2012 Eastern Michigan Eagles Football Preview
2011 Record: 6-6 (4-4 Mid-American)
Head Coach: Ron English, fourth season (8-28 all at Kent State)
Projected Returning Starters: 18
Spring Game: April 21st (White 8 Black 7)
Notes: Ron English’s first season as head coach of the Eagles was a disaster. In fact, EMU lost 18 straight games before its first win under English, including a 73-20 loss to Ohio State on September 25, 2010. Including their first win, a 41-38 overtime victory against Ball State, Eastern Michigan is 8-10 under Coach English. Certainly, that’s marked improvement, especially for a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 1995, when the then-Eastern Michigan Hurons were 6-5. EMU posted their best record in 1987, when they were 10-2. With the second most starters returning for Eastern Michigan, the Eagles are poised to make a run at the MAC West title, especially when teams like Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, and Toledo, are returning 13 starters or less.
BVTSB Take: Eastern Michigan’s passing offense struggled last season, which is why Coach English decided to open up the starting quarterback position. 2011 starting quarterback Alex Gillett and Tyler Benz will compete for the job. The Eagles were a great story in 2011 – likely the toughest program to be successful at in FBS – posting a 6-6 record, but failing to be bowl eligible by virtue of two of the six wins being against FCS opponents. In games decided by a touchdown or less, the Eagles were 4-3. EMU’s 2011 non-conference schedule was Howard, Alabama State, at Michigan, and at Penn State. The 2012 schedule, on average, gets tougher, with the Eagles facing Illinois State, at Purdue, at Michigan State, and Army. Still, the Eagles have a great shot at splitting their non-conference games again. The question will be the conference games. The Eagles were 2-3 against MAC West opponents last season, beating rivals CMU and WMU. With Toledo, CMU, and Northern Illinois at home, the Eagles will need to win their divisional games. Second leading rusher in 2011, Javonti Greene, returns this season – he and QB Alex Gillett combined for 53.5% of EMU’s yards on the ground. Three of the four top receivers – Nick Olds, Garrett Hoskins, and Demarius Reed – return in 2012. Our initial projection will be on the conservative side, take this as a basement expectation, if you will – EMU will be tough and could win the MAC West in 2012.
2012 Early Projection: 5-7
To see the 2012 MAC composite schedule, click here.
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