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Tue November 16, 2004
EMU Moves Past 'Unacceptable' Loss
By Brian Nemerovski
Ypsilanti, MI – Jeff Genyk didn't actually burn the video tape of Eastern Michigan's 69-17 loss at Kent State Saturday. But he didn't force his team to watch it, either.
"We really left it up to the position coach(es)," Genyk said Tuesday, noting that most assistants chose to instead watch film on this week's opponent, Northern Illinois. "There wasn't very much positive. We talked a lot after the game about how unacceptable and disappointing that performance was. But the team has still accomplished a great deal. We didn't want to lose sight of that."
EMU (4-6, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) can still complete its best MAC season since 1995 with a win against the Huskies (12:45 Saturday on 89.1, WEMU). A win would also end the careers of 19 Eagle seniors on a high note.
"These seniors have been through two head coaches; some have been through four or five position coaches, and they've really sacrificed a great deal to win those four games," Genyk said. "To finish 5-3 in the MAC is a great legacy for those seniors leave.
"We just want to execute. We want to do the things that we've done in various games that we didn't do against Kent State to get us going into the off-season in a positive direction."
NIU (7-3, 6-1 MAC) can clinch a share of the MAC West title with a win Saturday. The Huskies would qualify for their first MAC Championship game if they win and Bowling Green beats Toledo Nov. 23. Running back Garret Wolfe, who leads the MAC with 1,247 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, is expected to play Saturday. He missed NIU's last game with an eye injury.
"Theoretically, Northern Illinois attacks you, in the run game, a little more conventionally," Genyk said. "We have improved in stopping the straightforward running plays in the last few games. Hopefully that will continue."
Click on the audio icon above to hear Tuesday's press conference
Bohnet Bounceback: After several weeks climbing the NCAA total offense charts, quarterback Matt Bohnet struggled against Kent State, completing 15-of-31 passes for 115 yards. Genyk attributed some of Bohnet's struggles to a leg injury the signal-caller suffered at Bowling Green Oct. 30, which has kept him out of most EMU practices for the last two weeks.
"Matt kind of got back into that midseason (habit of) drifting out of the pocket right into the rush," Genyk said. "Part of that is probably from lack of practice."
The injury prevented EMU from calling any running plays for Bohnet, which further limited the Eagle offense. Considering those limitations, Genyk was pleased with parts of the offense's performance.
"We broke down in protection three times in the whole game. But Matt drifted into the pass rush five times, so now you have eight quarterback hits and it looks like the offensive line is really struggling, when in essence, they only broke down three times."
Bowl Benefits: The Mid-American Conference is expected to announce an agreement Wednesday that will send a MAC team to the Silicon Valley Classic Dec. 30, the Associated Press reported. The bowl was supposed to include the sixth-place Pac-10 team, but only five teams qualified for postseason play this year. With agreements already in place to send conference championship participants to the Motor City and GMAC bowls, the MAC will have a record three teams playing this December. Five MAC teams--Bowling Green Toledo, NIU, Miami (Ohio) and Akron--are already bowl-eligible, while Marshall can gain the distinction with a win over Western Michigan Saturday.