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What We Learned: Takeaways from Eastern Michigan’s 52-49 win vs. Toledo

It’s November, and the Eagles are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory: in the title hunt.

The Eagles were on the attack last night.
Kenneth Bailey

It was a back-and-forth game last night but the Eastern Michigan Eagles emerged on top. Eastern Michigan gained its sixth win, becoming bowl-eligible for the fourth time in five seasons. It also marks the first time the Eagles have been 6-3 overall in the Creighton era.

By scoring 52 points in the game vs. Toledo this week, and 55 against the Falcons in the last game, it also marks the first time that the Eagles have had back to back 50+ point games since 2008.

To put a cherry on top, it also was the first time the Eagles have won at the Glass Bowl since 1999.

With all that, what have we learned?

Coach Creighton
Coach Creighton enters his third season. (Photo from 2016)
Kenneth Bailey

Well first and foremost, it seems that Chris Creighton has the team about where he wants it. The Eagles are probably not likely to win the MAC Championship but they are still in contention (however much of a longshot it is). Given where the program was when he took over and where it is now, that is a significant improvement.

Hassan Beydoun seems to be the real deal. Last night, he caught a career high of 197 yards and he scored two touchdowns. This was his third game with 10 or more catches. He was also a force on kickoff returns.

Eastern Michigan gave up 247 yards on the ground. Their rush defense still leaves alot to be desired. Toledo was also able to pick them apart in the air with 461 yards. But on turnovers, the defense came up big by recovering two fumbles and one interception.

Ben Bryant had a pretty solid game by going 354 yards in the air with three touchdowns and one interception being the only blemish. He was sacked four times though. With a little more protection from the line, I think Eastern would be 7 and 2 or 8 and 1 right now. That might be something that will be addressed in the off season.

Jake Julien was pretty solid again last night as he punted five times. Two of those punts went for over 50 yards. His average was 43.6 yards.

Eastern Michigan returns to Rynearson next Tuesday night to face the Ohio Bobcats.

The Eagles are flying high right now.