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.
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.
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.
Everything I love and everything I dislike about college athletics converged this weekend. While EMU football was offering themselves up for sacrifice on the altar of gray fields, EMU Soccer (or EMU FC, come on people, I WANT A SCARF!) went to Oregon and showed the laid back Pacific Northwest how we roll in Ypsi.
Friday, Oregon had to come back to pull a draw 1-1 with EMU. Two days later, Megan Trapp scored early against Oregon State (thank goodness they don’t call themselves the Lady Beavers), and EMU triumphantly returns from the Oregon Trail with a win and a draw against two PAC-12 teams.
EMU Soccer represents everything that is good and decent and fun about college athletics. They work hard, they represent the university well, and seem to have a lot of fun with each other in the process. I’ve written about the chemistry on the football team, but my point of comparison is this soccer team. When they say they are all in, it is not a gimmick, they are playing to win, and playing for each other.
EMU’s opponents moved up from FCS opponents to some of the big boys, and the change in difficulty is reflected in the record for the week, 3-7.
|Team||W||L||Total %||Conf||W||L||Conf %||Last||Next||SagP|
|Morgan State||0||2||0%||MEAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 29-26 at Holy Cross||9/13 vs Bowie State|
|Florida||1||0||100%||SEC||0||0||N/A||Won 65-0 vs EMU||9/13 vs Kentucky|
|Old Dominion||1||1||50%||Conference USA||0||0||N/A||Lost 46-34 at North Carolina State||9/13 vs EMU|
|#7 Michigan State||1||1||50%||B1G||0||0||N/A||Lost 46-27 at Oregon||Bye (9/20 vs EMU)|
|Akron||1||1||50%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 21-3 at Penn State||Bye (9/20 vs Marshall)|
|Buffalo||1||1||50%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 47-39 at Army||9/12 vs Baylor|
|Massachusetts||0||2||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 41-38 vs Colorado||9/13 at Vanderbilt|
|Northern Illinois||2||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 23-15 at Northwestern||9/13 at UNLV|
|Central Michigan||2||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 38-17 at Purdue||9/13 vs Syracuse|
|Western Michigan||0||1||0%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Bye (lost 43-34 at Purdue)||9/13 at Idaho|
|Ball State||1||1||50%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 17-13 at Iowa||9/13 vs Indiana State|
|Toledo||1||1||50%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Lost 49-24 vs Missouri||9/12 at Cincinnati|
Well, that was every bit as awful as we expected and then some. How ugly was it?
As bad as the entire Ron English era was, his teams managed to score something every game. EMU was last shut out September 27, 2008, by Northern Illinois (37-0).
As many bad games as EMU has had in 123 years, this game tied for the eighth most points allowed, and the fourth worst margin of loss. In both measures, this was EMU’s worst outing since Bleak Friday — November 26, 2010, against Northern Illinois.
Teams tend not to publicize bad superlatives, but here are a few more that I’ve tracked down. Treon Harris’s two passes to Demarcus Robinson (70 yards for a touchdown) and Mark Herndon (78 yards for a touchdown) tied for the ninth- and third-longest pass plays ever against EMU. Duke Dawson’s 36-yard interception return for a touchdown was the fourth-longest ever against EMU. EMU’s 11 punts tied for the twelfth-most in school history.
Game day, y’all, ’cause it’s in the South!
Welcome to the other side of the Cupcake Wars. If EMU can make this anywhere near as close as Morgan State did last weekend, I’ll take it. 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 for this game: Know Your Foe, the Eagle Totem roundtable, the opponent Q & A, and the EMU depth chart. No game commentary from Jeremy because he’s been busy digging into the administrative shenanigans involved in refusing to discuss public arrest records under the claimed mantle of FERPA — expect to hear more from him early next week on that topic.
We’ve never really done any kind of “mailbag” feature here, but I’m not against it. If you’ve got questions you’d like to see us answer, either individually or as a group in the Eagle Totem roundtable, send them to me at email@example.com
Dan sent the following question:
I was curious if Creighton really plans to play as fast/uptempo as we did in the opener. Against a team like Florida, you’d think slowing the game down and limiting possessions would be the optimal strategy. I’m a little afraid of playing a speed game with them in the Swamp.
Any thoughts? Also, any idea if Creighton has ever mentioned a desired plays per game? Seems to me that playing fast is only a good idea if you’ve got the athletes/talent to pull it off, and I’m certain we are a little short there…at least for now.
I think this raises several interesting issues that are worth exploring. Read more…
Since unlike some of the teams EMU faces — Morgan State, for example — the Florida Gators are thoroughly reported on, discussed, and analyzed, I thought I’d let someone who actually knows what they’re talking about tell us about the Gators. Three someones, actually. I posed the same three questions to Edgar Thompson, the Florida Gators beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel, to Nick De La Torre, the football beat writer for Gator Country, and to Andy Hutchins, managing editor of Alligator Army at SB Nation.
Here’s what they had to say about the Florida Gators:
1. The last season EMU played Florida, Jeremy Foley fired Ron Zook, saying, ” What must be done eventually should be done immediately.” Why is Will Muschamp still the coach, what do fans think of him, and what are the odds he makes it to the end of the year?
Edgar: Fair question, especially considering Zook ended his three seasons with as many wins as Muschamp (22 each). But an 11-win season in 2012, the rash of injuries during the 4-8 collapse in 2013 and the strides Muschamp has made with the overall program earned him another chance with Florida AD Jeremy Foley. Read more…