Random Observations from the EIU Game
*JSU is not invincible. When I asked about the blowouts leading to this game, a JSU coach told me – I’ll just take a win. The bottom line is that JSU was playing a much better team than it has played since Florida State.
*EIU is a talented team. Year in and year out EIU is in the upper division of the OVC. They had two solid out of conference wins against FCS teams to start the season. Their quarterback was a 4 star recruit that started for Iowa last season. They have two running backs that were 4 star recruits for Florida.
*EIU’s kicker is unbelievable. Coach Crowe commented before the game that he was leading the country in touchbacks. Can you imagine the SEC teams that would love to have this guy.
*JSU effectively did not get the ball in the first quarter. EIU had a long drive to start the game, then had another drive set up by a recovered on-sides kick. When JSU finally got the ball, they had it on the 3 yard line effectively eliminating that drive.
*As has been well documented, special teams were the difference. JSU outgained EIU on offense and completely shut down EIU’s running game. EIU basically got 14 points off special teams. While a fan’s first tendency is to criticize the area that went bad, JSU’s special teams have been very good all year long. Perhaps the best thing to do is give credit to EIU.
*Lost in the loss was a great performance by the JSU defense in the second half. It seemed like we held them about 7 straight times. Unfortunately, a fumbled punt return eliminated one JSU drive and untimely penalties hurt the rest.
*There were some great individual performances. It was great to see Jamison Wadley out there battling again. The future of our defensive line is bright with players like Wadley, Torrey Davis and Monte Lewis all returning.
*Congrats to Keg Harris on getting his first pick.
*Justin Howard and James Wilkerson had big days catching the ball.
*Has Jamal Young become the clear #1 back? All of the carries went to Young and Middleton. I thought we might see more of Brandon George and Drec Lindley. My understanding is that these guys were co-#1s coming into this season.
*I’m as down about this loss as anyone, but isn’t it great that we have expectations every year of winning every game in the league. I am glad that JSU has a program that sets its goals on excellence.
*JSU had another great crowd. We are getting the people there, if someone could figure out a way to get them more vocal that would be great.
*We have a lot of readers that follow this program closely- would love to hear your observations about this game.