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2013 Eastern Michigan Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 10, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Eastern Michigan Eagle Offense


Eastern Michigan Eagles

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 Eastern Michigan Preview | 2013 Eastern Michigan Offense
- 2013 Eastern Michigan Defense | 2013 Eastern Michigan Depth Chart


What You Need To Know: The Eagle offense has to find one thing that it can do on a high level, and this year, that might be the running game. This was wildly inconsistent and stunningly disappeared in too many key situations. Seven starters are back with decent depth across the board, and that includes the line that shuffled starting five in every game but one. There’s speed and quickness in the backfield, but the passing game has to be more efficient and more dangerous to take the pressure off Bronson Hill and the good stable of backs. Tyler Benz took over the quarterback duties as the season went on, and while he showed signs of becoming a decent playmaker, like the rest of the offense he was way too inconsistent.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Tyler Benz
114-212, 1,511 yds, 14 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: Bronson Hill
140 carries, 905 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Donald Scott
19 catches, 255 yds, 3 TD

Star of the offense: Junior RB Bronson Hill
Player who has to step up and be a star: Senior WR Donald Scott
Unsung star on the rise: Junior TE Tyreese Russell
Best pro prospect: Junior OG/OT Campbell Allison
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hill, 2) Russell, 3) Allison
Strength of the offense: Versatility, Running Back
Weakness of the offense: Consistency, Efficiency

Quarterbacks

The passing game wasn’t efficient and it was rarely effective, but junior Tyler Benz is back to give it another try after completing 54% of his throws for 1,511 yards and 14 touchdowns with eight picks. The 6-3, 215-pounder is a smart winner of a player with good leadership skills and a little bit of running ability taking off for 114 yards and a score. The key will be keeping the mistakes to a minimum and finding some semblance of consistency, throwing for 369 yards and five scores against Army, but throwing five touchdown passes over the last five games. While he didn’t have any disastrous outings after throwing for just 93 yards with two picks against Kent State, he was good for about an interception a game.

While Benz appears to be the leader of the offense for the next two seasons, with veteran Alex Gillett gone, sophomore Mark Iannotti will get the longest look for the No. 2 job. The 6-2, 215-pounder didn’t throw any passes last season, but he has a decent enough arm and enough upside to get garbage time opportunities. 6-4, 232-pound redshirt freshman Michael Mioduszewski is a pure bomber who can get the ball all over the field.

Watch Out For … Brogan Roback. By far the best recruit of the 2013 class and one of the top quarterbacks to ever sign on with the program, the 6-4, 180-pounder out of Toledo might be too good to keep off the field right away. If the season starts to go south, he could be thrown into the equation.
Strength: Decent runners. Benz isn’t exactly Cam Newton when it comes to taking off, but he can get through the line and be counted on for a few yards here and there. Iannotti is a smart, talented runner who can bring a bit more quickness.
Weakness: Big plays. It was partly because of the design of the offense and partly because the receivers didn’t step up, but the Eagles couldn’t get too many big shots with the longest pass play just 44 yards.
Outlook: Benz is a good talent who can move an offense if he’s given a little bit of time and a decent receiving corps. He’s not the type who’ll carry the team to a MAC title, but he can be solid. Iannotti can be more of a runner and Mioduszewski can be used as more of a passer.
Unit Rating: 5

Running Backs

Junior Bronson Hill took over the workload five games into the season and never looked back, ripping through Toledo for 283 yards and four touchdowns and following it up with a 185-yard day against Army. After running for ten yards in the first four games, he ripped off 900 with six scores over the final eight while catching 12 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. At 5-10 and 208 pounds, he has good size to go along with breakaway speed if he gets into the clear. With his physical style and good hands, he can do it all.

With No. 2 runner Dominique Sherrer and running quarterback Alex Gillett gone, speedy junior Ryan Bromfield is the top returning runner behind Hill, taking off for 164 yards and a score. The 5-10, 185-pounder was the second most productive runner in Pennsylvania high school history with 8,595 yards. 5-10, 186-pound senior Javonti Greene was a key factor two years ago with 667 yards and six scores, and he started out the season as a key part of the attack with 159 yards in the first four games, but he was dinged up with a knee injury and didn’t do anything the rest of the way. When he’s right, he can be a dangerous part of the ground attack.

