A Look at the Eagles

The Western Michigan Broncos (1-4, 0-2 MAC) will take on cross state rival Eastern Michigan (2-4, 2-1 MAC) in the annual homecoming game. While the Broncos are off the their worst start in eight years, the Eagles seem to be resurgent under first year head coach Jeff Ganyk.

Ganyk makes his return to the MAC this season after spending 12 seasons with the Wildcats of Northwestern. As a player Ganyk spent four seasons with Bowling Green at quarterback and made a stop at Western Michigan as a graduate student before earning three Big Ten titles and four bowl births as a part of the Wildcat staff.

"We're going to host and win a Mid-American Conference Championship," said Ganyk setting lofty goals for his program's future. "Every player must believe in the concept of continuous improvement."

Ganyk brings with him a spread offense that has racked up over 30 points in four of Eastern Michigan's six games and the Eagle's offense ranks 19th in the nation. EMU put up 537 yards of offense on Ball State including 390 of those yards in the air.

The potent offense is led by quarterback, and Iowa transfer, Matt Bohnet who has thrown for 1503 yards already this season. His favorite target is Eric Deslajuriers who has averaged over 100 yards receiving per game this season.

"They're a very veteran team," said WMU head coach Gary Darnell. "Their offensive line has all been there four to five years, they've inserted Bohnet at quarterback who is doing very well and then their defense – even though they've given up some points – each week it keeps getting better."

On defense Ganyk has changed the Eagle's over to a standard 4-3 defense with a nickel package on specific situations.

Linebacker Kevin Harrison – who has started every game this season – leads the Eagles with 72 tackles. The senior defensive captain has now started in 29 consecutive games and recorded 246 career tackles.

The Eagle's win at Ball State broke a 26-game road-losing streak for EMU. Their last road win was in 1999 taking down Toledo.

"I guaranteed there would be one upstart team in the league," said Darnell in reference to comments he made at the MAC media day this fall. "I thought [that team] would beat some teams they weren't supposed to beat. I specifically was thinking of Eastern."

The Eagles will be playing in their third straight homecoming game. They hosted Idaho for their own homecoming – a 41-45 loss – they traveled to Ball State's homecoming and will now enter Kalamazoo for WMU's homecoming game.

"They will want to come in here and start a big fight and they want to win it," added Darnell.

The game is at Waldo Stadium with a 12:30 kickoff and will be broadcast on the Bronco Radio Network (96.5 flagship station) and televised on Comcast Local. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-4-WMU-TIX or by visiting the WMU ticket office at Waldo Stadium.

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