Eastern Michigan: A First Look

The Black Knights sank to 0-3 on the season, but at least the performance against Wake Forest was a step up from what we had seen previously. Army plays a schedule loaded with games they can win and this Saturday’s clash with Eastern Michigan is one of those games. If Army can stick to the principles of the offense that were on show last weekend then they can score points against an Eagles side which has been inconsistent in 2015.

Season so far

Eastern Michigan is 1-2 on the season with the first loss coming on the opening weekend of the year against Old Dominion. Ray Lawry of ODU rushed for 223 yards and four touchdowns in the victory for the Monarchs. EMU bounced back in week two with a solid 48-29 victory on the road at Wyoming. In this game the Eagles attack was much more balanced, with quarterback Brian Roback passing for 330 yards and running back Shaq Vann adding 129 yards on the ground. Last Saturday against Ball State the Eagles took an early 17-0 lead, before completely falling apart and not scoring again in a 28-17 loss at home.

Injuries and Suspensions

The most obvious injury setback suffered by the Eagles so far in 2015 is to starting quarterback Reggie Bell. Bell was 12-for-18 for 117 yards in the opening game against ODU, before he was knocked out of the game and Eastern Michigan fell to defeat. Bell has an injured jaw and he is expected to be out for at least a couple more weeks.

The other huge injury suffered by the Eagles actually occurred before the season began. Star defensive lineman and team captain Pat O’Connor will miss the entire 2015 season with a shoulder injury. O’Connor is the Eagles best all-around athlete and player, he has even had some NFL looks, so losing a player of his caliber from the starting lineup has caused issues on the defensive front for EMU.

Challenges

Eastern Michigan is at their best when they are balanced, so Army must look to take away an offensive weapon or two. The Eagles are much better offensively in 2015, but the defense has been prone to mistakes. This is a very fast starting team, EMU has held double digit leads in each of its first three games, but the team has not proven to be good at holding onto leads when the pressure is applied by the opposition.


ArmySports.com Top Stories