COLUMN: Run Defense Woes Can’t Continue
Ball State University dominated and outsmarted Eastern Michigan University in just about every aspect of the game after the first quarter. They especially dominated on offense by simply running the ball against the less than par rush defense of the Eagles.
Eastern started the game fast, but a 17-0 lead early in the first quarter is never going to be comfortable as exemplified by the ending of the game. Ball State did exactly what was needed to do and EMU had to of known that the Cardinals were going to come back stronger after halftime.
We’ve seen it in back-to-back weeks where the Eastern Michigan defense has been exposed. Both Wyoming and Ball State kept running the ball against the overexposed defense but you cannot blame them. EMU could not stop the run on both occasions.
Ball State ran the ball 52 times for 278 yards, and averaged more than 5 yards per carry Saturdays game.
One of the Cardinals drives went for 9:49, where they ran 20 plays, and converted five times on third or fourth down, that drive would end with a touchdown.
Eastern Michigan ranks last in all of college football for run defense. The Eagles defense has allowed on average 312.3-yards per game on the ground.
Things need to start changing and fast if EMU is going to have any chance in winning more than two games this year. Every team left on the EMU schedule has a potent rushing attack, so it is not going to be easy.
The Eagles will host the Army Black Knights on Saturday, Sept. 26 and the Black Knights are a team that is known for running the ball with an option offense. EMU has yet to play a team that has run the option this season and that will presumably be a huge challenge for the Eagles next week. The last time Army and Eastern met, the Black Knights ran for 513 yards against EMU back in 2013.
The Eagles need to find a solution to its less than stellar rush defense, and quick before it's too late.