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Under Further Review - Eastern Michigan at Purdue - Offense

Coach Creighton in better weather
Kenneth Bailey

This is where we take a deeper look at the game. Eastern Michigan was able to defeat its second Big Ten team in as many years. Like in their upset against Rutgers, it came down to the last series of plays in the game, as the Eagles didn't get phased by the hostile environment and kept pace with a solid Boilermaker squad.

Of course, we're here to review the offense in all it's facets, to see just how that side of the ball engineered the upset.

Eastern Michigan only had three of their rushing plays go for 10 yards or more. There was one play that was between 5 and 10 yards. The rest were 5 yards or less. Of special note, two of their rushing plays were for no yards, with three stuffed behind the line of scrimmage. For their efforts, they were able to get a net gain of 69 yards on the ground. Two of the Purdue rushers were able to get that on their own, a concern the Eagles will have hopefully addressed in practice this week.

The Eastern Michigan leader of this rushing attack was Shaq Vann who gained 44 yards with 7 attempts. He was followed by Ian Eriksen with 20 yards on 8 attempts. The other Eastern Michigan rushers didn’t really have much to speak of. The lone Eastern Michigan rushing touchdown was by Breck Turner. Again, it seems to me that Eastern Michigan has more success when they have the rushing game go outside the tackles.

The passing game still looks great for EMU, with quarterback Tyler Wiegers tossing a pretty mean pigskin around the field. Wiegers was 20 for 28 with 312 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. While the latter two numbers don't jump off the screen, the former two numbers should. Wiegers was surgically precise in his throws and elongated EMU's time of possession on the strength of his arm in the short passing game, choking the clock as an upsetting team wants to do.

The lone receiving touchdown was a 75-yard bomb to Mathew Sexton. Blake Banham was one yard shy of having back to back 100 yard receiving games.

Of special note, it looks like Eastern Michigan has a new kicker in Chad Ryland. He was two for two in less than ideal conditions, including aceing the 25-yard game winner with time expiring. That might come in handy later in the season as EMU will likely face many close games.

Of other note, Eastern Michigan averaged 43 yards per punt. Five of those went inside the 20. They also only had the ball for two seconds less than Purdue, which is a pretty good feat, all considered.

I still don’t want to read too much into this game because I think the real test will be Buffalo and MAC play. But if these numbers carry out, it bodes well for the Eagles and they might be one of the sleepers.