EMU Football Opens 2019 Campaign Saturday at Coastal Carolina

CONWAY, S.C. (EMUEagles.com) – College football is back in session as the Eastern Michigan University football team heads to the Grand Strand for a week one matchup with Coastal Carolina University. The Saturday, Aug. 31, non-conference contest is scheduled to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. inside Brooks Stadium.

The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+ with Jeff McCarragher delivering the play-by-play and Nate Ross serving as the analyst. The game will also be aired on WEMU (89.1 FM) with veteran broadcasters Tom Helmer and Rob Rubick calling the action from the press box.

EMU is currently amid one of the best three-year stretches in program history. EMU is 19-19 since 2016, its most wins in a three-season span since 1987-89 when the Eagles went 10-2, 6-3-1, and 7-3-1.

Local Connection: Dexter’s Joey Hiser and Father Gabriel Richard’s Jake Donnellon are on the EMU roster.

THE GRASS IS… WHAT COLOR?: Saturday’s contest will mark a first in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history, as EMU becomes the first school that plays its home games on a non-green field to travel to a stadium that also features a non-green playing surface. EMU’s Rynearson Stadium features a gray artificial surface, while CCU’s Brooks Stadium is known for its teal “surf turf”.

Boise State is the only other FBS school to feature a non-traditional playing surface, as Albertsons Stadium features a blue rug. Neither EMU nor CCU have played BSU on the gridiron.

128 YEARS OF FOOTBALL: This is the 128th year for the EMU football team. The first year of intercollegiate football in Ypsilanti was 1891, when the team, then known as the Michigan Normal College Normalites, posted an 0-2 record. EMU has fielded a team every year since 1891 with one exception, when the 1944 season was canceled because of World War II.

ALL-TIME VS. COASTAL CAROLINA: This marks the first time the Eagles and Chanticleers have met on the gridiron. While the two have yet to square off against one another, EMU has experience playing against members of the Sun Belt Conference. EMU holds a 4-7-1 record against teams in the #FunBelt, earning wins over Arkansas State (1976), Louisiana-Lafayette (2006), and Louisiana-Monroe (1970 & 1975), with its last matchup against a Sun Belt member coming in the 2018 Camellia Bowl, against Georgia Southern.

Entering its third season at the FBS level, Coastal posted a 5-7 record in 2018, which included wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and UAB, both of whom made bowl appearances. The Blazers also took home the Conference USA crown in 2018.