Watch Out For … Hill. If Greene can go he could become a dangerous factor again, and Brumfield is an interesting option if he can finally get in a little bit of space, but Hill needs to carry over the success of the second half of last year to give the offense a playmaker to work around.
Strength: Speed. Hill showed he could bust out a few big plays when fed the ball over and over again, while Brumfield and Greene each have fantastic straight line speed, even if they don’t always show if off.
Weakness: Scoring. Hill ran for four of his six touchdowns in one game and didn’t give the end zone over the final five games. The other EMU running backs accounted for a grand total of two rushing touchdowns on the year.
Outlook: The backs are in place with a nice blend of speed and moves, but the offensive line has to do its job and the passing game has to be respected enough to take the heat off. Hill should be a 1,000-yard back, and depending on health, the depth should be in place to help him out.
Unit Rating: 5

Receivers

The passing game revolved around tight end Garrett Hoskins and his team-leading 38 catches, but now it’s up to senior outside receiver Donald Scott to start doing more after finishing second on the team with 19 grabs for 255 yards and three scores. While he has the speed to go along with decent size, he wasn’t much of a home run threat and he didn’t do enough to make anyone worry catching a pass every game and with his three catches for 15 yards against Central Michigan his high mark for grabs.

Scott will work on the X, while 6-2, 205-pound sophomore Dustin Creel will need to be more of a factor after catching 13 passes for 220 yards at the Z. A decent young player with nice size, he has good tools but only caught one pass over the final four games. Junior Jay Jones is a 5-10, 186-pound speedster on the H, coming up with just eight catches on the season but with six of them in the final three games. He was solid against CMU with four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, and now he’ll combine with junior Demarius Reed for more work. The rail-thin 5-10, 161-pounder finished third on the team with 18 catches for 171 yards and a score as a short-to-midrange target.

The tight end will still be a major part of the attack even with Hoskins gone, and that means junior Tyreese Russell should be a breakout performer after catching 12 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns averaging 16.3 yards per grabs. At 6-3 and 242 pounds, he bulked up a bit and can be physical, but he’s more of a receiver.

Watch Out For … Russell. He didn’t do anything over the first four games of last year, and then he became one of the key parts of the offense with two catches or more in five of his next six games including a two catch, two touchdown day against Toledo. Five of his 18 career catches have been for scores.
Strength: Experience. All the wide receivers of note are back, and while they hardly set the world on fire, they should be a cohesive group to go along with veteran quarterback Tyler Benz.
Weakness: A true No. 1 target. On the plus side, the Eagles spread the wealth around with several receivers getting involved. However, there’s no proven 50-catch playmaker to revolve a defensive gameplan around.
Outlook: There’s too much experience and too many options to have such a mediocre passing attack. While the talent level might not be high, finding a new go-to receiver every game shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The key is the Y – the tight end – with Russell needing to become another Hoskins, or better.
Unit Rating: 4.5

Offensive Line

Unlike last season, it’ll be important to keep the same players in the same spots as long as possible. Back is starting guard Campbell Allison, a massive 6-6, 316-pound blocker who spent of last season at right guard but could move over to the left side if needed. Very strong and just mobile enough to be tried out at left tackle after getting a start against Bowling Green; he might be spent the offseason looking to find a home. 6-7, 303-pound junior Bobby McFadden is a smart tackle who worked mostly on the right side but started four times in the middle of the season on the left side. Weight is a bit of an issue needing to keep it under wraps, playing closer to 315 pounds last year and needing to be around 300 to be quicker as a pass protector.

Gone are main centers Andrew Sorgatz and Corey Watman, but 6-5, 282-pound junior Jordan Erbes spent last season as the key backup and needs to find a spot somewhere in the interior. 6-3, 310-pound senior Orlando McCord started several games at right guard and got the call on the left side against Army, and now he has to establish himself at a starting spot, while 6-6, 301-pound junior Lincoln Hansen should get a shot at the right tackle job after starting for most of the first half of the season. He needs to be more physical for the ground game.

Watch Out For … Allison. Slimmer, he could handle himself a bit better at left tackle, but he’s a far better fit at right tackle or either of the guard spots. His emergence in one spot could be the key to the line.
Strength: Versatility. The one positive from a line that changed things around so many times is that several players can fill a variety of roles. The coaching staff can play around with the lineup if needed. However, that means there’s a problem with …
Weakness: Consistency. The Eagles cranked out the same starting five two weeks in a row just once. There was too much shuffling, too much tinkering and too much toying around. This year, with only two starters returning, finding a stable front five and rolling with it will be vital.
Outlook: The Eagle line wasn’t much of a problem considering all the changes and all the toying. The key will be to find a good starting five and stick with it, but this group did a nice job for the running game and in pass protection.
Unit Rating: 4.5

- 2013 Eastern Michigan Preview | 2013 Eastern Michigan Offense
- 2013 Eastern Michigan Defense | 2013 Eastern Michigan Depth Chart