Top 10 Reasons to be FIRED UP for Eastern Michigan

ast week we gave you the top 10 reasons to be fired up for Towson. The game turned out to be as routine as expected and Mike Kafka improved his record against FCS schools to 1-1. So now the Eastern Michigan Eagles come to town on Saturday. The Eagles are coming off a loss to the mighty Black Knights of Army. They’re a bad MAC team, so the game figures to be pretty boring, right? In the words of NU hater Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.” I present to you the top ten reasons to be FIRED UP for Eastern Michigan. Before we begin you can get a fantastic free bet from from one of their best betting sites. Now lets get started!

10. It will be more exciting than the 2006 game between these two teams.

I swear to Willie the Wildcat it will be a more exciting game than this debacle. I was a young, innocent freshman at NU, going to my first football game at Ryan Field, not knowing what to expect. What I got was one of the worst football games I’ve ever seen in-person. First of all, there was no one there (I’m used to that now), but more importantly, both the teams were absolutely terrible. Luckily, this time around only one of the teams is terrible. So I promise you, NU will score more than 14 points, and Andrew Brewer will not be playing quarterback.

9. Eastern Michigan has the NUMBER ONE pass defense in the country.

The Eastern Michigan game notes are funnier than the Towson game notes, and that’s not a small accomplishment! The game notes helpfully point out that EMU is only giving up 8 passing yards a game, which is the best in the country! Army’s triple option offense was  so afraid of EMU that they only attempted five passes. Break up the Eagles! What will the NU receivers do? I really hope that the first time a NU receiver catches a TD pass saturday, the student section starts chanting “overrated”. That would make my week.

8. Ron English used to coach at Michigan!

Eastern Michigan, like four out of the first five of NU’s opponents, has a new head coach this year. His name is Ron English, and I’m sure he’s a nice enough fellow. But the fact of the matter is that he used to work for the evil Michigan Wolverines! There are four schools I cannot stand in the Big Ten: Iowa, Ohio State, Illinois, and Michigan. Iowa and DUH OSU because of their fans and the sweater vest running up the score. IllANNOY because of Zook the Crook and their stupid reality TV show, and finally Michigan because of their annoying fight song that has spawned 1000 parodies. So Ron English, just because you don’t coach at Michigan anymore doesn’t mean you’re innocent of being associated with that god awful fight song. Expect a lot of heckling on saturday.

7. Another chance for this guy to get in the game.

6. The game is on national television…AGAIN.

Clearly someone out there in the media thinks the ‘Cats deserve to be on the big stage!

5. LTP’s head might explode.

Our friend over at the popular NU football blog “Lake the Posts” has been getting a LITTLE worked uprecently about the lack of attendance at NU football games. I can’t wait to see what he delivers as a follow-up after only 17,000 show up this Saturday. I think he just needs to get in the “Octagon” with the NU marketing staff and get it over with. Pat Fitzgerald can provide the motivational speech (FINISH THEM!) and Jim Phillips can host it at Wrigley Field, or Yankee Stadium, his choice.

4. Eastern Michigan has a new scoreboard and NU does NOT.

How can a freaking directional school have a new scoreboard AND video screen and NU still be stuck with that one in the corner no one can see? I would provide a link to the Ryan Field scoreboard, but Google Images netted nothing. I wonder why.  I think the EMU media staff put that in their game notes just to taunt NU fans! I mean, why else would that be there, it’s not like this is a home game for EMU. (Unless their fans travel as well as DUH OSU, but somehow I doubt that.)

3. EMU’s motto just screams “We suck, but we’re getting better!”

EMU’s motto is “Embrace the Process.” As in, we’re going to be REALLY bad for a few more years, but embrace the fact it can’t get worse, and we pretty much have to get better. Gotta love a team that is so realistic about their season.  Of course, this just begs for some good heckling from the student section this Saturday.

2. Arby Fields might overcompensate for the freshman mistake he made last Saturday.

Post-game press conference following NU’s 49-10 (my official prediction) win over EMU.

