So what can you learn from a 34-7 loss at hands of an opponent above your weight class? About as much as you can learn from a 35-15 victory against an opponent below it.
In the loss against Wisconsin, Eastern Michigan was able to run for 16 total yards. If you want to win against a powerhouse, you need more yards than that. Usually when the run game is that terrible, the passing game is better. Well.... yeah. Eastern only gained 76 yards in the air and threw a pick between their two quarterbacks. I don’t know the last time they had less than 100 yards total offense, but I’m going to guess it’s been a while.
Defensively against Wisconsin wasn’t much better. Eastern Michigan did manage to get three tackles for loss and one sack. They were also able to get an interception that they ran back for a touch down. I guess if you wanted a bright spot that was it.
The Eastern Michigan punting was pretty good in both games. Punter Jake Julien, a recent pick in the Canadian Football League Amateur Draft, returned to EMU this year for his extra year of eligibility and has been booting the ball with ferocity. Against St. Francis, they punted four times for an average of 46 yards each. One of those punts was inside the 20. Against Wisconsin, the punted eight times for an average 51.4 yards each. Four of them were over 50 yards and two of them ended up inside the 20.
Based on the fact that Coach Creighton used both quarterbacks in both games, I expect that to continue. However, I think Ben Bryant is going to have the job come the conference slate. Currently, he has a 70% completion rate and no interceptions. Hutchinson has a 52% completion rate with two interceptions. Neither has found the end zone but I expect to change in the coming week.
Darius Boone is emerging as the running back of choice after the rotation EMU has seemingly employed over the last two games, as Boone saw the majority of the carries for the Eagles. I expect he will do well against UMass.
I think we will learn more about Eastern when they play the Minutemen this weekend, as UMass is closer to their level than the previous two opponents.