The Green team beat the White team on Saturday in Eastern Michigan University football’s Annual Spring Game 43-41 and first-year coach Chris Creighton would be the first to admit the game was not pretty.
It featured many wayward throws, missed tackles and numerous special teams mistakes including a couple blocked punts. Creighton says that the lack of practice time caused a lot of the sloppy play.
“There was a lot of sloppiness everywhere,” Creighton said. “There is no question about it. Not making excuses, but it’s our fifteenth practice and we got 27 more before we play and we’re going to get it right.”
Creighton says that despite the sloppiness from all over he is still happy with the offensive performance of his team.
“I liked the run-pass balance,” Creighton said. “We are stretching the field horizontally, threw the ball down the field a couple times, we are going to get there.”
The defense was down big in the first with a halftime deficit of 26-11. The defense came roaring back in the second half though, scoring on a bad snap for a turnover and getting multiple three-and-outs to take a slight lead.
“That is going to be the hallmark of this football team,” Creighton said. “Whatever has happened in the past, we are not giving up or giving in. Our guys aren’t losers. They’ve lost some, but they are not losers. I think they’ve showed that here today. We’re going to be a team that goes for sixty minutes.”
Creighton says that the team has been talking about these situations for the last four months. He said that no matter what team went down at halftime, he wanted the other side to respond and fight back into the game.
“The power of belief is unbelievable,” Creighton said. “We’re the same football team, but we could win every game or lose every game. But I’ll tell you what, if we believe we can win, we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
EMU’s Green team went on to win after its third touchdown of the night from Brandon Bossard to tight end Duwhan Alford, but Creighton praised his whole team for fighting and believing in what he had to say over the last couple months with the team.
“I’m not looking at a group of losers,” Creighton said. “There’s a big difference between having lost and being a loser, and these guys aren’t losers. I don’t know if you could have had a tougher fall than they’ve had. They lose staff and lose a teammate and lose a lot of games, that’s hard.”
Creighton said after the game that he didn’t have a specific style of team that he wanted the Eagles to be. He expects the team to be well-rounded more than one specific style.
“It’s not about the offense, the defense or the special teams,” Creighton said. “It’s about making our team whole. Getting them to believe, getting them to fight through adversity, getting them to love each other, all of those things. We’re still figuring out our strengths, we have great group of (running) backs. I think the O-line can be the backbone of our football team. We have young quarterbacks who I think can be really good, we have a young receiving corps; we only have one guy who is going into his senior year. We are going to accentuate our strengths. When we are the way we want to be, we will be able to run the ball and throw it with equal proficiency.”