It’s the week of the Eastern Michigan Vs. Michigan State game, so we did a Q&A with the Eastern Michigan blog Eagle Totem. Here it is!
1.) What do you think about EMU’s white helmets? Which do you prefer?
White is fine; it’s a school color. Green is fine; it’s a school color. Gray is not fine. Gray helmets and gray uniforms need to DIE DIE DIE. Gray is not a school color. They just got the black out of the uniforms a few years ago, and now here they go with this garbage? If EMU really feels the need for a third color in the uniforms, they should bring back yellow, which the football team used during a period of success from the late ’60s to mid ’70s (and some other EMU teams — like the men’s cross country, who are actually really good at what they do — still use it).
2.) Last year, Eastern had their first non-losing season since 1995. Are they an even more improved team this year?
Well, we all thought they would be, particularly the offense, but based on what we’ve seen so far, that would be: no. Definitely no.
The offensive line returned 80%+ of the starters from what was a run-blocking machine last year. This year…not so much. The top two running backs returned (three if you count Alex Gillett, who led the team in rushing last year)…but where’s the running game? I feel like this was Ron English in the offseason:
Seriously, do you remember when you were a little kid, and you just learned how to do something and then that was all you wanted to do, all the time? That’s this offense and passing…except they haven’t really learned how to do it right.
3.) The Eagles QB Alex Gillett (did I spell that right?) was pulled against Purdue last week. Is that concerning to you or was it simply just a bad game?
Alex Gillett didn’t “just” have a bad game at Purdue, he’s having a bad season. I think part of it is that he’s being asked to do things he’s less comfortable with, like checking down through a progression to throw (as opposed to a choice of 1-hand off, 2-chuck it long, or 3-keep it and run). In short, he’s being asked to run a pro-style offense, and he just doesn’t seem to be that sort of quarterback. The coaches need to make up their mind about whether they want Gillett or they want this offense, because putting him in this seems to be a square peg-round hole situation. Tyler Benz, getting his first playing time last week at Purdue, didn’t completely suck (though he was playing against second- and third-stringers in garbage time), and surely he’d get better with experience, so perhaps he’d be a better choice if that’s really the offense the coaches want to run.
4.) What under the radar player should Michigan State be looking for?
Based on how EMU’s last few games have gone, that would be ummm…the punter? Seriously, Jay Karutz is a good punter.
Pudge Cotton on defense was roughly responsible for 9 points last week (grabbed an interception and took it 28 yards for a touchdown — kicker missed the extra point — and then two plays later he recovered a fumble, which led to an EMU field goal). Linebacker Justin Cudworth was great last year, but he hasn’t looked the same this fall, and he didn’t play at Purdue (no word on why), but if he gets back to his old form, he’s certainly one to watch, though as a pre-season All-MAC pick he’s hardly under-the-radar.
On the offense, freshman receiver Dustin Creel would qualify as an under-the-radar player to keep an eye on, as would #4 running back Bronson Hill if he gets in the game.
5.) What’s your score prediction?
Jeremy predicted 49-12 (two missed PATs), and I guess that’s as plausible as anything else.