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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 75 THREE THINGS 1 Eastern Michigan is in the midst of its best two-year stretch ever, but last year the Eagles lost seven games, of which six were decided by one possession. Overall, their sev- en losses were by a combined 35 points. They will need to turn more of those games into victories. How they do that is a good question. The defense allowed just 23.0 points per game, the best average since 1993, and offensively, the team averaged 364 yards per game, the second-best average in program history. The red zone touchdown rate needs to improve after finishing under 50 percent in 2017. 2 The first priority for Coach Chris Creighton is to find a trusted quarterback. Brogan Roback left the program as a two-time team offensive MVP and the school's all-time leader in touchdowns thrown and total yards. He also was No. 2 all-time in completions and yards. The competition for the position is intense and includes strong-armed sophomore Isaac Steibeling, Iowa senior transfer Tyler Weigers and dual-threat freshman Aaron Jackson. 3 The offensive line remains stout and experienced, and the defense returns the best pass-rushing duo in the league with Maxx Crosby (11 sacks, 16.5 TFL) and Jere- miah Harris (six sacks, 12.5 TFL), but there is a need to shore up the middle of the defense because losing the team's leading tackler in Jason Beck is tough to replace. — Matt Shephard, radio voice of the Eagles TIME: NOON | DATE: SEPT. 8 | LOCATION: WEST LAFAYETTE | TV: BTN COACH: CHRIS CREIGHTON (15-34, FIFTH SEASON) 2017 RECORD: 5-7 STARTERS RETURNING (OFFENSE/ DEFENSE): 6/7^ SERIES VS. PURDUE: 0-2 LAST MEETING: PURDUE, 54-16 ON SEPT. 15, 2012 IN ROSS-ADE STADIUM ^ ATHLON GBI EARLY LINE: PURDUE -17 Game 2 | Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan's 2018 Schedule 8/31 MONMOUTH 9/8 at Purdue 9/15 at Buffalo 9/22 at San Diego State 9/29 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 10/6 at Western Michigan 10/13 TOLEDO 10/20 at Ball State 10/27 ARMY WEST POINT 11/3 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 11/10 AKRON 11/23 at Kent State Eastern Michigan Maxx Crosby

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