MUNCIE, Ind. — Uncle Mel wiped the sweat off of his brow and looked up into the cloudless blue sky above his home away from home and then looked down at the sun baked ground under his shoes but still could feel the burden of big city living lifted off of his shoulders-he felt good to be back in adopted home of Muncie, Indiana.
Yes! Yes! my nieces and nephew your old favorite uncle has slipped out of the Media Gathering Compound located just a stone away from the airport that gives it’s heart and soul to the world for a fare of course but the fences could not contain your old uncle.
Eastern Michigan University football team and football coach Ron English made the trip from the mighty shoreline of the Huron River to open up the 2012 Mid-American Conference and the 2012 NCAA football season all in one swoop.
Under a crystal-blue sky and the bright-golden Indiana sunshine setting in the west blasting a splash of red in the western sky, the Eagles and the Ball State University Cardinals will play football the way they do in the MAC – rough and ready inside on the playing surface of Scheumann Stadium.
Ball State University ran over and through the Eastern Michigan University defense 37-26 and then the Cardinals went out and celebrated the opening of the 2012 football season getting the season off on the right foot.
Uncle Mel and the rest of Eagle football fans are waiting with reservation to see if there is any improvement in the Eagles, when they have the ball because the word coming from the well-guarded Football Offices inside the huge cement fortress known as the Convocation Center, is that because of the dedication of quarterback Alex Gillett hard work in the spring and during the practice on improving his passing techniques and English said, “It is all up to Gillett!”
There is a man among the boys at tight end this season, Garrett Hoskins according some of those expert he is good enough to get a nomination for the John Mackey Award which is given to the best tight end in NCAA.
English said he wants Hoskins to be more of a force on the field and he also said, “Hoskins it is up to him but he will be okay.”
Hoskins caught a 23 yard touchdown pass from his quarterback Gillett to briefly give the Eagles a lead in the ball game against the Cardinals.
Uncle Mel knows that the running game will be okay with Dominique Sherrer and Javonti Greene and the offensive line led by center Andrew Sorgatz and a veteran group.
The opening offensive drive of the season did not get the result that English needed to happen. He gambled early in the first quarter and lost, Sherrer could not gain one yard to keep the drive alive instead the Eagles had to gave the ball back to Ball State University
English told Uncle Mel that the defense will be tested but he likes the defensive line and the linebackers, he said his confidence level for the cornerbacks is up there but the youth and inexperience in the safety position might give English and Uncle Mel headaches and nightmares.
Back on August 19, 2012, Eastern Michigan University Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow looked at Uncle Mel and said, “Everything changes and the only way for players to get experience is to get in there and play.”
Even through Snow’s optimism, Uncle Mel worries a lot about the consistency of the play of the defensive backs.
Even when the Eagles had players with some experience there were always too many mistakes and too many blown assignment.
After the game, English met with the media outside the Eagles’ locker room.
“We just seemed lifeless; we just did not look like ourselves,” English said. “We did not stop the run and if we don’t stop the run we don’t give us a chance.”
The wait was not long and Uncle Mel reached for the Rolaids because the Cardinals offense picked up from last season and used no huddle and short passing routes to open the rushing game.
The Cardinals’ offense took the opening kickoff of the 2012 football season and moved the ball 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown scored by Cardinal’s tailback Jahwan Edwards when he found a hole opened up in the middle leading toward the end zone.
English wanted his team to face trouble and adversity and well he got his wish with his defense!
Eastern Michigan University’s defense had no answer to the question on how to slow down Cardinal running back Edwards or contain Wenning
Edward ran for 200 yards and scored three touchdowns, Wenning completing 26 passes for 267 yards.
The defense looked like the defense of three years ago, the word that could only described the effort of the defense – pitiful.
Uncle Mel is hoping that tonight ‘s game under the lights and under a brilliant glow of a full moon, is that the lost to Ball State University is just the opening night jitters for the Eagles and now the new players on the defense have gain some experience.
If not then, Uncle Mel and English will be using a lot anti-acids and having too many sleepless nights coming up for the rest of the 2012 Eastern Michigan University football season.
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.