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Three takeaways from Monmouth’s opening loss to Eastern Michigan

Monmouth fell to FBS foe Eastern Michigan, 51-17, in their 2018 season opener.

Monmouth played their third FBS school in team history as they traveled to Ypsilanti, Michigan on Friday night. The result was a 51-17 loss to Eastern Michigan to open the 2018 football season.

While the loss seems like a bad thing, there were a few bright spots for MU as this weekend’s game was a chance for the team to figure out a few things. Here are three takeaways from Monmouth’s visit to the gray turf of Eastern Michigan.

The Running Game Could Be Scary

While Pete Guerriero had a slow game (eight carries, 34 yards), freshman Juwon Farri ran for 111 yards. Monmouth outrushed Eastern Michigan 187-160 in the game. As mentioned in the Monmouth 2018 preview, the running game will be a strength for the Hawks as they return four starters on the offensive line.

If this game is just an aberration for Guerriero, he and Farri as a one-two running punch could be a major advantage for Monmouth. A strong running game also takes pressure off quarterback Kenji Bahar, as well making the offense a balanced and robust success.

Secondary Is And Will Be A Work In Progress

Eastern Michigan quarterbacks threw for 302 yards in the Eagles’ win. While the numbers were not astronomical, Eastern Michigan quarterbacks threw just five incompletions against a Hawks’ secondary that is working to find its identity. Anthony Budd, Justin Berry, and Tymere Berry combined for 18 tackles.

Monmouth’s secondary will continue to be a work in progress over the next couple of games. Guys will be pulled in and out until coach Kevin Callahan and defensive coordinator Andy Bobik finds the right combination. There were some flashes on Friday from the secondary against Eastern Michigan. However, there needs to be more than flashes for the secondary if the Hawks hope to compete for a playoff spot and the Big South title.

Everyone Should RELAX

Yes, the final score of the game was not what Monmouth fans were hoping for. Over the last decade, the Monmouth name has grown. With that, the competition the team is facing has gotten better. Friday’s game was an example of Monmouth taking on better competition from a competitive FBS-conference (Mid-American), which is one the nation’s most underrated teams.

Monmouth will get better as the season progresses. This game is not indicative of the direction of the season for the Hawks. Consider this game as a preseason game to see what they have going forward. So moral of this section for Hawks fans and followers is…

Relax.

What’s Next For Monmouth

The Hawks return to Kessler Field on Saturday as they take on the Hampton Pirates in West Long Branch, NJ. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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