Inside the box score - Game 2, was bumped to Diary Status and front-paged linked twice last week, so I think I'm OK with making this a regular feature. [Ed-M: Yes! Yes you are!] I know that the folks just like having a handy link for the box score, so let's get that out of the way first, and then we'll follow with my commentary:
The BIG story coming into this game was Eastern Michigan averaging 331 yards per game rushing, and how could our rebuilding defense match up with that? During the first quarter, I was starting to believe that Mike Hart was the second coming of Fred Jackson. After that, our defense calmed down, and I found out that Mike is actually an offensive quality control coach. So how did we do against the greatest rushing attack in Ypsilanti? The EMU Fighting Emus tallied 10 rushing first downs, 207 yards rushing, and 4.5 yards per carry. 67 yards came from the 4th best QB in the state of Michigan, Alex Gillette. I was impressed with his running, but EMU could never get the passing game going. I'm a little worried about what this says about our chances against Scheelhaase. Could we be looking at another shootout?
Time to get inside the box score:
* First downs: UofM 24, EMU 12. Now that's more like it.
* Average yards per rush: UofM 7.5, EMU 4.5. That's a healthy serving of MANBALL right there.
* Net yards per punt: EMU 40.2, UofM 29.7. Mr. Hagerup, we eagerly await your return. Please obey your curfew and get your homework done. Thank you.
* Net yards per Kickoff: EMU 51, UofM 38. Giving up a first down's worth of field position with every special teams play is not special.
* Vincent Smith had 118 yards rushing. If there is a baby seal nearby, you can bet that Vincent has a club ready. He's looking better and better.
* Denard was 7-18 passing. Let's hope that was just a result of the injured arm they referenced on the B1G Network telecast. I'm not seeing 70%. I'll take 60%. <50% has me worried.
* FG attempts: UofM 1 for 1! I realize it was just 21 yards, but let's let the young man get his confidence up a little before throwing him out there for a game-winning 50 yarder into the wind.
* 23 players showed up in the defensive stats, lead by another linebacker. With all of the running EMU did, that's to be expected, but doesn't that feel great to see 2 weeks in a row?
And finally in our official's names section of the post,
* The linesman was "R. Studd." I wonder if he's related to Big John.