POSTGAME NOTES: Wiegers’ remarkable debut

EMU grad transfer quarterback Tyler Wiegers throws to Blake Banham for a touchdown against Monmouth in Friday’s home opener. (ESPN+ screenshot)

It should go without saying that when we’re analyzing performances in a typical FBS vs. FCS blowout, much like the one Eastern Michigan had over Monmouth on Friday, these things should be taken with a grain of salt.

Quarterback play for EMU was near perfect as the Eagles beat Monmouth 51-17 to open up the season.

Tyler Wiegers’ first game as an Eastern Michigan quarterback leaves plenty to love. He threw the ball 22 times and completed all but three passes. He led the team 95 yards downfield on the first offensive drive of the year. He threw the ball deep, short, to the sidelines, over the middle and even ran the ball a little bit if that was his best option.

The other options at quarterback did well, too. Mike Glass III was inserted on a few plays and made the most of his chances. Glass completed three of his five passes, had two touchdowns through the air and a 16-yard touchdown run. Redshirt-freshman Jairus Grissom played two snaps and the second play was a 20-yard touchdown run.

After the game, EMU head coach Chris Creighton said that he plans on juggling all the talent he has at quarterback for the time being.

Postgame notes:

  • Blake Banham was honored as a team captain and “The Deuce” at the end of the of the preseason, then put on a show as a wide receiver, which is a new position for the former walk-on. Highlighted by a first quarter touchdown, Banham caught eight passes for 103 yards, which is the first time he’s had a 100-yard day on offense since he ran for 120 yards against Central Michigan in 2016.
  • Defensive end Maxx Crosby did not play as he was suspended for a violation of team rules. In his place, incoming junior college transfer Turan Rush had four total tackles, one sack and a pass breakup. Crosby will be back next week at Purdue.
  • Through the first quarter, Wiegers was 8 of 8 passing for 88 yards. I just thought you deserved to know this.
  • True freshman receiver Dylan Drummond caught two passes in the first half. The first put EMU in the red zone, which set up Banham’s touchdown, then the second came in the form of a touchdown thrown by Glass.
  • Freshman kicker Chad Ryland made his lone field goal attempt from 33 yards out. Paulie Fricano suffered a lower body injury during the preseason and Creighton said he’s been impressed with Ryland’s consistency during camp.
  • Line Latue, Mathew Sexton and Bryce Kemp all had receiving touchdowns.
  • Running the ball, Ian Eriksen led the team with 44 carries on 12 carries while Shaq Vann had 25 yards on 11 carries. Having the two senior running backs average 3.4 yards per rush against an FCS defense isn’t very promising.
  • The defense allowed 386 yards in 79 plays, but roughly 36 percent of that total came in the fourth quarter when it was already a blowout. (Monmouth had 138 yards on 23 plays in the fourth.)

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