It's time to look back on all the MAC football teams this season. What went right, what went wrong, and what will happen in the future. Now up: the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Eagles Football Schedule
|Army||Sat 09/04||L 27 - 31|
|@ Miami (Ohio)||Sat 09/11||L 21 - 28|
|Central Michigan||Sat 09/18||L 14 - 52|
|@ Ohio St.||Sat 09/25||L 20 - 73|
|Ohio||Sat 10/02||L 17 - 30|
|@ Vanderbilt||Sat 10/09||L 6 - 52|
|@ Ball St.||Sat 10/16||W 41 - 38|
|@ Virginia||Sat 10/23||L 21 - 48|
|Toledo||Sat 10/30||L 7 - 42|
|@ Western Michigan||Sat 11/13||L 30 - 45|
|@ Buffalo||Sat 11/20||W 21 - 17|
|Northern Illinois||Fri 11/26||L 3 - 71|
Final record: 2-10, 2-6 MAC
Good things: Well, they were winless last year. So adding .166 to their W-L percentage is definitely the positive. And they won both of those games on the road. They were crazy close to upending Army, who is going to a bowl this year. Quarterback Alex Gillett turned in the MAC's single-highest yards from scrimmage game (414 against Ball State), and for brief, joyous moments, the team was able to ride his wave. Gillett helped EMU rank second in total rushing yards (173.3/game)
Bad things: Everything else. Passing, defense, turnovers, penalties, actual attendance ... all of it ranked near the bottom. They intercepted two passes all season. There were even mass suspensions right in the middle of the calendar year, which didn't help the depth chart much. The sourest note of all was to lose the way they did against NIU. It was worse than a blowout. It was water torture. That's the game the seniors will remember, and the one that all the coaches and returning players must live with through next August.
One-sentence summation: Expectations were met, since the expectation was "marginal improvement."
Looking to 2011: Gillett returns, but senior running back Dwayne Priest graduates, and he did have some nice games when he wasn't suspended. We already know of the big addition: Mike Marrow, who transferred from Alabama and practiced with the team this year. That'll help fill out the running back void left by Priest. They bring back some wide receiver talent, mostly Kinsman Thomas. The O-line brings back three main starters. What about the defense? Really, anybody who can make plays on defense would be useful. But the identity of this team, at least in 2011, is going to be Gillett and the spread — as much as coach Ron English would love for the cornerstone to be defense.