Y11 Notes: Bowl Game Possibilities
EMU vs. East Carolina? Maryland? How about Appalachian State?
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It’s Kent State Week
I usually go to the weekly press conferences, but this week I couldn’t make it. I was on a plane to go to a wedding in New York, so I wasn’t able to ask Chris Creighton any questions about Akron/Kent State/etc.
EMU’s got a trip to Kent State this week, and we’ll be able to watch their game Wednesday at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Depending on when you read this, I’ll either be working on my game preview for you, or I’ll have already published the thing, so you have that to look forward to.
My read on the game? To be the optimist, Eastern has a shot if it doesn’t let Marquez Cooper go crazy. EMU’s seen a lot of drives slip away defensively by allowing 5-8 rushes over and over and over again. Sean Lewis has definitely forced the importance of having good players at WR too, but EMU’s secondary has shown that it’s more than capable of keeping things under control against the pass.
EMU is 8th in the MAC in defensive rush avg. (4.29), Cooper leads the MAC in rushes of 10+ yards (35).
What’ll be the biggest difference? EMU’s starting quarterback, which I assume will be Austin Smith, makes clutch throws. Clutch situations don’t always look the same, and performing well in clutch moments isn’t 100% something you can simply work out in practice.
Kent State’s the one with true stakes here. The Flashes are 4-6 and have a bowl game to play for. EMU already reached that level, so the only thing it can do right now is to try and improve upon its resume and play spoiler on the road. If teammates come out flat and things start to break down around Smith, he’s got to be the one to identify the problems and figure out some winning answers on the fly. Especially now that this offense has basically moved away from Taylor Powell as the starter to Smith, he’s basically auditioning to be the guy into the spring and through next year. He’s QB1 for now, but can he reach Best Player on The Field levels of good?
Teams I'd Want to Play in Bowl Games
Eastern reached bowl eligibility for the fourth full season in a row after last week’s win at Akron, which will make it five times in the last seven seasons.
For those who want to keep staring into the history of how putrid of a football program EMU has had, this is still just the fifth bowl game since 1987.
There are still two weeks left to go in the season, but since EMU already reached the six-win threshold. I’m not big on spitting out projections as much as I like saying “wouldn’t it be fun if…?”, so let’s have some fun with some potential bowl game matchups that I think would be a lot of fun to watch.
Or at least somewhat enjoyable.