1st Quarter: Michigan won toss and deferred to 2nd half. Eastern was led by sophomore QB Andy Schmitt running the spread. Current Wolverines Brandon Graham, Obi Ezeh start on defense with Greg Matthews, Mark Ortman, Steve Schilling start the game on offense. Current Ohio State starting guard Justin Boren starts at center for Michigan. After an initial first down, Schmitt throws an interception to Jamar Adams via Morgan Trent’s hands. We stalled inside the 10 and KC Lopata kick FG. Our second drive starts at the one yard line. A couple of plays later Mike Hart breaks the school rushing record (4,472 yards) with 4:16 left in the quarter on a typical Hart 14 yard run. A couple of minutes later, Chad Henne hits Adrian Arrington with 31 yard jump ball touchdown over a 5’8” corner from Eastern for a 10-0 lead. This was Henne's 76th career TD. EMU does not roll over and returns the kick 86 yards inside the 15, freshman Troy Woolfolk burns his red-shirt to save the TD. 3 plays and 7 yards later EMU kicks a FG to get on the scoreboard. This is only the second time in eight games they scored. Quarter ends 10-3.
2nd Quarter: Henne opens with two nice passes to Carson Butler and Mike Hart get the offense moving. Newly hired basketball coach John Beilein gets interviewed. Henne throws a terrible interception in the end-zone while trying to hit freshman Junior Hemmingway on a middle post. The defense holds Eastern after a couple of first downs. Mike Hart takes over and carries the ball most of the way, including a 4 yard TD run right behind Jake Long. Eastern blocks the PAT and runs it back the other way for two points. 16-5. Glen Mason calls Morgan Trent by “Trent Morgan” for the second or third time, causing me to wonder how he ever got a coaching gig in the first place. Another FG by Eastern makes it a one score game, 16-8. Our offense sputters in the two minute drill and punts after three plays to end the quarter. M fans boo as the team leaves the field.
3rd Quarter: Proclaiming the “wide eyed look of playing in Michigan Stadium is gone” Eastern boldly opens the second half with an on-side kick recovered by the kicker. Lloyd Carr’s head almost explodes as EMU makes their third big play in the kicking game. Andy Schmidtt runs for a couple of first downs, moves it to the 10. Our defense is looking disorganized and tired. He then does his best Armani Edwards impression and dives into the end-zone on an option read that fooled everyone, including the TV crew. We block the PAT and the score is 16-14 with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Everyone watching starts wondering if Michigan will implode again. But Mike Hart takes over, goes over 100 yards for the sixth straight game and ends the drive with a great 24 yard run. Michigan leads 23-14. An inspired defense delivers a 3 and out and you can feel the momentum . Mike Hart rumbles for 61 yards (longest play of the year). A short Henne to Matthews TD is called back because of offensive interference on Arrington. Lopata FG makes the score 26-14. Eastern fumbles the kick off and James Rogers recovers it on the 17. Hart scores untouched on the first play after the fumble taking him over 200 yards and scoring his 3rd touchdown of the day to take it to 33-14. After two plays, hard hitting senior safety Brandent Englemon causes another EMU fumble recovered by Michigan at the 21 – but Henne gives it right back with another interception on the 5 yard line with 53 seconds left.
4th Quarter: Both teams trade punts to start the quarter. Leading 33-14, Carlos Brown takes over for Mike Hart and Ryan Mallet starts warming up on the sidelines. Boren loses his helmet showing the creases on the back of his head. Eastern stops us on a 4th down bubble screen attempt to Junior Hemmingway, which I can only assume upset the EMU coach. With the score 33-14 we were in a situation where if we scored a field goal would be considered bad form also. Another defensive stop and Mallet comes in for Henne and hands the ball off a bunch of times and we punt. Eastern brings in a new QB and they score a garbage time TD over Stevie Brown playing safety and convert the 2 point conversion making it 33-22. Down 11 points with 47 seconds left in the game, Eastern lines up for the on-side kick and recovers it. Tim Jamison sacks the EMU QB on the first play, and coach Jeff Genyk calls a timeout causing the TV announcers (and those left in the stadium) to start booing. A long completion and four seconds left in the game, he calls another time-out. The final play is intercepted by Engelmon in the end zone and the battle of '07 Washtenaw County is finally over.
What did we learn from this game? Andy Schmitt (who will also start this week) is not Vince Young and our 2007 defense was basically able to keep up with him. EMU came into this game expecting more than just an opportunity to play in The Big House. They wanted to deliver another stunning upset and played hard the entire game. But there was too much Mike Hart, who proved when he was healthy, he was a great college running back. Jake Long showed why he deserved to be the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
On the negative side, the 2007 defense (coached by Ron English) was soft on the corners, undisciplined, and generally abysmal tacklers. To me it seemed like they were all going for the big “sportscenter highlight” hit - rather than wrapping up and taking the ball carrier down. Also, the lack of discipline to detail showed on special teams. This final team in the Carr era was much more talented than Eastern and let them hang around too long. Hopefully we won't do that again this week.