Reporter: “So Arby after you seemed to be running faster than ever during the 1st quarter, when you tallied 60 yds and a TD, we saw you sprint in to the locker room as fast as you could after the quarter ended…what happened there?”

Fields: “Last week I didn’t hydrate enough the night before the game, so this week I drank a gallon of  Gatorade last night and then again this morning. The result was a lot of bathroom breaks during the game.”

Reporter: “Freshman mistake?”

Fields: “Yeah.”

1.  Eastern Michigan has the arrogance to designate one of their linebackers as a “STAR.”

Seriously, this is ticking me off. There is no such position as the STAR linebacker. I’ve discussed this with a variety of football experts, and they’ve never seen this designation before. Also, this guy has no back-up.  EMU ran a 3-4 defense last week against Army because a 3-4 is better at defending a triple option offense. (Well, in theory at least, Army had more than 300 yards rushing). …

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Reasons to love/hate the Big Ten Network

Let’s start with the reasons to love Big Ten Network.
1) Melanie Collins (that’s her on the left)- she’s fresh out of Penn State, and BTN clearly hired her to fit the Erin Andrews mold, since she had virtually no experience before NBAtv.  However, she’s hot, and nice to watch.  Needs to work on her delivery on Big Ten Tonight. Just do a Google image search and you can find all kinds of dirt she did (including Flyers forward Scottie Upshall) at PSU.  We won’t hold her accountable.

2) Big Ten’s Greatest Games – I’ve always questioned whether these games are even great, or whether they just take games that are close in score and put them on.  Not too many Indiana football games on there though.

3) Every game is on – If you’re lucky enough to have all the alternate channels, you can see any team you want.  Great deal by them.
4) Charissa Thompson – She is really, really good.  Great delivery, clearly understands football.  You can see why Fox put her on their NFL games now.

5) Softball games – At NU we are starting a storied tradition of softball excellence.  Who doesn’t love to see Lauren Delaney hit 6 batters and walk another 13, all while winning 14-13?

5 1/2) THE REVVVVERRRR – NU alum Dave Revsine.  No hot pics of him.

We also practice balanced journalism (minus the asking questions part) here (get both sides).

1) The programming besides games is terrible – anyone (Jim Delany?) who thought having a full-on network dedicated to Big Ten universities clearly has no experience in television.  If you don’t have solid programming for the majority of the day, you won’t do well.  From what I hear on the inside, BTN is making money, but their ad revenue is ehhhhh, but their Saturdays are saving them.

2) Problems with DirecTV – Since they are kind of owned by DirecTV (NewsCorp), it’s somewhat pathetic that some people with DirecTV couldn’t get games this past weekend.  That should be ironed out.
3) It took a long time to get on all providers – The network’s choice to ask cable providers for about $1 per month per customer was insane.  That’s $12 a year you could have paid just to watch about 20 games a year.  Some like it, most don’t.

4) Does anyone watch besides on Saturdays between 11am CT and 9pm CT?

5) Finally, the chachbag to the left – Mark Silverman is the network exec, came over from Disney, and is just a walking bullshit machine.  He put the blame on Comcast, when they were asking a pretty-penny from Comcast, all while shutting out Big Ten fans.…

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What to look for tomorrow against EMU

I know. I know. I’ve been somewhat sarcastic about tomorrow’s clash with the Eagles. But in all seriousness, there are some important things to be on the lookout for in tomorrow’s game.

  • The play of Justan Vaughn.

I’ve watched the Towson tape, and it’s not pretty. The minute Vaughn replaces McManis in the game at cornerback, the Tigers start going after him…again and again. And it worked. The Tigers were able to launch two scoring drives thanks to passes near the sideline where their receivers beat Vaughn. I do not expect McManis to play Saturday as he is listed as “doubtful” on the injury report. If it were against a Big Ten power like PSU, McManis would play, but this is the team whose motto is “Embrace the Process”, so needless to say McManis is not going to see the field. It is crucial that Vaughn show the coaching staff he can be an able replacement at cornerback. Pat Fitzgerald has talked constantly about this possibly being the deepest team NU has ever had, well now it’s Vaughn’s chance to prove him right.

  • Who will emerge at running back?

