Know Your Foe: Eastern Michigan

Game 9: Buffalo at Eastern Michigan

When: Saturday November 12th

Where: Rynearson Stadium

Series History: Eastern Michigan 4 - Buffalo 0

Would it be fair to call Eastern Michigan the lowest rung of the MAC ladder? Year in and year out the Eagles are just terrible. Its been 15 years since the Eagles had a winning season, and its been more than twenty since the Eagles played in a bowl game.Since 1995 the Eagles average just three wins a season.

Would it be fair to call the Eagles the lowest rung of the MAC ladder? or would it be fair to call the one team in the conference that is winless against EMU? Buffalo despite some recent success has not manged to down the Eagles part of it was timing and part of it is Dwayne Priest.

The timing aspect had UB not play Eastern Michigan during the Gill era, a time when Buffalo probably could have downed the equally hapless Eagles. Instead EMU got a free pass from the only FBS success Buffalo has had since the 60's. When we finally did meet back up Dwayne Priest made us pay.

Priest could not manage a thousand yards on the season but racked up almost 200 on Buffalo. More than a quarter of his season production came at the expense of Coach Inge and his defense. If not for the damage done by Priest the Bulls, behind Jerry Davis, may have made last years senior day a success, rather than just another loss.

EMU on Offense:

Eastern Michigan offensive coordinator Ken Karchner has the wrong Quarterback for his offense. It's no slight to point out that Alex Gillette is a great dual threat quarterback but that's not what the end goal is for EMU. They have a group of pretty decent receivers and a QB who will more often than not choose a scramble over a 30 yard pass.

Right now aside from Gillette the only known in Ypsi is the offensive line who should be better than last season but who they will be opening holes up for in November is anybodies guess.

senior Dominique Sherrer is a north south runner who bangs through any hole and picks up a few falling down, last year he ran 20 times for just 47 yards. The Eagles have two young backs that are more elusive. Sophomore Javonti Greene has good speed and nice hands. He and True freshman Ryan Brumfield both are quick backs that may end up as being the main player on what is currently a jumble. Expect Sherrer to be the guy that gets tossed in for short yardage plays and inside the 5.

EMU on Defense:

EMU Runs is yet another hybrid school. They are a more natural 4-3 than a 3-4, their hybrid lineman, Andy Mulumba, gets the title of 'Rush-End'. In many systems the rush end will be comes after the quarterback’s blindside more often than not but has to be able to cover tight ends and players coming out of the backfield (as well as some zone).

It's a scheme which really did not pay off for EMU last season, the Eagle defensive front finished 118th in the nation, and last in the MAC, with just ten sacks to go along with a mere 51 tackles for loss. Physically their line is built like the Bulls. Several key components are either a small lineman or a big linebacker and they feature a hybrid. The biggest difference is that the Bulls typically stick to the 3-4 and EMU brings four after the QB.

Their linebackers are versatile but not very good in the opponents backfield. What they can do is move players around to get a lot of different looks going and as a unit they are not too bad against the pass.

EMU'S defensive backfield has thrived on the ineptness of its run defense. Nobody really bothered to throw on the Eagles but when they did it went well. Even UB looked impressive throwing the ball last season. They picked up Latarrius Thomas from UCLA. HE has established himself as their number one cornerback and should be able to lock down most MAC receivers.

Outlook:

Finally (Likely Win): Yes its an away game, and yes they beat us at home last year but the Bulls got better where it counts and where they got weaker is not something EMU has been able to take advantage of in the past. A good pass rush will flush Gillette who wants to run first. He's a decent passer on the run but not deep.

On the flip side UB's line is bigger and we have a more steady QB. There should be more improvement in the UB Passing game than in the EMU coverages.

The Bulls Could Lose if:

Someone steps in to replace Priest and the Bulls let the eagles run. The other area of concern is covering the tight end. EMU absolutely killed us on third downs with their tight end last season, the Bulls can't trade another man in the pass rush for an open end.

Follow EMU:

One of the most well rounded MAC blogs out there is Eagle Totem

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