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Spring Football Game 2012

April 15, 2012

As I sat in the rain-dampened stands at Rynearson Stadium today, I came to two different, but unmistakable conclusions.  One, it felt great to be back at EMU’s football palace watching the old Green and White duke it out on the gridiron, if only in a scrimmage.  And two, it is extremely difficult to form real impressions about the upcoming season from such a small sample of play.  Still, as a humble correspondent for Eagle Totem—the premier voice of Eastern Michigan football—I’ll do my best.


The offensive starters certainly looked sharp, especially Senior Quarterback Alex Gillett.  Our running attack should not miss a beat this year, perhaps we will even see improvement as the three-headed monster of Sherrer, Greene, and White will surely drive each other to perform at a high level.  The passing attack should also be improved, although I didn’t see anything from our receiving corps that leads me to believe we will have an explosive threat on the outside.  Darryl Stonum, where are you?  The real improvement of the passing game comes from the one thing I believe I can say with certainty after watching today’s scrimmage: there is real chemistry between Gillett and Senior TE Garrett Hoskins.  Their timing already appears to be in mid-season form.  This certainly bodes well for the Eagles offense.

There was an early goal line situation in today’s scrimmage.  Anybody who followed the Eagles closely last year surely remembers the agonizing difficulty we had with our goal line offense.  After getting stuffed on a typical run up the middle, Gillett bootlegged left and outran Andy Mulumba to the corner of the end zone.  Where was that last year?  Either way, it was nice to see.

The only other offensive information that needs to be passed on is that we had better hope that Gillett stays healthy.  As for our backups, Tyler Benz is definitely ahead of Mark Iannotti, but truth be told the drop off is significant after Gillett. 


While our defense did a nice job against the offense when Benz was in, they were picked apart by Gillett.  I’m having a hard time assessing what that means, is our offense led by our Senior QB that efficient, or is our defense lagging that far behind.  I daresay it is a mixture of the two.  Our linebacker corps of Mulumba, Cudworth, and Weingrad is pretty solid, but the D-line needs to improve.  Here’s hoping between now and September they get a little more stout up front.

As for the secondary, I feel we have a pretty athletic group back there, led by Marlon Pollard and Marcell Rose.  New starter Sean “Pudge” Cotton (not sure why his nickname is Pudge, did he used to be a catcher?) was definitely involved on defense, and he should develop into a very nice strong safety for us.

Special Teams

There was one special teams play of note.  On the first kickoff, Sophomore Tyler Allen scampered 97 yards for a touchdown, much to the delight of the crowd.  For me, while I certainly appreciated Allen’s burst of speed to break through, the coverage was atrocious.  The crowd was cheering and I was burying my head in my hands.  We have got to improve this or our potentially suspect defense will be looking at their opponents starting near mid-field after every kickoff. 

Spring Outlook

Our offense has the ability to control the clock.  This is of utmost importance, because while I believe that our defense will improve, we need to limit the defensive exposure if we truly expect to win a MAC title.  No doubt Ron English and his staff know this as well, so the optimism on campus for the 2012 Eagles Football team is warranted.  Let’s just hope that Alex Gillett and our O-line can stay healthy for the duration of the season.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    April 16, 2012 1:16 pm

    Dear cmadler,
    As always, a nice objective report on Eastern’s football squad. I couldn’t make it this year, but I remember making a comment last year similar to what you just said in your report about the special teams coverage. I thought we gave up way too much yardage on kick-offs especially, letting teams start at their 35 and sometimes 40 yard line. From trying to remember last season, it also seemed to me, that part of the problem was either not being able to kick it deep enough, or it seemed at times Eastern was trying to kick it short, but high so that they could run under the ball and maybe recover it, since it’s a free ball. In any case, I hope they can solve that problem this coming fall.

  2. Ken permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:21 pm

    From what I saw, the Gillett offense looked pretty good. The Benz led offense, not so much and the other guy even less. But I think a good deal of that comes with the respective levels of experience. The jury is still out on the defense for me but I was pretty much focusing (hehe) on the offense.

  3. Kenneth Barna permalink
    April 17, 2012 1:57 pm

    Dear emujeremy,
    I did not mean to slight you, for the fine reporting you did. I just took for granted that cmadler wrote the description of the spring game. Next time I’ll be more careful as to who is the author. Keep up the excellent work.

  4. War Eagle permalink
    July 5, 2012 12:57 pm

    I thought the Defense looked particularly aggressive vs what they played last season. They had blitz packages dialed up and left the D-backs mostly on islands and they responsed pretty good. It was clear that Gillett did to the defense what he’s done to most of the MAC for the last three years and moved the ball at will. He is a very good runner and an average passer, nevertheless he moves his team. I worry about him not making it through a full year based on the rushing attempts per game they call for him, He’s taken some hits and he bounces back up-Tough kid. The Line blocked great and the running backs look very good, one name you didn’t mention is Bronson Hill. I thought he showed power and speed as well he’s shifty. The kick return was fantastic!! If you don’t remember that was the second return of the day. The first return, Tyler Allen got smacked as he went through the middle at the 35 yard line and ended up on his back at his own 30, OUCH! The kickoff team was 5 yards off sides on every kick (refs were not calling offsides) and they also didn’t have the red caps on their helmets. The kid probably didn’t know who was who considering the whole team was wearing the same color jerseys except the QB’s. His burst of speed after he made the cut and down the sideline was probably the best I’ve seen the Eagles have in 15 years. Looked a little like CMU’s Antonio Brown as he Terrorized the MAC in his playing days. I’d make a bet that the Eagles will start a lot of offensive series around their 35 and 40 yard lines this year with him back there.


  1. Spring football game in photos « Eagle Totem

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