ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Alex Gillett #8 from Eastern Michigan Eagles gets ready to hand the ball off to Javonti Greene #32 in the first quarter of the game against the University of Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan defeated Eastern Michigan 31-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
was gracious enough to answer some questions about the upcoming season and which uniform combo the Eagles could wear against MSU.
3. Who are some notable players that MSU fans could be hearing about when the teams meet?
Offensively, it depends on whether there's any truth to the off-season rumors that there will be a passing game. If there is a passing game, senior quarterback Alex Gillett will naturally be a key part, but for the 2 1/2 years he's started, it's been pretty spotty. The passing has never been consistent enough to really get a good sense of what any of the receivers can do, but senior tight end Garrett Hoskins is on several preseason tight end watch lists, and Nick Olds and Demarius Reed are the other top returning receivers. With most of last year's excellent run-blocking offensive line returning, the running game should be strong, and from game to game it could be Gillett, Javonti Greene, or Dominique Sherrer getting the bulk of the carries, with Ryan Brumfield, Tyler Allen, and freshman Juwan Lewis subbing in from time to time.
Defensively, there's been a fair bit of turnover. Across the whole season, it's probably safe to say that senior linebacker Justin Cudworth will be the top defender, but cornerback Marlon Pollard, and linebacker Bryan Pali are also worth keeping an eye on, as is sophomore safety Sean "Pudge" Cotton.
Punter Jay Karutz is also pretty good, but punting only gets you so far...
I'm not sure EMU has ever played a weeknight game — certainly not at home in the past five or six years — so we've experienced neither the inconvenient time nor the national spotlight that goes with it. I've seen arguments for and against, but as bad as EMU's home attendance has been, it could hardly hurt.
5. Which uniform combo do you think EMU will wear against MSU? You only have a ton to choose from! What are your feelings on the new uniform set?
The EMU blogosphere, including Hustle Belt, Eagle Totem, and the non-athletic EMU Talk, seems pretty well united in opposition to the gray uniforms, in any combination. However, I have read some enthusiastic opinions from some younger fans. For my part, I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pageantry, and I'd like to see EMU mostly stick with the school colors: green and white.