.
Eastern Michigan University quarterback Alex Gillett slipped a eight yard pass to wide receiver Donald Scott.
Gillett finished the game with 186 yards passing, he completed 15 passes and three passes were caught for touchdowns.
The Eagles took the lead in the second quarter when the offense took advantage of the turnover created by the Eastern Michigan University defense.
Defensive lineman Omar McFarland stripped the ball out of the arms of Edwards and pouncing on the ball cornerback Marion Pollard recovering the fumbled ball.
Gillett found Hoskins in the end zone just 23 yards away in the end zone and it looked like the hard practice of improving the passing game paid off for the Eagles.
Getting close to end of the first half, the game started to resemble the closing offense series last season at Rynearson Stadium.
Ball State University quarterback Keith Wenning used a pin-point short passing game and move his offense down the field but the Eagles defense finally recognized the offense and slowed down the drive and the Cardinals had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Schott to end the first half with a 13-13 tie.
Wenning threw 41 times and he completed 26 passes for 267 yards but he did not throw for a touchdown, he just let Edwards do all the scoring.
“I really felt like our offensive line took control of the game in the second half,” Ball State University football coach Pete Lembo said. “I’m very proud of how we ran the ball.”
Like the full moon glimmering above the cornfields the Eagles offense started out the second half with the ball and with the momentum after a 29 yard run by Javonti Greene there seemed to be a glow of hope only to stall and punt the ball away.
Green ran for a total of 62 yards, Sherrer rushed for a total of 30 yards and Gillett led the Eagles runners by carrying the ball 11 times for 81 yards.
Edwards waited for the second play of the second half before he ran his career best of 75 yard run for his second touchdown of the game and he was named player of the game.
“I don’t know I have to look at the tape on that deal. I know there were some issues with some of the guys that have not played a lot,” English said about the possible mistakes made during the game by inexperience players. “I don’t want to say that was it. I don’t know if our upper classmen played well.”
Eastern Michigan University will have to find the answer soon, the next game is next Saturday afternoon Sept 8, 2012 at Rynearson Stadium against Illinois State University, the game is schedule to kickoff at 1 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.