The Mid-American Conference held its annual football media preview July 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. Coaches and student athletes from all 13 member universities were interviewed by media outlets from throughout the country.
This year Eastern Michigan University’s head football Coach Ron English brought starting quarterback Alex Gillett and defensive lineman Andy Malumba with him to the preview.
Last season the Eagles finished 2-10, winning games being against Ball State and Buffalo.
English set a high goal for his team this season saying “Our goal is to win the MAC,” but also added that the team, “must prepare in such a way that allows us to do that.”
Last year the Eagles defense allowed opponents to score an average of 43.9 points per game.
Opponents had 2767 rushing yards against the Eagles defense and 2682 passing yards. English said this year he wants to get better technically on the defensive side of the ball. He believes some of the problems they’ve had resulted from a lack of depth.
On the offensive side, English said he wants more explosive plays out of the offense.
“Our ball handlers, receivers and running backs have got to do a better job for us in terms of explosive plays,” he said.
During the 2010 season the Eagles offense had 2080 rushing yards and 1921 passing yards.
Gillett was an important part of Eagle offense last season. He rushed for 766 yards for five touchdowns, while his passing percentage was about 55.5 percent, which accounted for 1633 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“He gives defenses problems with his ability to run as well as throw,” English said of Gillett’s efforts.
English also said he would like to see more consistency out of his receivers and that he would like them to perform better when it comes to their skill set.
This year’s schedule features two back-to-back Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) components which include Howard University in week one and Alabama State in week two.
“If you look at our schedule over the past couple of years they were loaded up with major FBS institutions, we want to balance it out a little bit this year,” Athletic Director Derrick Gragg said.
The season opener kicks off against Howard University Saturday, September 9 at Rynearson Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.