Entering 2023, EMU's Got a Pretty Good Football Team
After a historic 2022 season, this EMU team's in a good position to build on its nine-win season.
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Eastern Michigan’s 2022 season was certainly one to remember. Nine wins, only four losses. A long-awaited bowl win on the blue turf. A road win in Pac-12 country. Just short of a MAC Championship berth, EMU had its best football season in 35 years. The next morning, EMU signed maybe its most impressive class of all time.
A few weeks later, with the turn of the new year, it’s time to reset and re-read through the roster. Seniors are graduated. Transfers have and will continue to hit the market. The spring period will be a great time to truly evaluate where the roster’s at, but on paper, this team looks very promising with the 2023 season already in mind.
2022: Fell short of MAC title goal, still finished strong
EMU finished the 2022 season with a 9-4 record overall, 5-3 in MAC play. The wins were fun and great, but the handful of losses leaves the season feeling incomplete. All at home, EMU lost MAC games to Buffalo (50-31), Northern Illinois (39-10), and Toledo (27-24). The first two losses were exhaustive and regrettable. The Toledo loss, as Chris Crieghton said, was one of the most disappointing losses his program has had in his nine seasons at Eastern, especially for the fourth-quarter offense.
Despite falling to Toledo, which went on to beat Ohio (17-7) in the MAC title game and Liberty (21-19) in the Boca Raton Bowl, EMU didn’t lose a game after that. The Eagles took down Kent State and Akron on the road, and had its biggest win over CMU in a long time, just like it did at Kalamazoo against Western, to win the Michigan MAC title outright on the regular season finale.
Then, weeks later, EMU beat San Jose State 41-27 in the Potato Bowl, the first bowl win in program history since EMU beat SJSU 35 years ago in the Cal Bowl.
No, EMU didn’t get to its ultimate goal, but how could EMU not feel good coming off of a nine-win season? For many fans and grads, nine wins for EMU football is something they might not have ever experienced before. A tenth win wasn’t that far away, and an 11th win on the year would’ve required EMU to simply play much better than it showed against Buffalo or NIU. Maybe talking yourself into double-digit wins isn’t the healthiest approach to examining a team, but it’s January and we won’t have games to talk about until August.
Year #10 for Chris Creighton
It’s easy to look at Eastern Michigan’s situation and think that this football program has a good thing going on. It won some big games in 2022, finally got that bowl win it’s been looking for. Even with four losses, EMU’s at least made it to five bowl games over the last seven seasons — which wasn’t exactly the case a decade ago. Or even three decades ago.
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