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2013 Eastern Michigan
Schedule and Odds
Head coach Ron English is on his last legs and will need something positive to come from this season if he wants to retain his job. The Eagles went from six wins in 2011 to just two last year. Their schedule was tough, but they also lost games at home to weaker opponents like Illinois State and Central Michigan. Another tough schedule looms with the hopes of doubling last season's win total.
Coordinator Stan Parrish comes in to lead the offense. He's been at a number of places leading top notch offenses, most notably at Michigan and Ball State. Parrish will get some talent to work with as quarterback Tyler Benz and running back Bronson Hill still have two years left. Benz will hopefully improve after completing under 54 percent of his passes last year. Hill should also be able to build on last year's 905 yards. The speedy Darius Jackson is expected to spell Hill and gives a nice combo at tailback. The receiving core is vastly inexperienced led by Dustin Creel who only had 13 receptions last year. Tight end Tyreese Russell is expected to be a big factor in the passing game. Eastern Michigan won't become the best offense in the MAC overnight, but they should improve on their 21.3 points per game.
Last year, EMU was even worse on the defensive side giving up close to 38 points per game. Putting matters into his own hands, English took over coordinating duties. Whether that's a good thing or not, it remains to be seen. The Eagles were unable to force turnovers or get to the QB last year which will be the main focus points. The linebacking core may be the weakest unit on this squad which doesn't help. With leaders on the line and a secondary built on speed, someone will have to step up.
2013 Eastern Michigan Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Howard
Sept. 7 at Penn State
Sept. 14 at Rutgers
Sept. 21 vs. Ball State
Oct. 5 at Buffalo
Oct. 12 at Army
Oct. 19 vs. Ohio
Oct. 26 at Northern Illinois
Nov. 2 at Toledo
Nov. 9 vs. Western Michigan
Nov. 23 vs. Bowling Green
Nov. 29 at Central Michigan
If Eastern wants to improve on last year's two wins, they need to win against Howard in the opener, there's no question about it. Following that game, they will get road games at Penn State and Rutgers followed by a MAC opener against Ball State.
Beating Army for the second straight season will also be key to improve their record, but a road back-to-back at the end of October against Northern Illinois and Toledo won't help their mindset. The biggest stretch for the Eagles will be in the last three games against Western Michigan, Bowling Green and Central Michigan. The games against WMU and CMU will need to be wins.
Even with some improvement, it's hard to see how Eastern will get more than four wins this year. Because the defense isn't great, Benz has a lot riding on his shoulders with the offense and there's not a lot of help.
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