I think the first thing we learned or relearned (depending on how long you’ve followed) is that Chris Creighton is pretty unflappable.
Ben Bryant threw an interception when it looked like the Eagles would pick up a touchdown. The RedHawks took that down for a quick score, but the Eagle defense was good enough that Miami only got a field goal out of it. The Redhawks would score again to make it 6-0, making it seem like Miami had the edge, given EMU’s inability to get the ball moving.
But then, Ben Bryant would find Bryson Cannon to make the game 7-6, and they would tack on more points from there, building up to a 13-6 lead, leaning on their defense to hold the RedHawks to two more field goals.
The RedHawks defense is still pretty good. They held the Eagles to a net of 51 yards rushing and 206 yards passing. They also got six sacks and one interception. When you can cause that much disruption on defense, you are doing something right.
Eastern Michigan still needs to find their disruption defense. The Eagles only had 4 tackles for loss. Usually the Neal Neathery defense does more than that. They are also usually getting timely turnovers. They only had one fumble recovery in the game. I still think the defense needs to get better.
I think Eastern Michigan is going to have a tough time against Western Michigan and Central Michigan. Given that they’ve already lost to Northern Illinois, their path to Detroit will have to go through Mt. Pleasant and Kalamazoo. Granted, Central Michigan lost to Miami, but still any given Saturday. I’m not sure about Eastern Michigan’s run game and they are going to need it later in the season, but we will see.
It’s nice to see coaching stability. Eastern Michigan has had Creighton since 2014. They just signed him to more years at Eastern Michigan. He is the first Eastern Michigan to last longer than five seasons since Coach Harkema in the 1980’s. I think it takes at least four years to build a program, so I think it is ideal that a coach lasts at least five seasons.
If you have constant churn at coach, you can’t really build any momentum. Creighton has been to three bowl games and it looks like he is going to go to another this year. I would love to see the Eagles win the MAC one of these days and I think that is going to happen.