You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Bowl-worthy? Eastern Michigan football team hammers Buffalo, 30-17

By Freelance Journalist


Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett escapes from Buffalo's Steven Means. Gillett had four touchdown passes in the Eagles' 30-17 victory.

Angela J. Cesere |

Justin Souva

The Eastern Michigan football team is closer to being bowl eligible after a 30-17 victory Saturday over visiting Buffalo, marking quite a turnaround for the program and third-year coach Ron English.

The Eagles are 6-4 (4-2 Mid-American Conference). They went 2-10 last season and 0-12 the previous season. It’s the most victories in the regular season they’ve had since they went 6-5 in 1995.

By no means, however, does reaching seven wins guarantee Eastern Michigan a bid to play in a bowl game. Just three MAC teams are contracted to receive bids, while as many as seven could be eligible. Eastern needs seven wins because it has two FBS victories and only one counts for bowl eligibility.

The Eagles have two games remaining — both on the road — against Kent State and Northern Illinois.

“We had people on the team who weren’t buying in to the things we were doing,” senior defensive lineman Brad Ohrman said of previous years. “Now we have a team that’s tough mentally, emotionally, everything.”

More coverage: Photo gallery | Boxscore | MAC standings

After a slow first half offensively, the game Saturday opened up in the second.

The Eagles held a 9-3 halftime lead. And unlike last week’s 33-31 loss to Ball State, they did enough to put this one away against Buffalo (2-8, 1-5).

Buffalo, which had three first downs in the first half, opened the second with a touchdown drive capped by Branden Oliver’s 3-yard run, which gave it a 10-9 lead.

Eastern Michigan answered on its ensuing drive with a 67-yard touchdown reception by Demarius Reed only to have Buffalo score on its next drive on a 68-yard run by Oliver to give Buffalo a 17-16 lead with 6:35 left in the third.

Reed added another touchdown reception to give the Eagles the lead back at 23-17. That touchdown came with 2:24 left in the third and was the last of four in the quarter.

Garrett Hoskins had his second touchdown reception early in the fourth to extend Eastern Michigan’s lead to 30-17.

Alex Gillett threw it up for Hoskins, who came down with the jump ball for a 34-yard touchdown despite double coverage. Gillett had four touchdown passes for the second consecutive week.

Gillett was 10 of 15 for 234 yards and also had 89 rushing yards. His counterpart Chazz Anderson was 18 of 31 for 137 yards. Oliver had 133 rushing yards.

The Eagles held Buffalo without a score in the final quarter. They had five sacks, including 1 1/2 by Ohrman, who was one of 16 seniors honored before the game.

“Last week if we get a shutout in the fourth quarter, we win that game,” English said. “I think it helps the guys, helps their confidence to know that they can finish. The reason that we shut the team out was because we didn’t hurt ourselves. All credit goes, obviously, to our players.”



Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Great game, Coach English!! What an amazing turnaround. Go Eagles!!!

Move Free

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 5:30 a.m.

Most EMU students, alumni, faculty and staff members could care less about Ron English and the football team. &quot;On Campus, a Law Enforcement System to Itself&quot; <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;scp=1&amp;sq=Eastern%20Michigan&amp;st=cse</a>

COE Faculty

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

I think Move Free's point is that the EMU community as a whole isn't interested in football -- whether the team is winning or losing. Having attended a game recently the crowd was minimal -- 6,000 or so. With talk of more layoffs looming, a lot of people don't see football as a priority.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

Move Free, do you have a point or are you just another person who feels the need to be negative towards EMU unnecessarily?


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 9:05 p.m. / Posted: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 5:59 a.m. Budget shortfalls put more pressure on Eastern Michigan athletic department <a href=""></a>

Elizabeth Scott

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Move Free- While you are correct that athletics isn't really a priority for the students and staff of EMU, it is nice to see the team do well. So don't get all cranky about their success, OK?


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

Move Free, Most of us have moved on. EMU paid a steep price for their coverup. It had nothing to do with these young people and these coaches playing football. It had to do with the higher ed culture of cover ups. The only thing unique about EMU was that the truth came out, and heads rolled.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

A big improvement since English took over. Still not good enough for a bowl though IMHO.

steve h

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 2:27 a.m.

Have you seen some of the teams that play in bowl games? The &quot;Eagles&quot; have improved and deserve a bowl like any other team, especially if they win their next 2. That would be 8-4.