Eastern Michigan Football Gets Ready for the Rockets - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Eastern Michigan Football Gets Ready for the Rockets

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YPSILANTI, MICH. -- The Eastern Michigan University football team remains at home Saturday, Oct. 13, as the University of Toledo makes the short trip north for a Mid-American Conference West Division tilt at Rynearson Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 1:06 p.m.
The Eagles enter the contest with an 0-5 (0-2 MAC) record following a 41-14 setback to MAC East Division leader Kent State University on Homecoming, Oct. 6. Meanwhile, the MAC West Division co-leading Rockets are 5-1 (3-0 MAC) after rallying past Central Michigan University, 50-35, in Toledo, Ohio, Oct. 6.

The contest will not be televised but it will be video streamed on Eagle All-Access. WEMU (89.1 FM) will provide audio coverage of the game with Matt Shepard and Herman Moore calling the action on the field.

TOGETHER WE VOTED: The uniform combination being worn by the EMU football team against Toledo, Oct. 13, was decided by the fans in voting via social media. In what was a close vote among the ballots cast by Eagle fans on Facebook and EMUEagles.com, the combination of gray helmet, gray jersey and gray pants won out. Coming in a close second was the combination of white helmet and green jersey.
This season, the Eagles have three jersey colors (green, white and gray) to choose from, as well as three different colors of pants (green, white and gray) and three helmets colors to choose from (traditional green, white and gray). All told, Eastern Michigan has more than 20 different uniform combinations (jersey/pant/helmet/socks) at its disposal.
For a complete look at EMU's uniform combinations in 2012 turn to page nine of these notes.

BY THE NUMBERS: Eastern Michigan ranks first in the MAC in pass defense, allowing 182.2 yards per game and third in pass efficiency defense behind Northern Illinois University and Ohio University ... The Eagles rank fifth in the nation in net punting at 42.81 yards per play ... EMU has been strong inside the redzone, scoring on 86 percent of trips inside the 20 ... Eastern has scored touchdowns 71 percent of the time when inside their opponents' 20.

KARUTZ CONTINUES TO BOOT: Senior punter Jay Karutz continued his tear on special teams with another outstanding punting performance against the Golden Flashes of Kent State, Oct. 6. Karutz punted eight times for 376 yards, giving Karutz an average of 47.0 per punt with half placed inside the 20.
This season, the North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia product is averaging 45.4 yards per kick, which is tops amongst all Mid-American Conference punters.  In total, he has 15 kicks that have been downed inside the 20-yard line and eight that have traveled more than 50 yards.
RUNNING DOWN HILL: Sophomore running back Bronson Hill busted the Eagles' longest play of the 2012 season against Kent State, Oct. 6, when he rushed 68 yards for the first touchdown of his EMU career. The run eclipsed Hill's previous long of six yards, which came earlier this season at Ball State University, Aug. 30. Also, it was the longest run by an Eagle since Dominique White went for 64 yards at Central Michigan University, Oct. 15, 2011.

STREETS TO HIT THE ROAD: EMU Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations Jim Streeter will call it a career on Friday, Oct. 19, following his retirement announcement made Sept. 24.  An icon of the media relations world, Streeter is the longest tenured Division I sports information director in the state and the dean of Mid-American Conference SIDs. A native of Albion, Mich., Streeter is currently in his 39th year with the EMU Athletic Media Relations Office, with 37 of them as the director.
The campus community is invited to give their best wishes at a retirement reception Thursday, Oct. 18, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. inside Room 300 of the EMU Student Center. There will be a short presentation starting at 2 p.m.

KARUTZ IS ONE OF 17 AUSTRALIANS PLAYING IN THE FBS: Senior punter Jay Karutz is one of just 17 student-athletes currently playing in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision that are originally from Australia. Others that hale from "The Land Down Under" include 14 punters and three non-punters: Cayle Chapman-Brown (New Mexico State), Brad Craddock (Maryland), Alex Dunnachie (Hawai'i), Christian Eldrer (Minnesota), Tim Gleeson (Wyoming), Tom Hackett  (Utah), Tom Hornsey (Memphis), Jamie Keehn (LSU), Alex Kinal (Wake Forest), Tim McMullen (Oregon State), Phil McNaughton (East Carolina), Brad Wing (LSU), Adam Gotsis (Georgia Tech), Jesse Williams (Alabama), Scott Harding (Hawai'i) and Blake Muir (Hawai'i).

BIG SECOND QUARTERS: Eastern Michigan has out-scored its opposition 50-40 in the second quarter, but has yet to score in either the first or third quarters in either of its first four games.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Eastern Michigan has played 10 "true" freshman during the 2012 campaign. That amount is tied for 15th most nationally and second most in the Mid-American Conference .  LSU, Ohio State and TCU lead the way with 15 first-year players having seen game action. Meanwhile, Akron is tops in the MAC with 13 freshmen.

ALL-TIME AGAINST TOLEDO: Separated by just 50 miles, Toledo and Eastern Michigan will be meeting for the 40th time in school history. The Rockets hold a 28-11 edge in the series, including winning 11 of the last 12 meetings dating back to the 2000 campaign.
The Eagles' last victory over the Rockets occurred Oct. 21, 2006, when EMU escaped with a 17-13 victory. With EMU clinging to a 9-7 lead late in the fourth quarter, Toledo missed a field goal that would have put them ahead by one but a personal foul penalty for roughing the center by the Eagles gave the Rockets a second chance that they would take advantage of with a score. UT quarterback Clint Cochran connected with tight end Josh Powell on a four-yard touchdown strike to give Toledo a 13-9 lead with just 3:11 left in the game. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, EMU defensive end Kevin Howe forced a fumble by Cochran which was picked up and returned by linebacker Darran Matthews for two points to cut the Rocket lead to 13-11.
Trumaine Riley then returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to the EMU 46-yard line. The Eagles then put on a game-winning march, going 54 yards in five plays capped off by an 18-yard touchdown run by Pierre Walker with 36 seconds remaining to give the Eagles the come-from-behind victory.

ON  THE HORIZON: Following the UT game, Eastern Michigan stays at home to host the United States Military Academy (Army), Oct. 20. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium.
Army and Eastern Michigan are meeting for the fifth time in the series which started in 1992. The Black Knights hold a 4-0 lead in the matchup, including a 31-27 win, Sept. 4, 2010, in the last meeting at Rynearson Stadium. The series will shift venues beginning next season, as EMU will travel to West Point, N.Y. in 2013 and again in 2015.

LOCKER ROOM RE-DEDICATION: The EMU football team's locker room was re-dedicated Friday, Oct. 5, as part of the 85th annual homecoming festivities as it underwent a series of upgrades and additions prior to the start of the 2012 season. The old metal lockers were replaced with wood lockers featuring seating and secure areas for personal items. The building also received a fresh coat of paint, carpet replacement and updated furniture in the player's lounge.
As part of the dedication, the offensive team room was named in honor of Mike Price, the wide receivers room was named in honor of Ed Mizinski and the team room was named in honor of  Philip Incarnati.

NEARING THE EMU RECORD FOR STARTS IN A CAREER: Senior Andrew Sorgatz is on pace to equal the Eastern Michigan record for most starts in a career. The Wheaton, Ill. native has started 40 of his 41 career games played at EMU. If he starts all 12 regular season contests this season, he will tie the mark shared by Daniel Holtzclaw and Andy Fetz with 47 starts.