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2016 Week 3 Preview - Eastern Michigan Eagles at Charlotte 49ers

An up and down season for EMU looks for another “up”

Will Brogan Roback Return?
Kenneth Bailey

As I prepared to write this article and looked up the stats, I didn’t realize how evenly matched these two teams are. They both had big games against their respective FCS opponents and were overmatched against their respective FBS opponents. So this will be a match up of two teams that are looking to climb out of the doldrums.

The football team at UNC Charlotte is a recent addition to the NCAA. They became an FCS team in 2013 and then moved up to the FBS in 2015. They currently have an overall record of 13-23. The Eastern Michigan Eagles have been around for much longer and are celebrated their 125th season. They have an overall record of 430–529–47 and are 1-1 in their bowl appearances. Their last bowl appearance was a victory in the California Bowl in 1987.

When Eastern Michigan has the ball:

Eastern Michigan Quarterback Todd Porter setting up to pass
Kenneth Bailey

It was announced that Brogan Roback has completed his two game suspension and will be eligible to play this week. However, Todd Porter has been decent in both games played so far. He’s averaged 229 yards/game passing and has thrown 4 touchdowns. The main knock against him is that he has thrown 3 picks. Coach Creighton has not announced which one will start. I suspect he will use both quarterbacks

Ian Eriksen rushes the ball
Kenneth Bailey

With the injury to Shaq Vann, it is expected that Running Back Ian Eriksen will be taking the snaps. He has a respectable 94 yards per game and has punched the ball into the endzone three times. Given that Charlotte’s run defense isn’t that great, I expect a decent game from him.

Eastern Michigan Wide Receiver Sergio Bailey
Kenneth Bailey

Eastern Michigan’s leading receiver is Sergio Bailey but Todd Porter has done a pretty decent job of distributing the ball with 5 receivers having more than 40 yards. Again, I expect a decent game from the receiving corps.

When Charlotte Has the Ball:

Charlotte’s main quarterback is Kevin Olsen and he is currently 35 for 54 and averages 148 yards/game. I suspect that Eastern Michigan will be able to hold him to that. Although I’m basing that more on the Mississippi Valley game than the Missouri game.

Their rushing attack seems to be nothing to write home about. Given that Eastern Michigan has held an average of 96 yards this year and Charlotte’s rushing hasn’t broken that, I don’t see any reason why Charlotte should have an explosion in this game. But you never know.

A Bold Prediction:

Looking at the stats for both teams, I am kind of expecting a high scoring game with Eastern Michigan winning 35-28 (or something like that). I predict it will be a very close game given how evenly the two teams are matched.

How to Watch:

The game starts at 6:00 P.M. and will be shown on Conference USA TV. If you want the Eastern Michigan slant, you can listen to the game on WEMU (89.1 if you have a radio or streaming).