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Posted on Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 4 p.m.

EMU's stagnant offense struggles as Eagles fall to Kent State 41-14

By Matt Durr

All season long, Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English has criticized his team for its inability to finish ball games. Slow starts in the second half have been especially troublesome for the Eagles.

That trend continued Saturday as the Eagles allowed two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the second half, as Kent State knocked off EMU 41-14 at Rynearson Stadium Saturday, during EMU’s homecoming game.

The Eagles are now 0-5 on the year and 0-2 in Mid-American Conference play, while KSU improves to 4-1 and 3-0 in MAC play.

“We’re not performing at all offensively and its taking its toll on the team. That’s the reality of it. We hit the one big play and we’re just not moving the ball and we’re not putting any points up and that has had an affect on the team," English said.

After taking a 17-7 lead into halftime, the Golden Flashes outscored EMU 21-0 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.


KSU star and national all-purpose yards leader Dri Archer scored three touchdowns on the day including a stadium-record 98 yard kick return for a touchdown to open the second half. Archer had 222 all-purpose yards on the day. Aside from his kick return, Archer added scores of 64 yards on the ground and a four-yard touchdown catch. Archer was pulled from the game after three quarters.

“If you saw the return, that was a fabulous return by the returner and that’s why he is who he is," English said about Archer.

KSU running back Trayion Durham complemented Archers speed with a power rushing game. Durham ran for 116 yards on 24 carries to go along with two touchdowns.

The Golden Flashes dominated the time of possession battle, holding on to the ball for a little more than 42 minutes.

EMU entered the contest with the fourth worst offense in the FBS averaging only 281.2 yards a game. Those problems continued Saturday, as the offense was inept for the majority of the game.


Eastern Michigan's Bronson Hill eludes a tackle before running for a 68 yard touchdown against Kent State.

Courtney Sacco |

The lone EMU highlight came midway through the second quarter when backup running back Bronson Hill broke off a 68-yard touchdown run.

The Eagles managed just 84 yards of offense in the first half on 19 plays, most of which came on Hill’s touchdown. On their seven first-half possessions, they went three-and-out six times did not gain a first down outside of Hill’s run until six minutes into the third quarter.

“What’s happening right now is the defense is being put in an awful lot of short fields and they’re on the field an awful long time,” English said. “They play well for long stretches and they make mistakes for stretches.

“There were several situations in the first half where the defense battened down.”

Sophomore Tyler Benz started the game for the Eagles for the second consecutive week, but Benz struggled against Kent State going 9-of-17 passing for 93 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Former starting quarterback Alex Gillett saw more action this week than he did in the Eagles last game, but was largely ineffective again.

The Eagles finished the game with 200 yards of offense, a large part of which came when the game was out-of-hand. Five weeks into the season, English said he has no answer for why the offense has stumbled this season.

“It is unnerving. Its unbelievable that a team that ran the ball so well and practices the way we practice is struggling running the ball as much as we are," English said. “We have four of our five offensive lineman back all of our tight ends back, two of our top three backs back and we don’t perform. At the end of it we have to evaluate that and we have to make some hard decisions.

“I don’t know that we’re going to make any drastic movements there, but we are going to continue to coach and develop the guys that are playing.”

EMU hosts Toledo next Saturday at Rynearson Stadium at 1 p.m.

Matt Durr covers sports for



Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I just think it shows alot about English when he talks about the offence not getting it done. He is a defensive coach supposedly. What better way to create an issue within the team by some of the stuff he says about the offence. This Karcher guy is an awful play caller. He should really be fired as we speak. I just think a great coach does not publicly throw the D or the offence under the bus like he does. He just isn't the guy for the program. Karcher just doesn't know how to work with what he has either. Benz does have alot of potential, but why not stay with the Gillett kid. He is the only chance at any offence for the team. They just don't use him right. Obviously the EMU coaches pay no attention to the U of M offence when they have a similar QB situation. The poor fans of EMU remind me of the Cleveland Browns fans. I gotta say, there is no way I would put my kid through going to EMU for football. English, I'm sorry man but you just aren't a head coach, you kinda suck man.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

Fire Ron English!

Zero Zero Zero

Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

Fire Ron English. Fire Sue Martin. Shame on them and the Board of Regents for wasting student tuition dollars and taxpayer money on this utter nonsense.

greg, too

Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

I am sure the students and the other less funded sports would love to use the new dome the football team has, as well as all of the money thrown at this department. I am a football junkie and would love to have a successful program blocks away from me. But this is just getting ridiculous.

Marcus Adams

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

With an 0-5 record, Ron needs to quit blaming his players and accept some responsibility for his teams performance. Army might be winnable, but I thought in August that Illinois State was winnable too. Nobody in the MAC wants to be the first to lose to EMU so this season could easily end up 1-11. So much for Ron's contract extension.

greg, too

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

Don't sell them short. EMU can easily go 0-12...especially since Army knocked off an ACC team today. And English will probably get an extension out of it.

greg, too

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

Well, at least they didn't get shut out? And the weather was nice....


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Looks like plenty of seats were available, too. One should be so lucky at the Big House once in awhile - on a game day. It's got to be depressing, though, for the team.