Here's some interesting stats: Three games into the 2013 season and the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-2) rank 112th in rushing yards, 111th in points for and 90th in points against. They've looked stale, and lethargic, and Saturday against Rutgers (2-1) it was more of the same in their 28-10 loss.
|Final - 9.14.2013||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Eastern Michigan Eagles||3||7||0||0||10|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||14||0||7||7||28|
Eastern's defense couldn't keep the Scarlet Knights out of the endzone, despite their starting quarterback, Gary Nova, being knocked out of the game early. Backup Chas Dodd came in and managed just 45 yards through the air, but it didn't matter because EMU had no answer for Rugers' sophomore running back Paul James.
James accounted for 70 percent of his team's total yardage in a monster game. He rushed for 192 yards, and an average of just over nine yards-per-carry. More importantly, he rushed for three touchdowns, including two 50+ yard scores in the second half. EMU's offense was once again the Tyler Benz show as it failed to establish any sort of balance.
Benz finished with 335 yards on 24-of-40 passing, with a touchdown. That TD came midway through the second quarter on a 43-yard toss to Ryan Brumfield. The score brought the Eagles to within four, but as was the case against Penn State, they didn't show up in the second half.
The offense struggled to finish drives, behind a rushing attack that accounted for less yards (38) than attempts (40). Junior running back Bronson Hill still hasn't managed more than 38 yards in a game not against Howard this season. Basically, Eastern Michigan has struggled to establish an identity, and its not getting any better.
Not helping the stagnant offense was kicker Dylan Mulder's two make-able misses.
But more interesting is that while EMU's defense looked good yardage wise, it's clear the unit is no better than it was a season ago. If EMU can't get Benz some help, and quick, this season could spiral even further down into mediocrity.