Here’s the expected depth chart for EMU versus Central Michigan.
It’s time for the home stretch of the EMU football season, and it starts off the right way tomorrow at Rynearson Stadium, against the arch-rival Central Michigan Chippewas. CMU (5-4) has thoughts of post-season play, and stand one victory from bowl eligibility. EMU (2-6) is looking to rebound from a tough loss to Northern Illinois, a team the Chips defeated earlier in the year.
After beating Buffalo and giving NIU all they could handle, word has probably gotten around the MAC that Chris Creighton’s EMU team is not a pushover, at least not in Ypsi. Central went to Buffalo and won last week, and are 3-2 on the road. Throw in the fact that this weekend’s CMU vs. EMU game is step one in the battle for the Michigan MAC Championship, and all signs point to a close game.
CMU running back Thomas Rawls is questionable (knee, judgment) for Saturday’s game, and if he is unable to play it would be a blow to the CMU offense. Considering how effective the NIU running attack was last week, it is not a stretch to say EMU is having difficulty stopping the run. CMU adds more balance than NIU, with QB Cooper Rush and All-MAC wide receiver Titus Davis.
Yesterday former EMU football players Darius Scott, Quincy Jones, and Jairockeis “Jay” Jones took plea deals in the case of their assault of Demarko Taylor on August 29.
As you may recall, Taylor is the cousin of Kristopher Pratt, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Demarius Reed. He’s not just related, Taylor was the one who brought Pratt and Ed Thomas to Ypsilanti and to University Green apartments where he lived, and where Reed lived and died.
Taylor was never charged with any crime related to Reed’s murder, but apparently some of Reed’s friends thought he was involved anyway. He “avoided a previous confrontation at the EMU Fitness Center earlier this year” according to MLive, but on Friday, August 29, Scott, Jones, and Jones assaulted him near Huron River Drive and LeForge. (I’ve seen no word on whether the two friends Taylor said he was with attempted to help him defend himself, stood by while their friend was attacked, or took off and left him.)
It’s time for the MAC Blogger Roundtable. Each week one of the bloggers covering the MAC (links are on the right sidebar) poses several questions, to be answered by the others. This week’s host is the Toledo blog, Let’s Go Rockets.
1. With UMass exiting the MAC at the conclusion of the season, is it in the conference’s best interest to stay at 12 teams or pursue two teams, one to replace and one to even the divisions? If the MAC goes after two, which two teams fit well or what teams would you like to see join the conference?
Let’s start from the assumptions that the Mid-American Conference lacks the relative stature to poach a team from another FBS conference. Any new MAC teams would either be new football programs or moving up from a lower sub/division.
Given that, I don’t think the MAC should add any teams unless they’re a good fit for the conference and look like they’ll stick around long-term. The MAC, particularly with the departure of Massachusetts, is a relatively compact conference of public schools with attandance ranging from 18,000 to just shy of 30,000.
With that in mind, the MAC’s primary target should probably be an Missouri Valley Football Conference teams considering a move up from FCS to FBS. MVFC teams are all public schools, a bit smaller in enrollment than MAC schools (12,000 to 21,000), and the league consistently fields some of the best teams in the Championship Subdivision. Read more…
It is no secret that one of the biggest problems EMU has had on defense over the past few years is a propensity to give up devastating big plays. Last year, as well as the year before, big plays were just part of a larger defeat — a game that would have been lost by 21 points was instead lost by 35 because of big plays. Saturday, against Northern Illinois, the EMU defense only gave up one really big play, a 78 yard run early in the first quarter by NIU quarterback Drew Hare. It was almost an early knockout punch, and it took three quarters for Eastern to claw their way back. Chris Creighton’s crew showed heart and toughness to fight back, but, like a Jersey Girl stuck in the 80’s, the problem was too much Hare.
Hare was unstoppable most of the afternoon. He hopped, skipped, and jumped all over the EMU defense, with 13 rushes for 166 yards. The effect was devastating. It looked something like this:
Some pictures from yesterday’s game. For this game, I tried something a little different in that I shot Northern Illinois in black and white. I actually like the effect because it gives it a little grit or something.
As for the game, I think Eastern Michigan looked good for the most part. They were moving the ball fairly effectively (except for when it counted it seemed). The defense seemed to get some key stops. Eastern managed to keep the game close for a little over three quarters and at one point they looked like they might have a chance to pull it out. I don’t know what this means for this season but I’m expecting better things next season.
Well, EMU made a valiant effort, and for three glorious minutes early in the fourth quarter, they actually led the Northern Illinois Huskies for the first time since 2007, but in the end it turned out to be not quite enough.
After the game, head coach Chris Creighton took responsibility for the loss, saying, “When we come to play, and we’re all locked in, then we’ve got a chance, and I’ve got to find a way to get us over the hump.” That was generous of him, it was the kind of comment you like to hear from a head coach, but unfortunately it wasn’t the whole picture. Read more…
The forecast calls for an absolutely beautiful day, with mostly sunny skies, light winds, almost no chance of rain, and temperatures reaching into the upper 60s. Just call it a perfect late-October day. Read more…
This week’s MAC Blogger Roundtable is hosted by…me! I am king of the roundtable, BOW DOWN BEFORE ME! MWAHAHA!!!
As king, I subjected my…er…subjects to a three-question inquisition. The following blogs paid fealty:
Really? Just two? That does it, the rest of you hosers are on notice.
As always, I’ve selected a…um…a selection of the best answers to each question. To peruse all the brilliance that is MAC bloggery, click the links above.
1. Last week talked about coaches; this week let’s talk about players: Which player from your team has been the biggest positive surprise, and who has fallen the most short of expectations? Read more…