I was not sure going into tonight’s game for two reasons. One is personal and one is having watched Eastern Michigan for too long. The personal reason is as follows. As you know, I had a scare over the winter and had to get my mitral valve replaced. I’ve mostly recovered but still feel the lingering effects of having that surgery. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to withstand the close to five miles I put in prowling the sidelines. Well, I overcame that hump. I feel pretty good as I am writing this.
The Eastern Michigan reason is because when it seems like this team has turned the corner, they do something to drag me back to the reality of following Eastern Michigan. I thought last year was the mark as they defeated Rutgers but that turned out to be the high mark of the season as they would go on to lose six in a row. Because of that, I had guarded optimism. Yes, Monmouth is FCS and Eastern Michigan should beat them but we’ve seen that movie before. Well, one of the signs of a good team is when they beat teams they should.
After forcing a punt on Monmouth’s opening drive, Eastern Michigan would score seven and not look back. Eastern Michigan would roar to a 30 point lead before Monmouth scored a field goal with 33 seconds left in the first half. Eastern Michigan would finish the game with a 51-17 victory.
The Eastern Michigan attacked was led by graduate transfer quarterback Tyler Wiegers. He completed 18 of 21 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. His main target was Blake Banham, who got 103 yards and one touchdown. The Eastern Michigan rushing attack was led by Ian Eriksen with 44 yards. But that rushing attack also saw contributions from Shaq Vann, Mike Glass and Jairus Grissom for a total rushing of 160 yards.
The Monmouth offense put up some decent numbers with quarterback Kenji Bahar completing 25 of 42 passes for 190 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. His main target was Reggie White, Jr. with 77 yards. The Monmouth rushing attack was led by Juwan Farri with 111 yards.
Eastern Michigan’s defense would register 3 sacks for 26 yards and 1 interception. They gave up 199 yards passing and 187 yards rushing. But they were missing Maxx Crosby this week. He will play next week against Purdue and hopefuly they can improve on those numbers.
Next week, Eastern Michigan travels to West Lafayette, Indiana where they will face the Purdue Boilermakers. And I will post pictures after I sort through them.