Western Michigan pulls away from Eastern Michigan football team, 45-30
By Graham Couch For AnnArbor.com
KALAMAZOO — Ron English didn't take much joy in watching his offense rack up nearly 500 yards Saturday. It seems his defense left him short-tempered and disgusted after a 45-30 loss at Western Michigan.
Eastern Michigan surrendered 518 yards to the Broncos, watching as the trio of quarterback Alex Carder and receivers Jordan White and Juan Nunez did to them what they've done to so many recently.
English wasn't in the mood to commiserate, lashing out as his sports information director and one of his own players for doing a short interview without his approval. This, after making it clear he wasn't happy with himself, either, or his staff, for that matter.
"Obviously, we are not coaching well enough defensively, because we do not do what we're supposed to," English said, after Eastern fell to 1-9 overall — 1-21 in his two-year tenure — and 1-5 in the Mid-American Conference. "It falls on the coaching, so I'm not satisfied with our abilities, and I coach, too. I coach the safeties with my abilities.
"It starts with me, the ability to get the defense to do what they are supposed to do consistently, and they have a hard time doing that."
The Eagles were in this game until late, tying it at 24-24 on their first drive of the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal by Sean Graham. However, Western answered with back-to-back touchdown drives.
Eastern Michigan scored once more, capping a nine-play drive on a 32-yard pass from Alex Gillett to tight end Garrett Hoskins, though Graham missed the extra point.
It took the Broncos one more play from scrimmage to essentially end the game, as Carder found Nunez in stride down the left sideline for a 66-yard touchdown.
All of the Eagles' scores came on drives of eight plays or more, explaining their 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession.
WMU (4-6, 3-3) simply didn't need much time against the EMU defense, in part, because the Eagles remained mostly in man coverage against Nunez and White.
"We’re on the same page so much so that I don’t see anybody that can really stop us as far as defenses go," said Carder, who was so surprised by the single coverage on Nunez during WMU's final possession that he threw one final out route, instead of just running out the clock.
Carder completed 17 of 21 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns. White had seven receptions for 134 yards and one touchdown and Nunez added four receptions for 110 yards and two scores.
It’s the third time this season the two have both gone over 100 yards, and the fourth straight game each have caught at least one touchdown.
Gillett gave the Broncos fits, as well. The sophomore ran for 159 yards on 22 carries with one touchdown and threw for another 214 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Dwayne Priest returned from a one-game suspension to rush for 87 yards on 26 carries. Eastern racked up 491 yards.
“The first rule on our board is to score enough points to win, and if they score 80, we have to score 81,’’ White said.
— Paul Morgan contributed to this story