EMU's offense threw itself off the field and finished with its first 'goose egg' since 2014.
This might be the worst start to a season since 2015 (2020 included). The amount of production and coaching we've lost since last year is truly staggering the more I think about it. What's even more mind boggling is how Creighton expected to fill almost all these gaps by promoting from within. While some guys like Coleman, El Zayet, Daniels, and Walker are performing well, a lot of other guys who are replacing departures look overmatched. This is abundantly clear on the offensive line. It didn't matter who the QB was they were running for their lives. I still don't understand why Rewolinski is at tackle and Conti is at guard when in the past they were flipped. I knew that switching QBs wasn't going to be a silver bullet because if it was they would have done it by now. The line struggled to block long enough to create shot plays, the receivers have struggled to create separation, and the play calling occasionally just seems to make no sense. Thanks to Mitch Tomasek for being the most effective mover of the ball for Eastern and the main reason this game wasn't worse. I suppose the shuffling of formations by Needham was to cover for some of the injuries, but I don't think the 3 man lines with Grant-Randall, Price, and Swindle were working regardless of how many LBs were behind them. Jax St kept the ball on the ground and made EMU fight against against the clock, taking away havoc plays from the D (something that's been Rich Rod's MO going back to the WVU days). This defense is good enough on the back end to be sell out harder against the run, if they play disciplined and fundamentally sound. As for the offense, the final decision on who's starting at QB is one that needs to be made quickly (I think it's probably already been made, but I don't have any access to verify that) because of the value of the position if nothing else. Dialing up some easy layup plays, getting playmakers in space, forcing the defense to defend the width of the field leading to more space in the middle could possibly get things in gear. Acknowledging that Smith is conservative with the ball is also important, I don't think he's blameless so far, but I doubt that they've got a better option. Thank you for the write up and for creating a pace where discussions about this team can be had, sorry if these comments are too long.