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Posted on Sat, Oct 20, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

Tyler Benz leads Eastern Michigan football to first victory in 48-38 win over Army

By Matt Durr

Updated 5:45 p.m.

It took nearly 600 yards of offense and five touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Tyler Benz, but the Eastern Michigan football team won its first game of the season Saturday, defeating the Army Black Knights 48-38 at Rynearson Stadium.

“It's huge for the development of this team. What I want is for this team to know that if they keep working hard and continue to improve, that we’ll have success," said head coach Ron English.

Benz completed 19-of-31 passes for 369 yards to go along with his five touchdowns. He also threw one interception. Each of his touchdown passes were to different receivers, but it was tight end Garrett Hoskins that stood out for the Eagles.


Angela J. Cesere |

Hoskins had seven receptions for a career-best 158 yards and a touchdown.

“Our plan was to throw the little drive, short routes and out run our opponent," Hoskins said. "Coach said if we hit these drive routes we’re gonna have a good game and I just did what coach said.”

Sophomore running back Bronson Hill continued to impress gaining 252 yards of total offense which included a 41-yard touchdown catch and a 42-yard touchdown rush.


The Eagles (1-6) opened the game with a three-play, 68 yard drive that was capped by a Benz touchdown pass to Javonti Greene. After Army (1-6) went three-and-out, Army punter Chris Boldt mishandled the snap and the Eagles tackled him at the 13-yard line.

Five plays later, Benz found Hoskins and the Eagles led 14-0 just five-and-a-half minutes into the game.

“The one thing we wanted to do was get out and get ahead by possessions and we did that. We just stayed ahead by two possessions for most of the game and I think that made a big difference,” English said.

But Army entered the game with the nation's best rushing offense and wouldn't go down quietly. After kicking a field goal on its second drive of the game, the Black Knights scored on back-to-back drives.

Malcolm Brown scored first for the Knights on a 55 yard rush to the right side. Quarterback Trent Steelman followed that with a 73-yard touchdown run to make it a 21-17 game early in the second quarter. He added another 75 yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Steelman finished the game with 212 yards rushing on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Army ran for 412 yards as a team on the day.

“We did some good things," English said about his defense. "It's just a shame because Army really should have got half the points. The defense did enough to keep us ahead and as we struggle with the growing pains with this defense that’s a positive.

“The important thing today is that they helped us win the game.”

The Eagles have now scored 85 points in the last six quarters of football after putting up 37 points in the second half last week against Toledo. Eastern scored just 77 points in its first five games.

“As an offense it's pretty fun,” Benz said. "If you do what you’re supposed to do and execute, you’ll put up a lot of points and it’ll be a fun offense to be in.”

Now that the first win is out of the way, English said he wants his team to continue to improve. He added that despite the rough start, he is happy with how his team stuck together.

“The guys have not quit and they never did quit. One of the things I was proudest of this team is that the players stayed together. When the defense was playing better and the offense was not playing well, the defensive guys didn’t point fingers.

“Now that the offense is playing better, their not pointing fingers. These are young men and that’s a lesson that they need to learn and I’m proud that they’re learning it.”

Matt Durr covers sports for


greg, too

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 4:44 a.m.

EMU has one of the worst football programs in the nation, so I'm shocked they got any coverage at all with the MSU/Michigan game going on. Next time, send an EMU journalism student to snap pics and report on the games. It would give them some good experience and a portfolio and wouldn't subject anyone who isn't an EMU'er to watching this horrible team. As for the team, drop the coach the second the season ends, drop them team down to the FCS (old D2), and stop spending such ridiculous amounts of money on them. English has had a full recruiting class and his team has regressed all the way down to the bottom of the FBS. He has shown no reason whatsoever why he should retain his job. If beating Army is the highlight of the season, then he should be gone ASAP.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

I think it's pretty easy to look at that photo and recognize it's a file photo. CLEARLY, the weather in the photo doesn't match game day weather and I'm also pretty sure that photo is from inside Michigan Stadium. Take a close look at the background. I do appreciate the EMU coverage. I'd like to see the EMU Football program improve SIGNIFICANTLY, as to actually be competitive. Retain Ron English.

greg, too

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 5 a.m.

The only way that can happen is by getting rid of English. He was brought in to recruit and has had a full recruiting class under his tenure and they can barely beat Army and lost to a FCS team (Illinois State) this year. He has one of the worst winning percentages of any coach in the history of the school. What has he actually accomplished? Bowl games? None. Bowl eligible seasons? None (2 wins against FCS teams didn't count last year). Decent recruits? Not coming here, they are going to other MAC schools. Pro players? None, unless the punter from this year gets drafted. Outside of getting the president to build him a practice dome, what has he accomplished? Any other school would have run him out of town before last season.

Andy Dufresne

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:25 a.m.

Bad breach of journalistic ethics to pass off a file photo as being at the game.

Andy Dufresne

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

That's fine that you didn't have a photographer there. I understand it was a busy day with UM-MSU and high school championship day among other things. What makes it a bad breach of journalistic ethics is that as it sits it makes it look like a photographer was there. It should be listed as a File Photo.

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

Andy- See my reply to Dave above, Matt was at the game. We do have limited shots of Benz on file right now since he recently assumed the starter role, but we'll have our photo staff out at future games hopefully catching more standout performances from him and the rest of the EMU team.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1 a.m.

Apparently neither Matt Durr or Angela Cesere could be bothered to either attend or bring a camera to the Eastern Michigan v Army game. If they had, they might have taken a picture showing our QB Tyler Benz wearing the uniform EMU actually wore today and not used a file picture from last season. (BTW, EMU wore a green helmet, grey jersey, and green pants.)

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 5:19 a.m.

I've check out the page a number of times Dave, great job organizing it. Not sure why EMU has yet to establish an official football FB page, but good to see fans stepping up.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

Kyle, Perhaps Matt could take a camera next time? Perhaps you can scrounge one up for him. Us EMU Alums have to do what we can to make sure our fine university is properly represented by the media. BTW - Feel free to check out our "unofficial" Fb page for the team. Go Eastern!

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:24 a.m.

HI EMU_Dave, Angela Cesere is actually no longer a member of our photo staff as she has returned to UM for grad school. Matt was at the game, hence our report of the great win for EMU. As an EMU alumn myself, I'm looking forward to a few more W's to close out the rest of the season!