Is there a more feel good story in the Mid-American Conference than the Eastern Michigan Eagles? Sandwiched between in-state powers Michigan and Michigan State, the Eagles have been the benefactor of bad geography, bad luck, and bad coaching over decades. They were the game that MAC fans penciled in as a win with near virtual certainty.
Enter Chris Creighton. After a rough first two years, Creighton and the Eagles finished 2016 7-6, with a Bahamas Bowl berth. More importantly, they played inspired and committed football and Creighton is well on his way to establishing a culture in Ypsilanti that actually works. Don’t look now, but EMU is actually a darkhorse contender for the West and virtually everyone is assuming they are bowl bound again for 2017.
On Friday night, the Eagles welcome the Charlotte 49ers to Rynearson Stadium to begin their 2017 campaign. The Eagles and 49ers met for the first time in their respective histories last season when EMU made the trip to Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte. EMU came away victorious, 37-19.
EMU is 74-45-5 (.616) all-time in its home opener. Furthermore, the Eagles are 41-17-1 (.703) when opening the season at home. Friday’s game marks the 10th time in the last 14 years that the Eagles have opened the season at home in Rynearson Stadium.
The pertinent information for tonight’s game:
Kickoff time: 6:30PM
Stream: WatchESPN app, pending cable provider
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 64°
Line: EMU -14