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2017 Week 4 Preview - Ohio Bobcats at Eastern Michigan Eagles

A Strong Defense Versus a Potent Offense

Still my favorite mascot not named Swoop
Kenneth Bailey
Frank Solich in his 13th season as head coach of the Bobcats.
Kenneth Bailey

This weekend is the start of #MACtion for the Ohio Bobcats (2-1) and the Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-0) as the Bobcats make the trek to Ypsilanti, Michigan. Last week, the Bobcats hosted the Kansas Jayhawks and beat them 42-30. The Eagles were on on a bye weekend but they defeated Rutgers the weekend before.

When Eastern Michigan Has the Ball:

I would like to see Shaq Vann get more yards.
Kenneth Bailey

The Eastern Michigan offense will be led by senior quarterback Brogan Roback. He has looked pretty good by averaging 263 yards per game. So far, he has only thrown one pick and has only been sacked twice. I would still like to see him improve on his touchdown totals as he only has one throwing touchdown so far this year. His two main targets are Sergio Bailey II and Antoine Porter.

The Eastern Michigan ground attack has been led by Shaq Vann who only has 4 yards per carry so far. Both of the ground touchdowns have been run in by Ian Eriksen. Part of me kind of expected the offense to show some signs of weakness as much of the line graduated last year. Still, they have experience at all of the skill positions. If Eastern Michigan wants to have a chance against Ohio, they are going to have to open it up.

The Ohio Bobcat defense has been pretty decent by only allowing 20 points per game and they’ve faced what could be two tough teams this year. They have only given up 139 yards per game on the ground and 233 yards per game in the air. They are led in tackles by Quentin Poling. They are led in sacks by Evan Crouch. This defense has not forced too many turnovers though only averaging one takeaway per game.

When Ohio Has the Ball:

Papi White in the MAC Championship Game last year
Kenneth Bailey

The Bobcat offense will be led by quarterback Nathan Rourke. He has averaged 145 yards per game but has thrown 3 touchdown passes. His main targets are Papi White and Evan Crouch who have 51.7 and 44.3 yards per game respectively. The ground game is led by AJ Ouellette with 6.2 yards per carry. The Bobcats run a fairly balanced attack with 205 yards per game on the ground and 216 yards per game in the air.

The Eagles defense is led by Jeremiah Harris who so far has 1.5 sacks and 1 interception. The Eastern defense has only allowed 10 points per game so far. Their passing defense has improved to only allowing 156 yards per game with 5 interceptions. The rush defense has allowed 147 yards per game but no fumble recoveries. They haven’t found their way to the backfield much though.

What Does All of This Mean?

Once again, I think Eastern Michigan is going to have to go to the air in order to win. If they can spread the field, they might be able to get their ground game going. For some reason, I am not expecting a high scoring game. If it comes down to a shootout, I think Eastern Michigan is cooked though. It should be a good game though.

Aerial Games are fun though.
Kenneth Bailey