Press conference takeaways: Eastern Michigan

Jeff Monken’s press conference was filled with praise for Eastern Michigan senior quarterback Brogan Roback and the Eagles’ defense.

Monken noted that Roback completed passes to nine different receivers against Toledo (a 20-15 loss) last week and against Ohio three weeks ago, 12 different receivers caught a pass.

“We haven’t completed 12 passes the whole season, and they’re completing to 12 different guys in one game,” Monken said. Army quarterbacks have eight completions in the first six games.

Eastern Michigan is 21st in the country in scoring defense (18.2 points/game).

“They’ve played Kentucky (24-20 road loss) and Rutgers (16-13 road win),” Monken said. “They also played Toledo, which was averaging more than 40 points per game, and held them to 20. They just make a bunch of plays and are doing a good job stopping the run (tied for 43rd in country). That’s going to be a big challenge for us. Obviously, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Andrew McLean, who has started Army’s last 11 games at nose tackle, has been ruled out of the Eastern Michigan game. McLean suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Black Knights’ 49-12 win over Rice Saturday.

“We’re getting an MRI so we can figure out what’s going on,” Monken said. “Hopefully, it’s something that he can recover from like (Army safety) Rhyan England. No surgery or we can brace it and he can play. If it’s not and he needs surgery, then we will do what we have to do. I hope it’s not an ACL.”

Monken said sophomore Rod Stoddard or junior Ray Wright could start in McLean’s place Saturday. Junior Cordarrell Davis and freshman Emmanuel Ukhueligbe would be next on the depth chart.

Fullback Darnell Woolfolk is questionable for Saturday. Monken said Woolfolk, who has missed the last three games with a knee injury, was running with the training staff Monday but he’s not a “full go” with “side-to-side” running yet.

“That doesn’t mean that he couldn’t be there by the end of the week,” Monken said. “We’re hopeful. We’d like to get him back as soon as possible. If not this week, hopefully the weekend after.

Monken isn’t optimistic about getting sophomore cornerback Elijah Riley on the field this season. Riley, a starter in 2016, is practicing with the team but has not been allowed to play in games due to an academy matter.

“When something takes this long, it’s usually not all of sudden, ‘OK, he’s good to go,’” Monken said.

Monken said he hasn’t ruled out England’s return against Temple next week but he think Army will have back its senior safety against Air Force on Nov. 4 following a bye week. England has missed the last three games since suffering a knee injury at Ohio State.


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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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