I see this as a two-man race. It’s between junior Stephen Simmons and true freshman Arby Fields. Fields had an odd first game against Towson. He ran for a couple of touchdowns, but cramped up and had to leave the game. Fields said it was due to a lack of hydration the night before, and Fitzgerald labeled it as “unacceptable.” On the other hand, I like that Fitz is being so harsh with Fields, both in the media, and, based on reports, during practice as well. It shows he has some high expectations for the youngster from California. Watch closely the situation at running back tomorrow…something tells me “running back by committee” will be no more when the ‘Cats head to Syracuse.

  • Kafka’s legs.

It will be very interesting to see if the Wildcats call more designed QB runs this week. Kafka finished with only 6 yds of rushing against Towson, but the Wildcats used a very vanilla offensive (and defensive) playbook. I suspect they’re going to keep it pretty plain against the team currently ranked 2nd in ESPN’s “Bottom 10.” At the same time, they’ll also want Kafka to get in to the groove a bit because he’s going to need his legs later on this year.

One more thing to watch, how much playing time Corey Wootton gets. NU was understandably very cautious with him in week one.

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NU blows out Eastern Michigan 27-24

In a complete demolition of panzie Eastern Michigan, Northwestern won on a game-winning field goal by the fan of Pink Taco restaurants, Stefan Demos.

The game plan was horrible and it seemed like NU ran about 10 different plays, if that.

All and all, Fitz can only do so much.  He was clearly not happy, but at a certain point, this team needs to motivate themselves.  It’s tough to motivate a bunch of seniors.  The defense should know they aren’t THAT good.  You’re still Northwestern.

Can’t believe I pay for season tickets to this crap. Hey Lake The Posts, you wonder why nobody comes to the games? Idiot.

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The Cardiac ‘Cats Return…That’s not a good thing

NU won. They’re 2-0. But it was one of the most disheartening wins I’ve ever witnessed.

I don’t understand what’s happened to NU’s defensive line. I think John Gill is being missed more than anyone ever anticipated. Gill didn’t put up monster stats, but he was a constant focus of opposing offenses, allowing other Wildcats to make plays.

Something is wrong with Corey Wootton. He should have manhandled EMU today…he made two good plays. He appears very tenative..which I guess is understandable coming off a major injury, but that needs to end…now.

Vince Browne was effective last year because he was used primarily on passing downs. Now he’s expected to also stop the run…he’s not doing it. In fact, he’s borderline awful at stopping the run.

Justan Vaughn is terrible.  I hope McManis is back next week or for the Minnesota game at the latest.

We better hope none of our safeties get hurt. Brian Peters got benched for a period of time in the 2nd half for unknown reasons (he still played on special teams), and Jared Carpenter provided absolutely no help.

On the offensive side of the ball, NU got off to a fast start thanks to Stephen Simmons, but stalled for most of the 2nd half thanks to some EXTREMELY VANILLA play calling. The coaching staff (and the players…and me) underestimated EMU and thought they could get away with boring runs up the middle.

They couldn’t.

Arby Fields is not the savior, and probably won’t be the starter after his terrible afternoon.

Jeremy Ebert got almost no playing time. He’s recovering from an injury too, and so far has been practically invisible during the first two games. The ‘Cats need him to be 100 percent…and soon.

Andrew Brewer didn’t make his presence felt until the final drive. He appears to only be good in season openers (a good one last year against ‘Cuse and of course this year vs. Towson.)

The ‘Cats committed a lot more penalties in this game than usual, including a bunch that nearly killed the final drive. But I think that’s an anomoly. NU is normally pretty diciplined…I’m not too concerned there.

Special teams (with the notable exception of Demos’ CLUTCH kick) are anything BUT special. NU just can’t get this area of the game right. Andrew Brewer and Brendan Smith looked like two of the three stooges on that pathetic attempt of a punt return.

I want to emphasize that I think this nervewracking win can be good for the ‘Cats in the longterm. If this isn’t a wake up call to certain players who thought they were good, I don’t know what is. They have to work harder than ever before, and they know it now.

Syracuse scares the crap out of me now.…

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