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Five Lessons Learned: Eastern Michigan at Missouri

Calm down, everyone. The season is young yet.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The important question is, “What can be learned from a 61-21 game?” Well, I think you can still learn quite a bit.

Eastern Michigan is still not quite there yet.

As I said last week, the drubbing of Mississippi Valley State was not a good yardstick for where Eastern Michigan was. Sure, I think they showed some improvement over the 2015 season but it was still hard to gauge. Eastern Michigan gave up quite a few big plays in the game tonight. It seems like two things lead to that: players out of position and missed tackles. I think the first part is still workable.

Todd Porter can play quarterback.

Eastern Michigan’s Todd Porter Setting to Pass
Kenneth Bailey

Despite two interceptions, Todd Porter was 23-45 for 287 yards. It looked like a good deal of that came from the better offensive line. I’m hoping he will show further improvement next week.

3. Eastern Michigan has a serious run threat in Ian Eriksen

Eastern Michigan Running Back Ian Eriksen
Kenneth Bailey

Even though Eastern Michigan was playing from behind, Ian Eriksen still managed to rack up 90 yards rushing. I think if they can use him more often, the passing game should get that much better. Ericksen will be key moving forward, especially as Shaq Vann had an injury scare during the game.

The Offensive Line is pretty solid

Only one sack was allowed in this game, which is fantastic considering that EMU was playing a traditionally SEC-caliber defense in Mizzou. Todd Porter had more time to set up the pas and was able to string together some nice, sustained drives on the Tigers defense. I think this is an aspect of the game that will get better. I’m not sure how this will play out in the conference schedule, but I’m hoping for good things.

5. Mistakes will kill you

If you want to hang with the big dogs, you have to limit your mistakes. By my estimates, mistakes lead to three of the big plays for Mizzou, all of which ultimately ended in touchdowns.

Yes, Missouri still would have scored 40, but you never know what could have happened if the numbers on the scoreboard were a little closer at certain moments. You also need to take the opportunities when you get them. There were a couple of Eastern Michigan drives that stopped because the opportunity wasn’t taken. It could have been a different ball game.

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EMU will travel to North Carolina on Saturday for a game against the Charlotte 49ers at 5:00 p.m. EST. TV and streaming are yet to be determined.