Eastern Michigan upsets Purdue, exacting football revenge

USA TODAY Sports

Three months ago EMU football was blasted by the Boilermakers 54-16. Consider that game avenged, even more so considering their basketball team held them to fewer points.


Final - 12.8.2012 1 2 Total
Purdue Boilermakers 20 24 44
Eastern Michigan Eagles 19 28 47

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It was a true Rob Murphy defensive showing: the offense struggled and/or played like a team as no singular Eagle had more than eight points (Derek Thompson). But the key was keeping turnovers down: EMU only lost the ball four FOUR times and had 11 steals - the key one being Jamell Harris scooping up a bad pass when Purdue needed a 3-pointer to tie it.

The last time Eastern Michigan beat somebody in the Big Ten — or Red Line Upset of any kind — was December 10, 1997 when Earl Boykins and company downed Michigan 89-83. Considering how they've performed since then, this may be their biggest victory in that time span.

To wipe away 15 years of futility against those teams by topping a team who had Final Four aspirations in the last couple years is simply spectacular. That's the realized potential of Eastern Michigan. Even though they were being out-powered on the glass, they were smart and methodical on offense, then played tough 35-second defense on the other side.

Now for the bad news: it's just one game, and some tougher ones are upcoming. EMU will go to UIC next Saturday, a 7-1 team whose only loss was to ranked New Mexico. After that is unbeaten Michigan. At least they can enjoy this one for now.

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