Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Eastern Michigan season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview
Head Coach: Chris Creighton, 9th year at EMU, 37-57
26th year overall, 176-103, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 4-4
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Eastern Michigan Top 10 Players | Schedule
Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview 2022
Eastern Michigan needs to be graded on a curve.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, head coach Chris Creighton and the program won’t hear about anything other than winning seasons, MAC Championships, and bowl games being the norm, but it wasn’t all that long ago when the bar was set at not getting totally annihilated.
No, Eastern Michigan hasn’t won a bowl game under Creighton – the program is 1-5 all-time – but he has accounted for four of the six appearances.
Really, how bad was Eastern Michigan? From 1996 to 2015 the program only won more than four games once.
Now, after eight years under Creighton, this might be his best team yet with a ton of talent returning on offense, a whole lot happening up front on defense, and with a bowl game now a formality if everything goes right. That starts with …
Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview 2022: Offense
The offense needs some work. Overall it wasn’t bad – it averaged 30 points and 381 yards per game – but there wasn’t any running game to speak of and the passing attack wasn’t consistent enough. Fortunately, the attack is loaded with experience and potential upgrades. The big question though is …
Quarterback – one has to emerge and take the gig. Ben Bryant went back to Cincinnati, Preston Hutchinson left for Chattanooga, and Austin Smith is the lone holdover with every shot to make the job his. However, Cam’Ron McCoy is an interesting prospect from Cincinnati, and former Missouri Tiger and Troy Trojan Taylor Powell is like the best option.
The receiving corps has the parts no matter who the main man at QB is. 5-8 Hassan Beydoun led the team with 97 catches for 1,015 yards and four scores, and Dylan Grumman helped with 64 grabs. Outside of tight end, just about everyone of note is back.
The top four offensive linemen are expected to be back around First Team All-MAC guard Sidy Sow and Second Team All-MAC performers Brian Dooley at one tackle spot. Now they need to do more for a ground game that averaged 119 yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry.
The rushing attack might not have been amazing when now-departed Jawon Hamilton wasn’t rumbling, but former Iowa transfer Samson Evans barreled for 13 touchdowns and Darius Boone Jr. was second on the team with 451 yards and six scores.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview 2022: Defense
The defense didn’t do enough on third downs, there weren’t any tackles for loss, and overall it allowed 436 yards and 30 points per game. There’s hope, though, with an experience defensive front and help from the transfer portal for the linebacking corps.
Tariq Spikes led the team with 90 stops in the middle of the linebacking corps, but he needs help around him in the 4-2-5 with Terry Myrick gone. Boston College transfer Joe Sparacio should be a factor.
The line has a good veterans in Alex Merritt, but hybrid end Jose Ramirez is the most important playmaker of the bunch with a team high 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 tackles for loss for a team that didn’t have a whole lot of big plays behind the line.
The secondary will get the most attention through fall camp. There aren’t a slew of big-time playmakers returning, but Kempton Shine is a good-tackling corner and safety Blake Bogan made 45 stops.