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Depth chart for EMU at Massachusetts

October 17, 2014

Here’s the expected depth chart for EMU at Massachusetts.

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EMU vs. Massachusetts Preview

October 17, 2014

This Saturday’s game between Eastern Michigan and Massachusetts is a surprisingly meaningful game for both teams. They do have a combined record of 3-10, but both programs feel better days are just around the corner. Whichever team wins will have put together back-to-back wins, a milestone achievement for both programs given their dismal recent performance.

UMass has had some truly heartbreaking defeats this season. They fell just short against Colorado and Vanderbilt, losing by three points to both. Yes, these are two wretched teams, but they are both Power 5 conference members and when was the last time EMU lost to a P5 team by three points?

Along with their close losses to CU and Vandy, UMass forgot that in football there are four quarters, and completely gave away a game to the Miami Redhawks. Last week, UMass emphatically stamped out a 40-17 win over Kent State for their first victory of the season, and with EMU coming to town, the 1-6 Minutemen probably feel like they can add to the momentum with a win over the Eagles.

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MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 8

October 16, 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. This week’s host is the Ball State blog Over the Pylon.

1. The dominant story this week in college football has been the autographs for potential profits from Jameis Winston or Todd Gurley. Who on your team would command the highest price for their signature, and what would it be worth to you?

The real question is who at EMU would command any price for an autograph. I’ve got to say probably no one, but there is this…

So maybe Owen Dubiel’s signature could command a couple bucks. Read more…

Eagle Totem Roundtable – Week 8

October 16, 2014

Week 8 of the Eagle Totem Roundtable

Because I have to include a picture

Obligatory picture on my part

1. We’ve reached the halfway point of the season, what are some aspects of the current team that you like and dislike?

Carter – I feel like we’re still seeing a team very much in progress. How else to explain the fluctuation within the last two games? I’m happy with the aggression, the improved (and still improving) play calling, the punting and punt coverage, and about half the defense (d-line and linebackers). I’m less sanguine about some of the personnel issues we’ve seen, such as the handling of the quarterback situation and the apparent refusal to give carries to Bronson Hill.

Jeremy –  I really like the way the defense has played. Yes, they’ve given up their share of big plays, but those seem to have been reduced from last year. I especially like how they’ve responded to the loss of Ike Spearman, arguably their best defensive player last season. The defense has created an identity around Pat O’Connor and Anthony Zappone that has been fun to watch. On the negative side, the offense, aside from the last 2 1/2 quarters of the Buffalo game has been disappointing. We’ll have to see if they can continue the productive play before I declare the offense successful.

KenI’ll start with the negative part first. The offense seemed inconsistent until about the middle of the 2nd quarter on Saturday. I’m not sure if putting Bell in was the spark or something else but they finally started to click after that. I didn’t think this offense was that bad to being the season. You had one decent quarterback in Roback, one probably decent in Bell and one unknown in Bolden (but assumed to be good). With a few sparks, the passing game seemed atrocious and the running game seemed non-existent. Hopefully, they will continue with the brilliance shown on Saturday. For the most part, I’ve liked the defense so far. They’ve give up a bunch of points but much of that seems to be because they’ve been put in difficult situations by the offense (I did my analysis of that after the State game). It seems like they’ve been pretty cohesive and it seems like they are starting to gel.

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2014 opponent watch, week 7

October 15, 2014

EMU’s opponents went 5-6 over the weekend, with one bye, though four future opponents faced each other.

Team W L Total % Conf W L Conf % Last Next SagP
Morgan State 3 3 50% MEAC 2 1 67% Bye (won 24-9 at Florida A&M) 10/18 at North Carolina Central 40.12
Florida 3 2 60% SEC 2 2 50% Lost 30-27 vs LSU 10/18 vs Missouri 83.23
Old Dominion 3 4 43% Conference USA 1 3 25% Lost 42-35 at Texas-El Paso Bye (10/25 at Western Kentucky) 53.64
#8 Michigan State 5 1 83% B1G 2 0 100% Won 45-31 at Purdue 10/18 at Indiana 84.83
Akron 4 2 67% MAC 2 0 100% Won 29-19 vs Miami 10/18 at Ohio 64.82
Buffalo 3 4 43% MAC 1 2 33% Lost 37-27 at EMU Bye (10/25 vs Central Michigan) 55.09
Massachusetts 1 6 14% MAC 1 2 33% Won 40-17 at Kent State 10/18 vs EMU 54.37
Northern Illinois 4 2 67% MAC 1 1 50% Lost 34-17 vs Central Michigan 10/18 vs Miami 63.82
Central Michigan 4 3 57% MAC 2 1 67% Won 34-17 at Northern Illinois 10/18 vs Ball State 62.30
Western Michigan 3 3 50% MAC 1 1 50% Won 42-38 at Ball State 10/18 at Bowling Green 62.91
Ball State 1 5 17% MAC 0 2 0% Lost 42-38 vs Western Michigan 10/18 at Central Michigan 59.27
Toledo 4 3 57% MAC 3 0 100% Lost 37-30 at Iowa State Bye (10/25 vs Massachusetts) 67.46
Total 38 38 50% 18 15 55%
Past 21 16 57% 10 8 56%
Upcoming 17 22 44% 8 7 53%

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Wallpaper Wednesday – Three For the Price of One

October 15, 2014

I had a tough time picking a wallpaper for this week.  I wanted to use a picture from the game on Saturday, but I couldn’t decide on which one.  Two of these pictures represent key moments in the game and one just represents an awesome picture in my mind.

