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Week 8 Preview - Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan

The road to the Michigan MAC trophy starts here.

Eastern Michigan returns to the friendly confines of Rynearson Stadium to face off against their I-94 Rival.
Kenneth Bailey

The four and three Western Michigan Broncos head east on I-94 to face off against the two and four Eastern Michigan Eagles. Eastern Michigan is coming off a four game losing streak and Western Michigan is looking to avenge their one point loss against the Akron Zips. When the two teams played last year, Eastern Michigan managed to hold the game close but Western Michigan ended up winning. Western Michigan currently has a three game winning streak in this series.

When Western Michigan Has the Ball:

A Western Michigan running back powers through the Eastern Michigan defense in the game last year.
Kenneth Bailey

The Western Michigan offense can probably be described as a juggernaut. They are currently averaging 38 points per game and a little over 400 yards in total offense. Their offense is led by quarterback Jon Wassink who completes roughly 64% of his passes for 174 yards per game with four interceptions. The ball is distributed fairly well but the leading target is D’Wayne Eskeridge who averages about 63 yards per game. The Bronco Rushing attack is lead by Jarvion Franklin, who averages about 77 yards per game.

They are facing a defense that has given up less than 20 points per game this season. That defense has slipped a little in run defense but has shown improvement in pass defense by only giving up 162 yards per game. The leading tackler is Vince Calhoun and 4 of their 16 sacks have been done by Maxx Crosby. I’m hoping that they can disrupt the Western Michigan offense enough to get the offense rolling.

Maxx Crosby pursues a Toledo player.
Kenneth Bailey

When Eastern Michigan Has the Ball:

To say that Eastern Michigan has had trouble running the ball this year would be an understatement. I think this is one of the main reasons they are averaging a little over 20 points per game. Last weekend was a breakout game for them with 135 yards. I’m going to guess that Ian Eriksen will be the featured back. Once again, I would like to see Eastern Michigan try more off tackle plays. The passing attack is led by quarterback Brogan Roback who has a 61% completion percentage with 250 yards per game. His main target is still Sergio Bailey II.

The Eagles are facing a Bronco defense that has allowed 29 points per game. They are pretty stingy on the run but not as stingy on passing. They have managed 10 sacks and 12 turnovers. If they can have a good game picking Roback, I think they will win.

What Can We Expect?

Once again, I expect Brogan Roback to have a pretty good game. It looks like Walter Church’s record is safe (unless Eastern makes it to the MAC Championship and a Bowl) but Charlie Batch should be falling soon. If Eastern Michigan can get their running game in gear, I expect Western Michigan to have a long game. Another x-factor for this game is the fact that Eastern has taken roughly 70 yards in penalties per game. This could be a factor.

If I were going to make a prediction of the score though, I think Eastern Michigan is going to win 28-21.

Eastern Michigan contacts 125.275 at Willow Run and gets clearance to take to the air again.
Kenneth Bailey