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September 10, 2012

First Look: Eastern Michigan





Coming off a stinging loss at No. 22 Notre Dame Saturday, Purdue returns home this weekend to face Eastern Michigan at noon in Ross-Ade Stadium.

Here is a quick look at the Eagles. GoldandBlack.com will have much more on the opponent throughout the week.

Coming off a six-win campaign, Eastern Michigan is 0-2 this season, having lost at Ball State to open, then losing at home Saturday to FCS Illinois State, coached by former Purdue defensive coordinator Brock Spack.

ISU dominated the first quarter and the second half in earning its first win over an FCS team since 1991.

The Redbirds scored the first 10 points, but Eastern Michigan's two second-quarter touchdowns gave the Eagles a 14-10 lead at half.

Illinois State controlled the second half, scoring three unanswered touchdowns.

It's been a disappointing start for an Eagle team that went 6-6 last season and figured to be in the running for a winning season.

Eastern Michigan is a run-first - or run-only - team.

Spack said Monday morning that his team was successful against the MAC team because it was able to stop the run and make the Eagles one-dimensional.

Eastern Michigan ran for 123 yards but averaged just 3.2 per carry. Most of athletic quarterback Alex Gillett's rushing yardage came scrambling when chased out of the pocket.

Illinois State forced Gillett to throw and the result was three interceptions.

Eastern Michigan turned the ball over five times and managed just 11 first downs.

Gillett was banged up late in the game.

Former Boilermaker quarterback and Lafayette native Doug Downing is Eastern Michigan's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Small world: Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English was the secondary coach at San Diego State in 1996-97, around the time Purdue defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar was in graduate school there and serving as a student assistant coach.

Purdue won the only prior meeting between these two schools, 49-3 in 1991.




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