Like it’s 1987: Eastern Michigan, San Jose State meet in a bowl once again

Field Level Media

December 13, 2022 at 2:19 am.

Eastern Michigan and San Jose State might not have extensive bowl histories in their respective programs, but believe it or not, there is bowl history with one another.

When the teams collide on Dec. 20 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, it will be the second meeting in a bowl game between the Eagles and Spartans.

The teams also met in the 1987 California Bowl, where Eastern Michigan earned what still is its only bowl win in school history, a 30-27 triumph.

Now, 35 years later, the teams will hook up in the postseason once again.

Eastern Michigan enters with an 8-4 record and will be making its seventh appearance all-time in a bowl game. It is also the fourth time in the last five seasons the Eagles will be in a bowl game.

The Eagles have lost all four of those games, but three of them were by a combined 10 points.

Eastern Michigan head coach Chris Creighton said not only does the team want to get over that hump and win its first bowl game in more than three decades, but also hoist another trophy after claiming the Michigan MAC Trophy after wins over rivals Central and Western Michigan this year.

“That was the first time our guys have hoisted a trophy,” Creighton said. “The postgame was a ton of fun and we want to do it again.”

The Eagles are led on offense by senior running back Samson Evans (1,084 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns) and on defense by end Jose Ramirez, who was named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive MVP after registering a single-season school record 12 sacks.

San Jose State enters with a 7-4 mark and will be playing in a bowl game for the 12th time ever and second time in the last three seasons.

The Spartans are seeking their first bowl win since a 27-16 win over Georgia State in the 2015 Cure Bowl.

“We’re playing an incredible opponent and I think it’s going to be a great show for everyone to watch,” San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan said.

The Spartans are led on offense by quarterback Chevan Cordeiro (2,884 passing yards, 20 touchdowns) and wideout Elijah Cooks (63 receptions, 983 yards, 10 touchdowns), and on defense by Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Viliami Fehoko (9 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss).