YPSILANTI — Uncle Mel does not like to tell you but he did give out a fair warning about the football team that calls Normal, Illinois home but your old uncle told you!
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English told Uncle Mel that he told his team after the Eagles lost 31-14 to the Redbirds they are just not physical enough and he is going to get this fixed before the Eagles return to the friendliest football stadium in the Mid-American Conference – Rynearson Stadium Oct 6, against Kent State University but first the matter of Purdue University.
That game against the Redbirds is history and it is time to move onward and forget the past.
It is time again to pack the official News Gathering suitcase, fuel up the vehicle and Uncle Mel can not forget the official News Gathering Thermos of hot coffee for another road trip where the sun shine brightly across the many acres of rows of corn.
That right nieces and nephews our Eagles and your old Uncle Mel will be making another road trip to the great state of Indiana, just in time for the harvest and the changing colors of the leafs on the maple and sycamore trees.
Saturday’s game, will be the second time in history that these two programs have met on the gridiron.
The last meeting back on Sept. 7, 1991, did not go so well for the Eagles getting crushed by the Boilermakers 49-3 at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Eastern Michigan University’s place kicker Jim Langeloh kicked a 43-yard field goal for the only points that the Eagles could put up on the scoreboard that day.
Now your old Uncle Mel really hates to bring up the past history but the last time these two teams met, well the Eagles’ offense struggled by getting just getting 206 yards and turning the ball over five times described the poorness of play of the offense that afternoon.
Uncle Mel is hoping that this time history will not repeat against the Boilermakers but the worry and conceren is there and so is the pacing across the office.
What is supposed to be a strength for the Eagles’ offense the running game is having trouble getting on the right track.
English said before the season and after the lost at Ball State University that his team is going to run at opponent because that is what the Eagles do best and because they will have a veteran offense line to open the holes for the running backs.
“We have a bunch of guys up there who have played a lot of football here but we are not performing not across the board,” English said about the troubled offensive line and their responsibility of the running game. “With our run game also includes the tight ends, the fullbacks and the receivers so it is not all of guys up front, some of it is the edge blocking but we will get that fixed.”
So far what Uncle Mel has seen in two games from the Eagles’ running game is simply described this way by your old Uncle – that there is no consistency and those holes that the offensive line is suppose to open up is not materializing.
English said that the road to improvement of the running game is simply going back and coaching the basic blocking technique.
“What I’ve instructed the offensive line coach is to go back and start over,” English said. “Attitude, leverage, discipline of technique and finishing we are not doing none of those.”
There are 120 NCAA teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision and last season the running game for the Eagles ranked 14th in the NCAA and that was one reason the Eagles finished the season 6-6 and English became the 2011 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year.
When the Eagles line up on the field inside Ross-Ade Stadium this Saturday afternoon, the Eagles will be the 74th ranked team running the ball and a non impressive 103rd in total offense.
English said the Boilermakers are a good Big Ten football team because he said they are good athletic players.
“They have good athletes, Big Ten athletes,” English said. “They had every opportunity to win the Notre Dame game last Saturday. It is a good Big Ten football team.”
Eastern Michigan University defense will have to be ready to support each other, the Boilermaker’s offense do have a few weapons and will test the Eagles.
“Offensively they run some of the option principle,” English said. “The spread option or triple-option they have shown both, they like to throw to the wide outs and allow them to make plays.”
English is hoping that the offensive line will be quick learners because they will have to be ready to play because Purdue’s defensive line is an athletic group.
“The first thing that stands out is the defensive front is outstanding,” English said. “They are dominate out front, there going to play a lot of 46 defense and play a man free behind it and they have the athletes to do that.”
Uncle Mel is not going to tell you that the Eagles will beat the Boilermakers.
English said he is hoping that his football team will find out what is like to be a team, play through the adversity and get out of state of Indiana healthy.
Uncle Mel and most of the Eagle football fans will agree with English with that expectation but a mircle could happen and then English can say he told us that he would get his program fixed but Uncle Mel believe it will still be a work in progress going home late Saturday night under the stars of an Indiana night.
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.