So it’s come to this. Eastern Michigan has lost its fifth game in a row. Each of those games were decided by a touchdown or less. After their defeat of Rutgers, Eastern Michigan showed promise of a good season, they now need to put together a good string of wins to get to the second bowl game in a row. So what have we learned?
1. The Eastern Michigan running game still needs some work.
Eastern Michigan was able to put together 153 yards from their running game against the Broncos. This effort was led by Ian Eriksen who managed to get 93 of those yards. We also witnessed a productive game by Breck Turner, who manged to get 39 yards. It seemed like many of those yards came when Eastern Michigan decided to run off tackle rather than pounding up the middle. The run game came to a screeching halt when it came to overtime and they tried a bunch of run up the middle plays. I know that part of this comes from an inexperienced line but part of it comes from their new offensive coordinator.
2. Western is still in the hunt for a ticket to Detroit.
Western is standing at 5-3 with their only loss in the MAC coming against Akron in the Flood Bowl. They have no losses in the MAC west and still face Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ball State and Toledo. I think they have a shot at winning the MAC West because I think they can beat any of their upcoming opponents. The only question mark to this is the loss of Jon Wassink.
3. The Western Running game looked pretty good.
Western was able to put 220 yards against a pretty strong Eastern Michigan defense. This came on a fairly balanced attack of Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan. This will help Reece Goddard in the games, I think.
4. At least the Eastern Michigan passing game looks good.
Brogan Roback was able to throw for 308 yards in the game. He currently stands at 7580 career passing yards. With 12 more, he ties Charlie Batch for 2nd all time Eastern Michigan passing yards. Barring injury or other issues, he should exceed that against Northern Illinois. I wont blame him too much for the pick because it looked the the ball was slightly off target.
5. Stupid Mistakes Cost Games
There were two mistakes that stood out to me. Once was the fumble by Breck Turner. Eastern Michigan was driving pretty well on that series and he fumbled around the 20 or so yard line. Minus that, I think they would have put up 7 points. The bigger mistake was the block in the back penalty that erased a nice reception by Mathew Sexton. Eastern Michigan would have gone up 17-10 and could have held the momentum for the rest of the game, I think.
I’ve been following Eastern Michigan religiously for a while now. Despite their record, I like where this team stands right now. There are some big questions for next year, but I hope that with a season under their belt, this line will look much better next year.