Head-to-head: Army vs. Eastern Michigan

In a rematch of the 2009 season opener, Army once again travels to Ypsilanti, Michigan to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles who were winless (0-12) last year.

Eastern Michigan
Army rushing offense
Eastern Michigan rushing defense
Last year Army opened the year with 308 rushing yards against the Eagles. With four returning seniors on the offensive line expect the Army to be better and more cohesive than last year. Talented fullback transfer Jared Hassin makes his debut for Army. Slot back Pat Mealy rushed for 109 yards on five carries and scored a touchdown in last year's opener. The Eagles were the worst team in FBS football last year in attempting to stop the run. EMU allowed over 276 yards per game.  
Army passing offense
Eastern Michigan passing defense
David Brooks has emerged as Army's new go-to receiver. Brooks was impressive in spring and this summer consistently got open and made big plays. Quarterback Trent Steelman has thrown the ball better this off season but all the wide receivers are first year starters. The Eagles led the nation in pass defense last year but that is very misleading since it had the worse run defense in nation. However, EMU's safeties are good players. Ryan Downward has nine career interceptions and last year Martavius Cardwell had 105 tackles.  
Eastern Michigan rushing offense
Army rushing defense
EMU's Dwayne Priest who rushed for 633 yards last season, returns. He had 83 yards on 19 carries against the Black Knights last year. Most were the result of a 32-yard run. Army's flex front won the battle in the trenches in the 2009 opener. Look for new bandit tackle Jarrett Mackey to make his presence known.  
Eastern Michigan passing offense
Army passing defense
Army's Double Eagle flex defense gave Eastern Michigan's offensive line fits last year as it had seven sacks for minus 53 yards. Josh McNary was virtually un-blockable. McNary recorded nine tackles and 2.5 sacks. The Black Knight picked off two passes in last year's game led. Donovan Travis led the Army secondary with seven tackles and one interception. Josh Jackson, who will start in place of the injured Antuan Aaron, had the other interception. Eagle quarterback Alex Gillett is mobile but he totaled just five touchdowns in nine games.  
Special Teams
Place kicker Alex Carlton after a rough spring seems to be back on track after a fine summer camp. Punter Jonathan Bulls and kickoff specialist Matt Campbell seemed to have really benefited from the off season weight training program. Both have hit the ball with greater distance than last year. The Eagles will have new kickers this year.  
Both coaches earned their reputation as defensive coordinators. After a 5-7 season Rich Ellerson's program seems poised for a breakout year. Ron English's team is still seeking its first win under his leadership.  
The Eagles are looking for its first win under Ron English at home in what will probably be their biggest home crowd of the year. Army is looking to set the tone for what they hope to be a breakout season.  

PREDICTION: Army wins! 31-10.

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