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Better Know: EMU

Eastern_Michigan_EaglesIt’s hard for national attention to be paid to a contest that features two teams with a combined 0-6 conference record and an 0-13 overall record. But ask the fanbases of these two programs and this game is looked at as one of the most important games of the season. The pessimist Cardinal fan points to the 4 games after EMU (Ohio, NIU, CMU, WMU) as exhibit A in the case that EMU may be the best chance for the Cardinals to pick up a victory this season and avoid a winless 2009. EMU has 5 games after BSU, 4 of them on the road and 1 of those against an SEC team (Arkansas). As hard as it is for both these fanbases to admit, barring any sort of major upsets on down the line, the loser of this game is staring 0-12 squarely in the face.

While the victor of Saturday’s contest remains unknown, what is a certainty is that one of these two teams will have a reprieve for a week from the questions and concern that have plagued their season so far. A victory does that, though neither this season would know that, and both Stan Parrish and Ron English certainly could do with a little calmer waters around their respective programs.

Let’s take a look at the Eastern Michigan Eagles…

Team: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Head Coach: Ron English
Record: 0-6 (0-3 MAC)
Series: 28-20-2 BSU leads EMU
Last Meeting: Ball State defeated EMU at Scheumann Stadium 38-16

EMU Odds and Ends:
. . . Eastern Michigan suffered a 28-6 home loss to Kent State last week to fall to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the Mid-American Conference
. . . The Eagles other league losses were at home to Temple (24-12) and at Central Michigan (56-8)
. . . Senior quarterback Andy Schmitt suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Sept. 19 game at Michigan
. . . Kyle McMahon has completed 38-of-60 passes for 336 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns, while Alex Gillett has completed
16-of-30 passes for 105 yards.

EMU Head Coach Ron English:
. . . Coach English (California ‘90) is in his first season as the head coach at Eastern Michigan and in his first year as a collegiate head mentor
. . . He came to Eastern Michigan after spending the 2008 season as the defensive coordinator at Louisville
. . . Prior to that, English spent five years as an assistant at Michigan.

For the EMU Slant, Check Out:
Normally in this space we list the blogs of note of the particular opponents. Unfortunately, this is one of those weeks where we have an opponent who has no representation in the CBSSports Blogpoll, the MAC Roundtable, or even a mediocre site that would simply fill the void. Perhaps that’s because EMU has not only had down years as nearly every MAC school has, they’ve had virtually no good years either. They’re not always consistently dreadful, like 2006’s 1-11, but they are a long way from “competitive” in this conference. Their last winning season? 1995’s 6-5 campaign. When you have 1 winning season over the last 15 years or so, that doesn’t make people want to fire up a blog.

EMU Fun Facts:
. . . Eric Lewis, who spent from 2003-05 as the defensive backs coach at Ball State, is the defensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan.
. . . Ball State has won the last four contests, including each of the last two seasons by identical 38-16 scores
. . . In games played in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ball State leads the all-time series 13-12.

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