Coach Ron English and his staff can breathe a sigh of relief, now he has gotten his first win as head coach of the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Sometimes it’s difficult to get that first win, especially when you’re given the large task of having to rebuild a football program that had problems in the past putting up wins in a single season.
I said last year that English needed the time to build a team that this University can be proud of and I still believe that today. Under English, this team is playing a lot better than they did last year. After games against Army and Miami (Ohio) I knew that it would just be a matter of time before this team would get a win.
Saying all that— Army, Miami and Ohio University all should have been wins. These three losses came from a variety of mistakes made on both sides of the ball. Penalties, interceptions, fumbles, missed tackles, dropped passes, among other things cost us three victories this season.
Now some may look at these as little mistakes individually, but together they create a whole bunch of problems that are hard to overcome.
I know the Eagles’ team can continue to succeed, but what it takes is fewer mistakes and more determination. I’m sure it feels good to finally get a win,
but it will be even better if Eastern fans could look forward to a bowl game.
Another issue the Eagles have is their defense. The Eagles allow way too many rushing yards every single game.
So far this season they’ve allowed opponents to rush for an average of 228.3 yards a game. It is difficult to have any type of sustainable success if your defense allows these types of numbers against the run.
In regards to improvement from last year, our defense allowed 276.8 rushing yards a game. Last year we only rushed for an average of 126.2 yards a game. This year EMU has rushed for an average of 143.3 yards a game. I have to say that is some pretty decent improvement over last year.
Clearly we can see that English has made some improvements to the rushing game. It’s very clear to me that things on the football team are improving the question now is how fast can the Eagles learn to win At last week’s Ball State game the Eagles committed two penalties in the last five minutes of the game. This allowed Ball State tie up the game.
Now I don’t have a problem if we won again in regulation or overtime. But I would like to see EMU play a good game from the opening kickoff until the final whistle blows. That is going to be the difference between a football team that can pick up multiple wins and have a possibility for postseason games or a team that continues to struggle to win two or three games a season.
We are now moving out of the question of whether we can win a game or not and moving to the question of can we consistently win. The Eagles play their next game 6 p.m. Saturday at Virginia.