Eastern Michigan ended up losing the game on Saturday by a final score of 27-20 but that was after two overtimes. Honestly, I can’t pin the blame on the defense for that loss. A lethargic offense couldn’t score enough points to keep it in regulation.
So what did we learn?
The EMU defense may in fact be pretty good.
The Eastern Michigan defense held the Ohio Bobcats to two field goals in regulation. The Bobcats’ touchdown came as the result of a pick six and we can’t blame the defense for that. The defense held Ohio to 171 yards rushing and 197 yards passing both of which are below Ohio’s averages so far. They also recorded 4 sacks (it seemed like more) and recovered two fumbles.
EMU stills needs to work on rushing.
Eastern Michigan ran for a net 45 yards, gaining 70 yards but also losing 25.
Granted, some of that was sack yardage but still. I would be upset with 70 yards but 45 yards is ridiculous. It didn’t seem like the offensive line was creating the openings that the running backs needed. Nor did it seem like the passing game was spreading out the Ohio defense. It seems like Eastern Michigan may need to take a different tack on running. Maybe they need to try running off tackle. I think Shaq Vann could be fast enough to do this.
The EMU passing game seems okay though.
Brogan Roback was able to pass for 305 yards on Saturday. It it weren’t for a couple of dropped passes and a pretty costly offensive passing interference, they may have been able to come away with the win.
Ohio looks to be the team for the East.
Ohio’s rush defense was able to contain the run. I think the ability to run the ball is also the ability to control the game. There were a couple of instances where Eastern had fourth and short but because they couldn’t count on the run for short yardage, they were forced to punt. Ohio was also able to maintain a pretty balanced attack. But the season is still young.
I hate TV timeouts.
Even though the game isn’t broadcast, there are still too many media timeouts. They are great at home, you can get up get something else to drink or take care of other needs. While you are the stadium, you can only look around. The NCAA needs to figure out how to make the games progress faster in that regard.