The Akron Zips travel to Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Michigan where they will face off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Eastern Michigan is currently 5-5 with a 3-3 record in the MAC. Akron is current 4-4 with a 2-3 record in the MAC. Neither team is looking at a possibility of going to MAC championship but both teams have a shot at bowl eligibility. But I think in order for that to happen both teams have to get to 7 wins.
Eastern Michigan is coming off a 17-7 victory against Central Michigan where they didn’t allow an offensive touchdown. They were also able to hold Central Michigan below their average in rushing and passing yards. Even though Eastern Michigan’s rushing game averages 132 yards per game, much of that is when they have Mike Glass III in the game. I haven’t heard anything but I don’t expect him to return for the rest of the season. Shaq Vann was able to run for over 100 yards last weekend and when I look at Akron’s stats, he might be able to repeat that feat. It is likely that Tyler Wiegers will return at quarterback with his 66.2% completion rate. He has been fairly secure with the ball by only throwing 2 picks. His main target is Blake Banham but it is worth mentioning Arthur Jackson and Line Latu.
The Eastern Michigan defense is led by Maxx Crosby with his 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. When I look at Akron’s stats, I see no reason why he will not have a banner day. Kyle Rachwal is also a pretty strong presence on the field. I think the Eastern Michigan will be able to win the turnover battle on Saturday.
The Akron offense is led by Kato Nelson and it seems like he is yet another dual threat quarterback that Eastern Michigan is facing this season. He gets 205 yards per game in the air and additional 40 or so yards on on the ground. He might give the Eastern Michigan defense some trouble. Maybe less trouble if Eastern Michigan forces him to take to the air.
The Akron defense averages about 2 sacks per game and given Eastern Michigan’s line, I think they will find their way to Tyler Wiegers (especially if they can force him to run). It appears that they are vulnerable to the run.
In summary, I think if Shaq Vann can have another breakout game and if Eastern Michigan wins the turnover battle, I see no reason why they will not emerge victorious on Saturday. If their offense looks as uninspired as it has a few times this season, it might be a long Saturday for the Eagle faithful. But I’m a glass half full kind of guy, so I am going to make a prediction that Eastern Michigan will win 21 to 7.