THE TEAMS: The Eastern Michigan University football team hits the road Saturday, Sept. 11, for its 2010 Mid-American Conference opener against the Miami University RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio. The two teams dropped their openers last weekend, with the Eagles losing a 31-27 heartbreaker at home against Army while Miami was falling, 34-12, to the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
EMU VS. MIAMI: Miami and Eastern Michigan are meeting for the 21st time in history with the RedHawks holding a 16-4 advantage in the series. In a rivalry has been dormant since the 2005 campaign, Miami holds a six-game winning streak that dates back to Oct. 1, 1994, when MU escaped with a 21-17 victory at Rynearson Stadium. The teams are meeting at Yager Stadium in Oxford for the first time since Sept. 18, 1999, when Miami posted a 35-14 win. After staking Miami to a 28-0 first-quarter lead, the Eagles led by quarterback Walter Church settled down and outscored the RedHawks by a 14-7 margin over the final 30 minutes.
PRIEST NAMED MAC WEST DIVISION OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior running back Dwayne Priestwas named the Mid-American Conference's West Division Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 5. The honor marks the first time Priest has collected the weekly accolade. Priest ran for a career-best 142 yards on 26 rushes and scored two touchdowns in Eastern Michigan's 31-27 loss to Army, Sept. 4, at Rynearson Stadium. It marked the third time Priest had eclipsed the single-game century rushing mark in his career.
LAST TIME WE MET: Nothing more than heartbreaking could be said of the Oct. 22, 2005, contest at Rynerason Stadium. EMU came from behind and pulled within one point, 24-23, with 13 seconds left in regulation on a touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Jones to Eric Deslauriers. However, place-kicker Andrew Wellock's extra point attempt bounced off the right goalpost after a bad snap and hold which secured the one point victory for the RedHawks. Jones had a breakout game for the Eagles. He rushed for 107 yards and threw for 135 yards totaling 242 yards in total offense with three touchdowns in his first career start for the Eagles. Miami was led by tailback Brandon Murphy who tallied 161 yards on 33 carries with one touchdown. Senior quarterback Josh Betts competed 23-of-43 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
LAST TIME IN OXFORD: The last time EMU and Miami played in Oxford, Ohio was Sept. 18, 1999, with Miami recording a 35-14 victory.
BEST SINCE 2005: When senior tailback Dwayne Priest (Roanoke, Va.-Fleming-Fork Union Academy) and sophomore quarterback Alex Gillet (Green Springs, Ohio-Clyde) both ran for more than 100 yards in the 2010 season opener last weekend, Sept. 4, against Army, it was the first time that two EMU backs were over the century mark since the 2005 season when Tyler Jones and Anthony Sherrell both surpassed 100 yards. Against Army last weekend, Priest ran 26 times for 142 yards and Gillett rushed 18 times for 126. Jones ran 12 times for 107 yards and Sherrell carried the rock 19 times for 107 yards, Oct. 22, 2005, at home against Miami.
THREE FOR A CENTURY: When senior tailback Dwayne Priest (Roanoke, Va.-Fleming-Fork Union Academy) and sophomore quarterback Alex Gillet (Green Springs, Ohio-Clyde) both ran for more than 100 yards in the 2010 season opener last weekend, Sept. 4, against Army, it marked the third time for each player that they have eclipsed the single-game century rushing mark.
THREE WITH DOUBLE DIGITS: Three EMU defenders recorded double-figure tackle totals in the season opener, Sept. 4, at home against Army. Senior Tim Fort (Southfield, Mich.-Southfield) had a game-high 15 tackles with senior Neal Howey (Monroe, Mich.-St. Mary's) adding 14 and senior Latarrius Thomas (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.-Smyrna Beach) chipping in with 12.
NEW BLOOD: A total of 12 EMU players saw their first-ever action for EMU during the 2010 season opener, Sept. 4, at home against Army. Five of those players; Kody Fulkerson, Jay Karutz, Chaz Mitchell, Donald Scottand Colin Weingrad are true freshmen and four; Kelip Goodwin, Garrett Gronowski, Kalonji Kashamaand Scott MacLeod are redshirt freshmen.
THREE FOR 27: The Eagles scored 27 points in the season-opening loss to Army, Sept. 4, tying the top offensive output under Head Coach Ron English. The Eagles had 27 points two times in 2009, against Ball State, Oct. 24, and at Arkansas, Oct. 31.
STATELY BREAKDOWN: The EMU football roster has 42 players from the state of Michigan, 16 from Ohio, eight from Florida, six from Illinois, five from California, four from Canada, three each from Indiana and Virginia, two from the states of New York, Georgia, Maryland and Texas and one apiece from Nebraska, Kentucky, South Carolina and Washington D.C. In addition, the Eagles have one player all the way from Australia.
THE GRADUATES: The EMU roster has two players that have completed their undegraduate degrees and are currently working on their master's. Starting offensive lineman Eric Davis (Southgate, Mich.-Anderson) and Dan DeMaster (Macomb, Mich.-L'Anse Creuse Central) are currently enrolled in graduate school.
BROTHER COMBO: The EMU football roster has a set of real-life brothers in Dan and Kyle DeMaster. Dan is a three-year letterman who played high school football at L'Anse Creuse Central while brother Kyle is a sophomore letterman who graduated from Macomb Dakota H.S.
LETTERMEN LEAD THE WAY: The 2010 Eagles return 44 lettermen from the 2009 season.
THEY'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE: All nine EMU football coaches have a combined 151 years of coaching experience.
GLAD TO BE BACK: Both offensive lineman Bridger Buche (Portland, Mich.-Portland) and wide receiver Josh LeDuc (Canton, Mich.-Plymouth) are both glad to be back in action for the Eagles. The two standouts missed the entire 2009 season. Buche has come back from a hip injury last year to reclaim a starting role at left tackle. LeDuc also missed last season and has been slowed down this fall after achilles heel surgery in the off season.
ANOTHER EAGLE IN THE FAMILY: EMU redshirt freshman defensive lineman Matt Price (Saline, Mich.-Saline) is the son of Mike Price, an offensive lineman for EMU who earned varsity football letters in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1982.