Amid my fatigue due to the late finish after the weather delay, my excitement from the team actually winning the game, and my frustration with the apparent lack of on-field improvement, I forgot to mention what seems (based on media coverage) to have been the most significant thing that happened in Rynearson Stadium on Saturday night.
Let’s take a look at some headlines, shall we?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao-tzu
It was deja vu all over again Saturday night at Rynearson Stadium. Eastern Michigan has a new coach, new offensive and defensive schemes, a new field and a new, all-encompassing metaphor. There was nothing new, however, about the outcome on the field, and the overall quality of play. Throw in poor attendance and bad weather on opening day, and this was a show we have all seen before.
Eastern Michigan defeated the Morgan State Bears by a score of 31-28. A game that, as Carter described, was a mirror of last year’s opener.
Anyone excepting dramatic change left Rynearson with a much clearer head about what still needs to be done to get this program to a level of mere respectability, let alone competing for MAC titles.
EMU’s opponents went 8-3, and there were no real surprises in the game outcomes. A lot of mismatches this week, so not a lot to analyze. I’m including the column for the Sagarin rankings but it’s empty because of inadequate data.
|Team||W||L||Total %||Conf||W||L||Conf %||Last||Next||SagP|
|Morgan State||0||1||0%||MEAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 31-28 at EMU||9/6 at Holy Cross|
|Florida||0||0||N/A||SEC||0||0||N/A||Suspended 0-0 vs Idaho||9/6 vs. EMU|
|Old Dominion||1||0||100%||Conference USA||0||0||N/A||Won 41-28 vs Hampton||9/6 at North Carolina State|
|#8 Michigan State||1||0||100%||B1G||0||0||N/A||Won 45-7 vs Jacksonville State||9/6 at Oregon|
|Akron||1||0||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 41-0 vs Howard||9/6 at Penn State|
|Buffalo||1||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 38-28 vs Duquesne||9/6 at Army|
|Massachusetts||0||1||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 30-7 vs Boston College||9/6 vs Colorado|
|Northern Illinois||1||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 55-3 vs Presbyterian||9/6 at Northwestern|
|Central Michigan||1||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 20-16 vs Chattanooga||9/6 at Purdue|
|Western Michigan||0||1||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 43-34 at Purdue||Bye (9/13 at Idaho)|
|Ball State||1||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 30-10 vs Colgate||9/6 at Iowa|
|Toledo||1||0||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 54-20 vs New Hampshire||9/6 vs Missouri|
In a new head coach’s first game, it seems natural to draw comparison to the prior head coach, and the previous season. Last year after the narrow season-opening win over Howard, I wrote that if there are moral victories, there must also be moral losses, and if so, that was one. If a narrow win over Howard was a moral loss, how much more so a narrow win over Morgan State, the team expected to finish last in the same conference?
There were a few bright spots, to be sure, but there was so much not to like that it’s hard to be optimistic. Except… Read more…
I leave the more detailed analysis to Carter and Jeremy but I enjoyed this game. It was much closer than I would have preferred and I’m glad that the rain held off for the most part. The offense looked pretty good and it seems like Creighton is going to be willing to mix it up a bit. The defense needs some work but I think we knew this going into the game.
Once again, it was fun to be on the field to take pictures again but it seems that I need to get some practice again. Anyway, congratulations to Coach Creighton on his first Division 1A (I can’t bring myself to call it that other name) win. I hope that he gets many more in the seasons to come.
After more than 270 football-less days, it’s finally time. While you’ve got a few minutes this morning, and before you get too far into consuming your beverage of choice, go ahead and review all our coverage this week: Know Your Foe, the Eagle Totem roundtable, the opponent preview, the EMU depth chart, and Jeremy’s commentary. Since it’s the first game of the season, it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a second look at our Rynearson Stadium 2014 game-day guide.
I think the last time I was this excited about an Eastern season was the first season where I became the photographer for this blog and found out I was going to be on the field. Prior to that, it was probably the 1987 season where I was a freshman at Eastern. That was the first time I’d ever been to a college football game. I didn’t know anything about the team at the time but I was still excited.
Since it’s been more than 9 months since the last football game at Rynearson Stadium, it’s probably a good idea to review the stadium and tailgating rules.
All the parking lots marked 1-10 and A-D on the map will be open but are free no longer. The parking charge will be $5 per normal-size vehicle and $20 for any vehicle that takes up more than one space. The lots will open three hours before kickoff each week, and payment is cash only.
In years past, all lots have been “designated tailgating areas”. They haven’t said anything about tailgating in the lots this year, except they’ve designated lot #1, the grassy hill on the west side of Hewitt and south of the paved lots, as “Tailgate Town” and encouraging students to tailgate there.
Tailgating rules from past years, which are probably still in effect, are that tailgating is permitted before the game, but not during (duh) or after (boo!). Drinking games, common source alcohol containers (kegs, punch bowls, etc.), glass beverage containers, and animals are prohibited, as is under-age drinking. As in the past, a courtesy shuttle will be running between all designated parking areas and the stadium.
Here’s the expected depth chart for EMU vs Morgan State. The official list gives some new terms on defense, so for this week I’m just using those terms while we wait and see what form this defense actually takes.
It has been a long offseason, with a lot of good vibes emanating from the EMU football program. That has all been well and good, but after months of talk about factories, fields, and even Frozen, we are ready to focus on football. Let us all be thankful. I’m sure that most of you, like me, have had enough of the talk, and are ready to see the product on the field.
As much as I love college football, I must express my dislike for the so-called “cupcake” games that seem to dominate the college football non-conference landscape. For a MAC team, you go from consumer of the cupcake to the cupcake itself in a matter of one week. Case in point: EMU will be at Florida next week.
What is the benefit of the cupcake game? A paycheck, at least it is in the case of EMU at Florida, or Michigan State. Gotta pay for the shiny new gray field somehow, I suppose. For the host, it usually represents a chance to squash a smaller program, as if fans are clamoring to see beat-downs of inferior competition. I love how kids are taught that bullying is a horrible thing, but on any given college football Saturday some Power 5 conference is playing Nelson to a smaller school’s Millhouse.