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Wallpaper Wednesday – Briggs Hall

September 16, 2014

Prior to Closing the Gap, gray fields, the Factory, Embracing the Process, Harkema, Punch Cards, etc. Football was a much simpler affair for Eastern Michigan. The year was 1937 and it was decided that Eastern Michigan’s (at the time Michigan State Normal College) old gymnasium was not large enough to house its physical education program. Since the country was still in the throes of a depression and Lansing was about as generous to Eastern then as it is now, President John M. Munson turned to his friend Walter O. Briggs to support the building of a new fieldhouse. If the name Walter O. Briggs sounds familiar, then you must be a Tigers fan because it was the same guy who owned the Tigers.

Briggs Fieldhouse also served as the gateway to a 300 seat football/baseball stand which is where the Hurons played (apparently they played pretty well in this era). This field was approximately where Mark Jefferson and Strong Hall are now. The field lasted until 1956 when Briggs was renovated into classrooms and the athletics programs were moved over to Bowen Fieldhouse. It was then used by the Department of Mathematics. When I was student at Eastern, it was used as the registration hall (I’m not sure how long it was used prior to my time in that role though), we would have to pick punch cards for the classes we hoped to take. In 1989, it was renovated again and used by the Art Department for 3D design.

Occasionally, I will use this space to highlight some of the history of Eastern Michigan. I hope you enjoy this aspect as well.

2’s Day Profiles: Rob Bolden & Hunter Matt

September 16, 2014

Rob Bolden

Once upon a time, Tyler Benz quit. Well, that’s what we’re all assuming. There’s no word as to him being kicked off of the team when Chris Creighton got hired in as our new head coach, but he also never spoke publicly spoke out about any of this. We just know that he was on the roster at one point, and he eventually wasn’t. This is Brogan Roback’s offense, nay? Nay. This is nobody’s offense until somebody steps up. Roback started last week at Old Dominion. Could we see a third player try the starting quarterback role against Michigan State?

Being the first true freshman to start at Penn State for the first time in 100 years, then transferring to LSU as a wide receiver and not play, Rob Bolden came to Eastern Michigan on his final year of eligibility. He wasn’t automatically granted the starting position like many assumed he would’ve gotten, but there’s reason enough to think that he could get that opportunity this weekend against Michigan State.

For all the hype that’s been built up over the offseason, let’s put something into perspective heading into our fourth game of the season now: we have more kick return yards than we do passing yards. I get that we had a tough road game against Florida, but that’s not a very good thing coming into Week 4.

Personally, nobody has impressed me at this position and that’s scary. We all imagine that Bolden will get some good playing time with Roback this Saturday in East Lansing, and if he’s going to be “the guy” the rest of the way, this might be one of his final opportunities before the window of opportunity, not the gap, closes for him and this team.

Hunter Matt

I’m from the downriver area. I graduated from Melvindale in 2010, so I was able to see some talented high school football players in the area at that time. When I found out that there would be a downriver kid coming to EMU and play as a linebacker his first year on campus, it was delightful to see that this kid would do more good than bad for this defense in years to come.

From Wyandotte, Hunter Matt is the starting Mike linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme. It’s not an overwhelmingly talented corps, and the defense isn’t great, but joined with Great Ibe (Buck), Amos Houston (Rover) and Anthony Zappone (Stud), there’s a lot of talent to make some noise there by MAC standards.

Now a junior, Matt has put on 21 pounds since coming in as a freshman, according to EMU Athletic’s website. A lot of people (me included, but I did it with craft beer and hot cheetos) put on 21 pounds in the past two years, but a lot of people aren’t 241 pounds of raw muscle, either.

My favorite quality about this kid is that he really loves playing for Eastern Michigan. He had his opportunity to transfer out and play at Wayne State like his brother did, but he didn’t. From talking to a few people that know him on a personal level, I can confidently say that Matt still wants to turn things around in Ypsilanti. The only way that can happen is if we have more guys on the team with that kind of attitude, as well as win a few football games along the way.

2014 opponent watch, week 3

September 15, 2014

EMU’s opponents played a varied schedule this week, ranging from Division II Bowie State to #8 Baylor, and that’s somewhat reflected in their 5-5 record.

Team W L Total % Conf W L Conf % Last Next SagP
Morgan State 1 2 33% MEAC 0 0 N/A Won 28-3 vs Bowie State 9/20 vs Howard  
Florida 2 0 100% SEC 1 0 100% Won 36-30 vs Kentucky 9/20 at #3 Alabama
Old Dominion 2 1 67% Conference USA 0 0 N/A Won 17-3 vs EMU 9/20 at Rice
#11 Michigan State 1 1 50% B1G 0 0 N/A Bye (lost 46-27 at #3 Oregon) 9/20 vs EMU
Akron 1 1 50% MAC 0 0 N/A Bye (lost 21-3 at Penn State) 9/20 vs Marshall
Buffalo 1 2 33% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 63-21 vs #8 Baylor 9/20 vs Norfolk State
Massachusetts 0 3 0% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 34-31 at Vanderbilt 9/20 at Penn State
Northern Illinois 3 0 100% MAC 0 0 N/A Won 48-34 at UNLV 9/20 at Arkansas
Central Michigan 2 1 67% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 40-3 vs Syracuse 9/20 at Kansas
Western Michigan 1 1 50% MAC 0 0 N/A Won 45-33 at Idaho 9/20 vs Murray State
Ball State 1 2 33% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 27-20 vs Indiana State 9/20 at Toledo
Toledo 1 2 33% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 58-34 at Cincinnati 9/20 vs Ball State
Total 16 16 50% 1 0 100%
Past 5 3 63% 1 0 100%
Upcoming 11 13 46% 0 0 N/A

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EMU Football Quarterly Report

September 14, 2014

Greetings, fellow investors. Today we will take an analytical look at the Quarterly performance of Eastern Michigan football, listed on the NCAA Football Exchange as “EMUFACT.”

