On a cold Saturday afternoon that started off with so much promise for the Eagles, they would go on to lose to Ball State in a game that went all the way down to the wire and fall to 0-2 in the MAC and 3-3 overall for the 2019 season.
EMU lost 29-23 against Ball State.
"We knew it was going to be tough fought, this is every week in the MAC. This one stings, next we'll be back and be better," Kobie Beltram said after coming just short of a victory on homecoming weekend against Ball State University. After their second loss in a row following the bye week, Beltram is pumping the breaks on the losing streak, "Don't panic. Its just two games. Its a long season, we'll bounce back. Like I said, this one stings but we'll learn from it and get better. Its just two. We'll bounce back and be better."
Opposing running backs have rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games against the Eagles. Beltram acknowledged the weakness that has shown up but knows how to fix it, "We just have to tackle, a lot of yards after contact. We just have to show up and tackle and knock them down."
Coming in to week number seven, the Eagles had been allowing just under 33 points per game in their 2019 campaign and allowed another 29 on Saturday. Beltram again echoed that the Eagles just need to show up and play and execute. Mike Glass III remained positive on his teams effort, "I feel like we did a good job and came out strong in the first half. We just didn't finish. We executed at points. We have to do better on third down and converting on third downs. I feel like we did a pretty good job executing, we just have to finish."
Glass noted that to get to Detroit for the MAC championship game, a few things would have to change for his team, "We just have to continue to work hard and to keep fighting. We just have to finish stronger. We have to finish in the third quarter and the second half. We just have to finish."
Glass brought the Eagles within range to potentially win in the closing minutes but ultimately came up short on a fourth and ten with just eight seconds to go. Arthur Jackson III hauled in what would have been a game tying touchdown on second down, but was just out of bounds. "The game shouldn't have even been that close. If Arthur (Jackson III) wasn't an inch away from being out of bounds, we would have won that game," Glass said.
Coach Creighton spoke on what he felt went wrong for Eastern Michigan, "We turned it over more than they did. We weren't able to get as many first downs when we got to third down offensively. They made a couple more plays than we did. It was a hard fought game and a tough one for us to swallow."
For the third time in six games, Glass was the leading rusher for Eastern Michigan, and the Eagles totaled just 89 rush yards as a team. "We want to be balanced in terms of attempts. We rushed the ball 33 times and threw it 36 so the balance is pretty close. We averaged about three yards per carry and that needs to become four or five. We need to figure out if we're better in spread sets or with tight ends and it is just something we need to get better at. We knew going in that Mike can keep you honest with his feet. We don't want him to be our primary rusher. We want him to be a complementary rusher to keep people honest. We want to keep him upright as much as we can," Creighton said.
The Eagles will be back in action next Saturday at 7 P.M. as they take on Western Michigan University at home at Rynearson Stadium as they hope to earn their first conference victory of 2019. The Broncos are 4-3 on the season following their victory over Miami last weekend.