For me, the first key moment in the game was the goal line stand that Eastern made towards the end of the Second Quarter.   Buffalo managed to get the ball down to the one yard line and it looked like they were going to punch it in for the touchdown.  I think if that happened, the game would have had a different result. On the first play, Eastern managed to stuff them for no gain.  On the next play, Anthony Zappone managed to work his way into the backfield and pushed Buffalo back for one yard.   Since Zappone was named defensive player of the week, I figured that I would use that one.

The next moment, was when Reggie Bell managed to break free and score his first college touchdown.  I think that provided the spark the offense needed because Eastern didn’t look back after that moment.

The awesome picture was one of the Eastern Michigan players holding up two fingers after Ryan Brumfield’s touchdown.

So with these pictures, we can savor in the moment.

EMU Homecoming Saved by Bell, Defense

October 13, 2014

Last August, before the season started, I was fortunate enough to sit down with EMU head coach Chris Creighton to discuss the prospects for the season. It was a productive conversation, but after I left the interview, something he had said stuck with me.

“Don’t forget about Reggie Bell,” was Creighton’s admonishment. I had asked questions about LSU transfer Robert Bolden, and highly regarded sophomore quarterback Brogan Roback. But before he let me move on to the running backs, Creighton leaned forward and said, “Don’t forget about Reggie Bell.”

This is why when Bell was named opening day quarterback for Eastern Michigan, I wasn’t that surprised. I recognized Creighton’s enthusiasm for the young QB, but I expected Bolden to be the starter, and a mentor to Bell. This year was going to belong to Bolden, and Bell was the future.

On an improbably beautiful homecoming Saturday, the future of EMU football exploded on the field.

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Eastern Michigan Vs Buffalo Bulls in Pictures

October 11, 2014

These are the games where I like doing photography for this webpage.  It seemed like it was going to be one of those days when I saw the Buffalo kick hit the goal post.  But that thought changed when Buffalo scored their first touchdown.  It seemed like it was going to be a long afternoon when the second half started.  Yes, Eastern was only down by a touch down but the score was close last week too.  Then something happened.  Eastern brought in a new quarterback and then I think we realized why Coach Creighton was sold on him.

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Despite giving up 27 points, the defense looked pretty good when they needed to.  I know they had a couple of goal line stands that only lead to field goals.  If I had an issue, it seemed like their pass coverage was still soft but maybe that is part of the scheme.  I guess we will see.  But for now, I will enjoy my Ontario Sandwich (actually….not but it sounds good) and an Ypsi Gypsy.

EMU 37, Buffalo 27: Ontario Sandwich Trophy regained!

October 11, 2014
The Ontario Sandwich Trophy:  the oldest sandwich related college football trophy east of the Mississippi.

The Ontario Sandwich Trophy: the oldest sandwich related college football trophy east of the Mississippi.

Wow, what a game!

Things started off about as we expected they would, with EMU falling behind early. Joe Licata connected with Marcus McGill for a 24-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to give the Bulls a 7-0 lead, and they followed it up with a short field goal early in the second to stretch the lead to 10-0. It looked like we might be heading down an all-too-familiar path.

But late in the second quarter, Creighton benched Rob Bolden in favor of Reggie Bell, and for the first time this fall, it looked like the Eagles had a legitimate quarterback. Bell provided an immediate spark, leading EMU almost to the end zone before having to settle for a short field goal by Dylan Mulder in the final minute before halftime.

The EMU Marching Band’s halftime show featured music from The Wizard of Oz (and The Wiz), and in the second half, EMU fans could be excused for thinking they had traveled over the rainbow (although the field failed to burst into color) as Bell clicked his shoes together and decided, “There’s no place like the end zone.” Read more…

EMU vs Buffalo open thread

October 11, 2014

Homecoming game day!

The Parade of Nations in 2010. It’s good in theory, but underwhelming in practice.

Sometimes “homecoming” is just another game but this year, EMU went the extra mile and made sure it was the first home game in 42 days. 42 days! 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 Q&A with Bull Run, the game preview, and the EMU depth chart. Since it’s been so long since the last game, it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a fresh look at our Rynearson Stadium 2014 game-day guide. And be warned, although they didn’t charge for parking during the first game, EMU has said that they intend to charge tomorrow and going forward. $5 per normal size vehicle. Read more…