Northern Illinois 71, EMU 3 recap
It hurts just to write that title.
Northern Illinois 71, EMU 3.
I’ll invite you to guess the last time EMU lost by 68 or more points. The answer is at the bottom of this post, but I’ll give you a few hints here. Today’s 68-point loss ties for the second-worst in school history. The previous 68-point loss, and the loss by more than 68 points came in consecutive seasons, and the team didn’t have a losing record in either year.
Enough history, let’s talk about yesterday.
This was a debacle, there’s just no way around that. I was fairly close on my halftime score prediction (I predicted 35-3 and the actual halftime score was 37-3), but way off on the final score. Why? Well, I figured that Northern Illinois would back off after they put the game out of reach. I don’t have notes on exactly when they were benched, but Chad Spann’s last carry came with 11:30 left in the second quarter, and Chandler Harnish’s last pass/carry came with 1:12 left in the second quarter. Spann didn’t touch the ball in the second half, and if Harnish was in, all he did was hand the ball off. So I don’t think anyone can say that Northern Illinois ran up the score intentionally. It’s not really Jerry Kill’s fault if their first two plays of the second half were both runs that totaled nearly as many yards as the Eagles gained all day.
All I can say is that the Eagles were outplayed early in the game, and rather than continue to fight to try for a moderately respectable score, they just gave up and allowed the Huskies to have their way in the second half. How else to explain that, after the Huskie starters outscored the Eagles 37-3 in the first half, the Huskie back-ups outscored the Eagles by the exact same margin, 34-0?
Altogether, Northern Illinois had four one-play scoring drives, two two-play drives, and a three-play drive, along with scoring drives lasting five, seven, and eight plays. On the other side of the ball, EMU had nine non-scoring possessions each lasting three plays or less. There’s nothing more to say than that EMU was beaten at every position, in every way. This was easily the worst performance I’ve ever seen from the Eagles, and one of the worst I’ve seen by any team.
Oh, and the last time EMU lost by 68 or more points? On October 28, 1905, Michigan State Normal College lost at Olivet College, 69-0. They also had a 68-0 loss to Albion in 1904. This was the worst loss in more than 105 years.