Eastern Michigan looks for turnaround at home

The Eagles have some running room here, but little else went right in 2009’s 56-8 defeat by the Chippewas. This year, CMU is in transition with an average running game, but Eastern has not been able to stop anyone on the ground.

Eastern Michigan University takes on Central Michigan University, Sept. 18 at home, and it sounds crazy, but this could be the game.

The Eagles’ last victory came against Central Michigan in the last game of the 2008 season. EMU generally finds a way to keep games with the Chippewas close. Central Michigan is in a transition year, and their running game is merely average. Average is nothing to laugh at when your running defense is as bad as the Eagle’s, but you have to think there is a chance.

EMU’s jerseys and the defensive coordinator are new, but two games in and we’ve seen the same old Eagles run defense. Thomas Merriweather ran for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game Saturday against EMU, and four players for Army gained over 50 yards apiece on the Eagles’ best attempt at a run defense last Saturday.

Latarrius Thomas has looked good thus far, but one safety has not been enough to cause visible improvement in the secondary. The Eagles will not win a game until the defense is shored up.

There is some good news though. Sadly the Eagles 500 yards rushing against them this season is an improvement over last season’s 629 through two games. Baby steps.

To make matters worse for the Eagles, the offense looks just a little better than OK. Gillet is handling the offense reasonably well in his first full season at the helm, but Saturday he tossed three interceptions, causing the Eagles’ defense to look even more vulnerable than it already is.

The rushing game stalled out for only 78 yards, with the longest run from scrimmage (10 yards) coming from Gillet.

If the Eagles are going to break their 0-14 streak anytime soon, they will need to do two things — post monster numbers on offense and find enough fingers to plug all the holes.

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