Pre-season reports outlined the potential for growth for EMU Football, but unfortunately the expected growth has not materialized on the football field. While we, the investors in this program, applaud the new management and the clean break they have made with the failed leadership of the past, we are sorry to report that despite the appearance of positive change there is still no concrete evidence that EMU Football will achieve any degree of success in the immediate, or even distant future.

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EMU vs. Old Dominion — Eagles vs. Butterflies

September 12, 2014

After last week’s 65-0 loss at Florida, the Eastern Michigan football team heads to the Old Dominion state to battle, well, Old Dominion. Saturday marks ODU’s first ever visit by a FBS program, and Monarch Nation is fired up. ODU is coming off a 46-34 loss to North Carolina State, and while the Wolfpack aren’t Florida, one can’t help but be struck by the fact that last week the Monarchs managed to do what EMU couldn’t – score points.

EMU’s passing defense will be tested by Old Dominion senior QB Taylor Heinicke, and whether or not they are up to the challenge is probably the biggest question mark heading into this game. The Eagle secondary and pass rush will have to show us some kind of improvement to give Eastern a chance against the upstart Monarchs.

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2014 Eagle Totem roundtable, week 3

September 11, 2014

Time for week 3 of our new Eagle Totem roundtable. We need an image for this thing to make it pretty, and a snappy name wouldn’t hurt, so if you’ve got any suggestions, let us know. This week, Jeremy is the host.

1. I hear a lot of chatter about how Roback should be the starting QB. Are people being contradictory by saying they fully support Creighton, but at the same time think he is making the wrong choice at quarterback?

Carter: Yes and no. I’ve never been a “love it or leave it” person. I think you can support someone but still disagree with elements of what he’s doing. With that said, choosing a starting quarterback is an important decision, and I think we have to allow for the possibility that Creighton sees something from Bell that the rest of us aren’t seeing in the games. Read more…

2014 MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 3

September 10, 2014

MAC Blogger Roundtable imageIt’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. Orange and Brown, the BG blog and a true credit to the MAC blogosphere takes charge in this edition. This week, I shall pick up the golden scimitar in Carter’s stead. Excelsior!

1. So the MAC picked up two wins over the Big Ten but lost an FCS game, as well as a game to South Alabama and Army. On balance, good week or bad week for the MAC?

Any week the MAC wins two against the Big Ten is a good week. The positive publicity gained far outweighs the negative of a bad loss or two. Northern Illinois continues their superior play, and the Huskies knocking off a Big Ten team is old news by now. Central Michigan made a statement, albeit against a woeful Purdue team, that the Chips will be a tough out this year within the conference.

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Wallpaper Wednesday – The Battle of the Trenches

September 10, 2014

So for Wallpaper Wednesday, I leave you with a picture of the trenches prior to the snap.
It is my opinion back that you can have the best quarterback, receivers and running backs in the world but without good line play, it’s all for naught. It’s kind of a shame that none of these guys are ever considered for the Heisman because their play is what allows the others to shine. I wish the best of luck to the Eagles as they travel to Virginia this weekend. Hopefully they will be riding on a win as they head over to East Lansing.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

September 9, 2014

Early in the afternoon on Friday, August 29th, a young man was assaulted and beaten near Huron River Drive and LeForge Rd. Eventually it was learned that this assault was perpetrated by three Eastern Michigan football players, Darius Scott, Jay Jones, and Quincy Jones. The media was aware that these three players were suspended from the football team, and rumors were out there that they had a run in with the law. Five days later, this fact was made public by a report on Mlive.

What happened in those five days? Why was there little to no communication with the media regarding the status of these three players? Eagle Totem began asking some difficult questions about the level of transparency at the Athletic Department. My concern was that there was a cover-up, that information regarding the arrests was kept silent so as to not overshadow the opening day gala at The Factory. My second concern was that student-privacy, under FERPA, was being utilized to protect the department in a way I felt was disingenuous.

To address those concerns, EMU Athletic Director Heather Lyke was gracious enough to sit down with me for a half-hour yesterday to discuss the response to the arrests.

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2’s Day Profiles: Brogan Roback and Dylan Mulder

September 9, 2014

Brogan Roback

Nobody, and I mean nobody, expected Reggie Bell to be Eastern Michigan’s starting quarterback in the first game of the season, let alone twice in a row. And if there’s anything that I’m certain about with this fan base, it’s that nobody’s satisfied with the production from any of the quarterbacks thus far. Maybe the expectations are too high, or maybe patience is starting to erode and wear thin a little too early this season, but somebody’s got to step up now before it gets too deep into the season to start figuring things out.
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