New jerseys, same Eagles.
The Eastern Michigan University football team continued its losing streak after dropping what could be its most winnable road game on the schedule to Miami (Ohio) University, 28-21, Saturday in Oxford, Ohio.
The Eagles and RedHawks exchanged touchdowns, but EMU couldn’t keep Thomas Merriweather, who scored three times and had 206 total yards, out of the end zone in the fourth quarter.
With a last-ditch pass to the end zone, the Eagles hoped to tie up the game and send it to overtime. But the pass fell incomplete and the Eagles lost their second game of the season.
The RedHawks finished last season with a 1-11 record.
This is it?
EMU takes on Central Michigan University, Sept. 18 at home, and it sounds crazy, but this could be the game.
The Eagles’ last victory came against Central Michigan in the last game of the 2008 season. EMU generally finds a way to keep games with the Chippewas close. Central Michigan is in a transition year, and their running game is merely average. Average is nothing to laugh at when your run defense is as bad as the Eagle’s, but you have to think there is a chance.
The Jerseys and the defensive coordinator are new, but two games in and we’ve seen the same old Eagles run defense. Thomas Merriweather ran for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game Saturday against EMU, and four players for Army gained over 50 yards apiece on the Eagles’ best attempt at a run defense last Saturday.
Latarrius Thomas has looked good thus far, but one safety has not been enough to cause visible improvement in the secondary. The Eagles will not win a game until the defense is shored up.
There is some good news though. Sadly the Eagles 500 yards rushing against them this season is an improvement over last season’s 629 through two games. Baby steps.
Offense just so-so
To make matters worse for the Eagles, the offense looks just a little better than OK. Gillet is handling the offense reasonably well in his first full season at the helm, but Saturday he tossed three interceptions, causing the Eagles’ defense to look even more vulnerable than it already is.
The rushing game stalled out for only 78 yards, with the longest run from scrimmage (10 yards) coming from Gillet.
If the Eagles are going to break their 0-14 streak anytime soon, they will need to do two things — post monster numbers on offense and find enough fingers to plug all the holes.