YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University Department of Athletics released the opponents for its 2022 football schedule today, January 14. Dates are set for the four non-conference games, but will be announced later for the eight Mid-American Conference contests.
Ticket information for the 2022 season will be announced later.
EMU starts the year at home against Eastern Kentucky University on September 2 before heading to the University of Louisiana on September 10. Eastern stays on the road with a trip to Tempe, Arizona to face Arizona State University on September 29. 17. The non-conference schedule ends Oct. 1 with a home date against former MAC foe University of Massachusetts.
Eastern Michigan will host four Mid-American Conference opponents: Buffalo, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo. MAC road games will be held in Akron, Ball State, Kent State and Western Michigan.
EMU staged another impressive season in 2021, adding to the success that has defined the past eight years under the head coach Chris Creighton. With its seven regular season wins, Eastern notched a winning record, third under Creighton; Prior to Creighton’s arrival, EMU had not had a winning record since the 1989 season.
The Green and White played in their fourth bowl game in the last six years when they appeared at the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Ala. EMU has made previous appearances in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl, 2018 Camellia Bowl and 2019 Quick Lane Bowl.
The 2021 regular season had many exciting moments. In one of the most memorable occasions in recent EMU history, the Eagles erupted for a 52-49 win over MAC-West rival Toledo on Nov. 2. It was the program’s first win inside the Glass Bowl since the 1999 season. Going into the game, Eastern had lost 10 consecutive road games against Toledo. EMU’s most impressive home victory came in Week 11, when the Green and White used late-game defensive heroism to top foe Western Michigan State 22-21. , during the senior night in “The Factory”. The win marked the third straight for East over West, the best streak for the program as it landed the same number between 2011-13.
EMU were one of the most disciplined teams in the country last season. The Eagles ranked second in the nation in fewest penalties per game (3.85), third in fewest penalties (50), fourth in fewest penalty yards per game (34.5) and fifth in fewer penalty yards (448).
The Eastern Michigan offense was one of the top scoring units in the Mid-American Conference in 2021. Averaging 30.2 points per game, EMU scored 392 total points in 48 touchdowns, 19 field goals and 47 extra points. A total of 15 different Eagles have found the dirt to pay off in 2021, including nine players who scored multiple touchdowns. Samson Evans led all Eagles and ranked fourth in the league and 37th nationally with 13 touchdowns. That number is tied for fourth in a single season by any player in EMU.
wide receiver Hassan Beydoun set the EMU record for single-season receptions with 97, while accumulating 1,015 yards through the air. His 2021 tally ranks fourth in the Eastern Michigan record books, while he also became EMU’s first 1,000-yard wide since Eric Deslauriers did so in 2004. He has seven career 100-yard receiving games and four games with 10 or more catches. Additionally, Beydoun is aiming for first place in receptions in a career in the East, needing just 82 to pass Deslauriers.
Defensively, EMU was also impressive. EMU forced 16 turnovers in 2021 and scored on 14 (10 touchdowns, 4 field goals). Eastern scored 82 points on those turnovers, three times as a direct result of the play and 11 times on subsequent offensive possession. Eastern Michigan was one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to fumble recovery in 2021. The Eagles recovered eight stray balls last season, which ranked fourth in the MAC and 39th nationally.
Individually, defensive end Jose Ramirez was one of the biggest challenges for offensive linemen in the league. He ranked eighth in the MAC with 6.5 sacks, a career-best mark for the native of Lake Alfred, Fla. In the backfield, Russell Vaden IV became an elite defender. The Louisville, Ky. native led all Eagles with three interceptions. That number is tied for third in the conference and 36th in the FBS.
The Eagles were the elite of special teams. As a unit, EMU ranked first in MAC and 15th nationally with an average of 42.65 yards per punt. Individually, senior bettor Jacques-Julien established himself as the EMU’s all-time record holder in punt average at 44.0 yards per kick. In a career-best 54 contest program, he had 51 kicks of 50 or more yards to go along with 72 placed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
In the game of kicks, Chad Ryland was unbelievable. A record-breaking season for the Lebanon native, Pennsylvania native Ryland blasted his way into the No. 1 spot overall on the EMU all-time scoring list in 2021. He currently has 309 points for the first place in program history while adding the single-season mark with 104. Ryland also set the program’s all-time record in PAT attempts (145), PAT (141), field goal the longest (t-1; 55 yards) and field goals in a game with five against Western Michigan, Nov. 16.
Overall, Eastern Michigan was one of eight teams eligible for the Mid-American Conference Bowl. All six teams in the MAC West division finished with a record .500 or better.
2022 Eastern Michigan University Football Schedule
Friday, Sept. 2 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Saturday, September 10 in Louisiana
Saturday, September 17 at Arizona State
Saturday, October 1 against UMass
Mid-American Conference Games
Homepage: Buffalo, central Michigan, northern Illinois and Toledo
Road: Akron, Ball State, Kent State and West Michigan