By Raymond Rolak
YPSILANTI— For the first time since the 1987 season, the Eastern Michigan University football team is bowl bound. The Eagles (7-5) have accepted an invitation to the 2016 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The last bowl EMU participated in was the postseason appearance in the 1987 California Raisin Bowl in Fresno. It was EMU’s only 10 win season. Under Head Coach Jim Harkema, the then Hurons, beat heavily favored San Jose State, 30-27. They were led by QB Ron Adams and RB Gary Patton. Post EMU, Adams was a very successful coach at Wyandotte High School and Wyandotte Roosevelt High School.
Eastern Michigan will take on Conference USA opponent Old Dominion University (9-3) on Friday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m. The game takes place at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas and will air live on ESPN. ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be selected to compete in the 2016 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “We are proud to represent the MAC and expect to finish our season strong. Our coaching staff and student-athletes have worked incredibly hard to be in a position to compete in the postseason.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to be chosen to participate in the 2016 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl,” said Head Coach Chris Creighton said, “Nearly a year ago our seniors set our season goal, to go to a bowl game for the first time in 29 years. We could not be more excited to accept this invitation. What an awesome experience this is going to be for everyone associated with our program.”
Creighton and Lyke should be credited with good planning. They had their sites on the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl before the season started. They had all the varsity football players get their U.S. passports. The Bahamas require a passport and previous teams had issues with transit.
Graphic Courtesy of EMU Communications