ROMULUS, Mich. —- Okay so the Eastern Michigan University football team defeated Western Michigan University 29-23, last Saturday afternoon at the world famous Waldo Stadium in the city of Kalamazoo.
Yes, it is the first Mid-American Conference victory of the season but does that make the season a success, does that make up for the bitter disappointment of this football season and more important does it keep the Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English and Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow employed for the next year?
“I’m just happy the guys stayed together and played for each other,” English said in an interview after the game against the Broncos. “We have been getting better and better. We have had spurts, were we just didn’t play well and I thought the guys did the best that they were the best, they were supposed to do for four quarters today.”
Can Uncle Mel ask all of his nieces and nephews, are you happy that the Eagles will maintain and keep the Michigan-MAC Trophy instead lifting up the West Division Trophy or the MAC Champion Trophy?
Uncle Mel says no, it would be nice to be able to showcase all three of those pieces of hardware in the Trophy Case wherever on campus that is located.
English is using a different looking two-quarterback system and he unveiled the system against the Western Michigan University defense and he seemed to be pleased at the result that his offense responded.
English called upon his senior quarterback and wide receiver Alex Gillett and his sophomore quarterback Tyler Benz to be on the field together at the same time and give the Eagle offense another dimension and adding another weapon in the arsenal for opponent defenses to be concern with – an extra option from the Eagles.
“It is always good to see him have success because he is such an outstanding person,” English said about Gillett. “He has shown great character this year. I am very proud of him and I am fortunate to have him in our program.”
Gillett ran the ball nine times for 60 yards, he caught five passes for 45 yards including a grab for a touchdown and also threw 0ne pass for 37 yards. Benz finish the game 13 of 21 for 137 yards and Benz threw two touchdowns passes.
The running game also got huge contribution from Bronson Hill, he carried the ball 17 times for 77 yards and Dominique Sherrer capped an opening drive of 53-yards with a three yard run into the end zone.
“It is good to have both guys in there at the same time, when Alex can play receiver and Tyler can play quarterback and run,” English said about his combination of Gillett and Benz. “We really moved the sticks. We got first downs, we ran the ball pretty well and we also threw the ball pretty well, we did enough to move the sticks and maintained the possession of the football.”
In spite of the win, the Eagle’s defense gave up a total of 443 yards to the Broncos’ offense which included 328 yards in the air for Western Michigan University quarterback Alex Carder.
The final game of the 2012 football season will be played Friday afternoon inside the friendliest football venue in the Mid-American Conference, the hospitable, Rynearson Stadium. The game will be the day after Thanksgiving Day but the celebration will continue as Eastern Michigan University and English say thank you to his first graduating senior class that he recruited or players he inherited.
Northern Illinois University will lend a hand in the celebration by showing up and they will be ready to show all the brave and good folks of Ypsilanti why the Huskies are the cream of the crop in the West Division. The celebration is scheduled to get kicked off at 1 p.m.
The Huskies have all ready made motel reservation for November 30, 2012 because they will be involved against Kent State University in the championship game being played in Detroit at Ford Field.
Last season, the Huskies rolled out the welcome mat for the Eagles as they visited the home of Cindy Crawford and the rolling plowed cornfields that surround the city of DeKalb, Illinois.
Northern Illinois University finds them self in the same predicament this year as they did last year they have to play the Eagles again knowing that they have a West Division title at home and a championship game waiting for them to end the season.
The Eagles played the Huskies tough last season losing 18-12, English said you know that was last season and he does not know how much of that will help his team.
“We have such a different team, we found ourselves young in a lot of areas. I don’t know if that helps last year. We are completely a different team especially on defense,” English said about the prospects of playing the Huskies. “Our focus needs to be can we for four quarters be competitive. Do the things we are supposed to do to win football games-that’s been our issue. Can we execute, nobody is going to do it right every time but can we focus to execute, do the things we were coached to do consistently.”
Northern Illinois University is the best offense in the conference and they have the best athletes playing at quarterback in the league and this season he is only a junior. Jordan Lynch has ran all ready this season an impressive 1,504 yards and he is completing just over 63 percent of his passes.
The Huskies know there way around the red zone they have scored 58 touchdowns.
“You are talking about a top 25 program,” English said about the Huskies, Monday morning during his teleconference. “They have tremendous speed, their quarterback is playing very, very well and they have a veteran defense front they have played a lot of football, a couple of all-conference players up there. The secondary is the best that I’ve seen in the league in terms of their ability.”
Allow Uncle Mel to review according to English, the Huskies are fast, the quarterback is playing not just very well but very, very well. Add that all together and the summary is simple – it will be a long day for the Eastern Michigan University defense, they are still last in stopping the run and last at keeping anybody out of the end zone.
Eastern Michigan University offense will be tested too with a defensive front line that is physical and a defensive backfield that is quick to the ball and is the best talented group that English has seen in the league.
Uncle Mel and English will be using a lot of anti acids before, during and after the game.
It will be a nice ceremony for the Eagles and all of the seniors that will suit up for the final time Friday afternoon and the memories they will all take with them as the final seconds tick off of the clock and the athlete portion of being a student ends will be priceless.
Like the Eastern Michigan University football program and the graduating seniors that the future is all in front each of them along with the uncertainty of the future holds for all of the 18 graduating seniors and so is is it for next year‘s football team.
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.