EMU Newspaper Predicts 31-10
We thank Justin Souva, the sports editor of the Eastern Michigan student newspaper, The Echo, who has checked in with his thoughts on EMU, this weekend's game and student life at EMU. Here is his take:
Quick prediction, 31-10 in favor of Maryland. Well, the teams have met three times since 2001 all resulting in Maryland wins. Eastern Michigan has been outscored by the Terps 132-19 in those games. EMU's only win is against I-AA Indiana State, who had won one game in the past three seasons coming into the game. Aside from the Indiana State game, which the Eagles won 52-0, they got beat pretty good by Michigan State and Toledo. EMU has had defensive problems of late, allowing five rushing touchdowns to MSU's Javon Ringer and then 27 points in the third quarter to Toledo.
Perception of the Maryland program at Eastern Michigan?
Well the last times these teams played was in 2003 in Ypsilanti, but most students -- if they graduated on time -- wouldn't have been here. Current coach Jeff Genyk, who is 14-35 and in his fifth season, wasn't even here yet. As far as the game and players go, EMU sees this as opportunity for its program. The Eagles enjoy the underdog role and don't really have much to lose in this game.
Players to watch?
Terrence Blevins and Dwayne Priest. One highlight in last week's 41-17 loss against Toledo was the running backs, particularly Priest. Blevins ran for two scores, and Priest emerged as a [legitimate] threat gaining 82 yards. Blevins is a big, powerful back while Priest is quick and shifty. Eastern's spread offense allows the quarterback to run as well. As for defense, linebacker Daniel Holtzclaw and defensive backs Ryan Downard and Jermaine Jenkins are worth keeping an eye on. And, if he gets a shot to play, true freshman and Ypsi native Marvon Sanders.
Best thing going for EMU, and what is the worst?
Eastern hasn't had a winning record since since 1995 when it went 6-5. EMU has had a few players go to the NFL lately, most recently defensive end Jason Jones was picked by Tennessee in the second round of 2008 draft. Kevin Walter, who played receiver at EMU from 1999-2002, has been doing well for the Houston Texans lately.
The worst...is simply losing and lousy attendance figures.
Perception of the EMU program among students?
Most students don't follow EMU football, but the one's that do are probably the most dedicated -- or drunkest -- fans you can find. A lot of the problem, at least how I see it, is that EMU's football and basketball stadium is so far away from campus. Students can't just stop by and catch a game. Another problem is that EMU is mostly a commuter school, and a lot of students aren't here on the weekend. However, if the program starts winning -- as the case is with any sports team -- fans will come.
(Thanks again, Justin. And I will post my answers to the same questions tomorrow on Terrapins Insider.)
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