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2007 EMU Football Preview

 

Eastern Michigan Eagles


2007 EMU Overview

The QB situation needs to be resolved immediately if Eastern is to surpass their dismal offensive performance of 2006. EMU averaged just 14 points per game and 276 yards of total offense which ranked #114 and #107 respectively out of 119 teams. Andy Schmitt and Tyler Jones will continue to battle it out for the starting position. Ironically, both QBs were the leading rushers last season – which is never a good sign. Pierre Walker, Terrance Blevins, Dwayne Harrison and true freshman Dwayne Priest must get the running game going this fall. Of the five top pass-catchers who are back from last year, only one averaged more than 10-yards per reception. Again, not a good sign for the offense unless someone steps up big time. The offensive line returns eight of the top ten players from last season so there should be some stability up front. A big concern though is the size of the line, considered to be one of the smallest in DI-A. The average O-line starter listed within the two-deep lineup entering the fall is just 6-3, 279 lbs. per man. On paper, Eastern Michigan should have a much improved defensive line as seven of the top eight from last year return. Jason Jones and Josh Hunt could contend for all-conference honors. EMU has one of the very best LB units in the MAC lead by Dan Holtzclaw who is one of the MAC’s top tacklers. He will receive serious consideration for the conference defensive player of the year award this fall while fellow LBs Andre Hatchett and Darren Matthews make this the strongest area of the team. Since teams ran all over Eastern last fall, their pass defense numbers looked very good as they ranked 39th nationally against the pass. There is a lot of experience with this DB unit but safeties Chris May and Jacob Wyatt were forced to make 89 tackles each last season. EMU must replace PK Andrew Wellock who holds almost every school kicking record. Overall Eastern will continue to field a competitive team but the schedule and the fact that they have lost thirteen games in the past three years by eight points or fewer must be disheartening for EMU fans. The defense will keep Eastern Michigan in the games this fall but will the offense do enough to give the Eagles a chance to win at the end? It may be another long autumn in 'Ypsi (again) in 2007.

 

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Mark it Down!
EMU will not win :The Michigan MAC Championship" this season – Coach Jeff Genyk coined this phase three years ago when he was hired and preaches to win these two games first and foremost. Central and Western Michigan are two of the very best teams in the conference this season and Eastern will be hard pressed to beat either one although they will continue to be competitive in their losses. EMU lost to Central Michigan by seven in OT season and by three at WMU last season.

 

2007 EMU Schedule Analysis
This is not a favorable schedule for Eastern at all. EMU will travel to Pitt, Michigan and Vanderbilt in non-conference contests while “hosting” Northwestern in Detroit and Howard in Ypsilanti. Crossover games are manageable with Bowling Green and Ohio while the divisional games are not as favorable. EMU hosts Ball State and Western but must travel to Central, Toledo and NIU.



Most Important Game
Hosting Ball State on September 8 – This is the home opener and historically these two teams play very close games. Needing a divisional win early in the year would be just what this program needs to get some early confidence since the Eagles lost six games by eight points or fewer in 2006 and four games by that same amount in 2005.

 

2007 EMU Football Schedule

Opponent Prediction Opponent Preview
@ Pitt
L
 
vs. Ball State
L
2007 Ball State football preview
@ Northern Illinois
L
2007 NIU football preview
vs. Howard
W
N/A
@ Vanderbilt
L
 
@ Michigan
L
2007 Michigan football preview
@ Ohio
L
2007 Ohio football preview
vs. Northwestern
L
2007 Northwestern football preview
vs. Western Michigan
L
2007 WMU football preview
@ Toledo
L
2007 Toledo football preview
vs. Bowling Green
W
2007 Bowling Green football preview
@ Central Michigan
L
2007 CMU football preview

 

2007 EMU Prediction - 2-10 Overall, 1-6 MAC, 0-5 MAC West

 

 

published 07.05.2007