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2019 MAC Football Week 7 Game Preview: Ball State Cardinals at Eastern Michigan Eagles

EMU looks forward to proving their game against CMU was a fluke, while Ball State tries to build momentum.

Eastern Michigan Really Needs to Establish Their Ground Game
Kenneth Bailey

Eastern Michigan (3-2, 0-1 MAC) returns to the friendly confines of Rynearson Stadium after getting defeated by the Central Michigan Chippewas. The Eagles will seek to improve their record against the Ball State Cardinals.

When Eastern Michigan has the ball, expect them to continue using Mike Glass III in the read option role.

Currently, he is 123-of-184 on passing attempts, averaging 265 yards per game through the air. He has thrown 13 touchdowns to five interceptions so far on the season, for an average TD-to-INT ratio of 2.5:1.

That being said, when you sum up the Eastern Michigan rushing game, the word bad comes to mind. Eastern Michigan’s leading rusher is still Shaq Vann with 37 yards per game, but it appears that he has been relegated behind Willie Parker who has averaged 27 yards per game. You can add another 22 yards per game from Mike Glass III. When you total up their rushing, you get a team total of 95 yards per game.

The fact that they couldn’t put away Coastal Carolina with their run game nearly cost them that game. The lack of a running game in the toolbox also hurt them against Central Michigan, as they couldn’t keep the Chippewas off the field.

In their passing attack, Eastern Michigan has three receivers who average over 40 yards per game, giving Glass plenty of options in the vertical game. These are Arthur Jackson, Quian Williams and Mathew Sexton. Given that Ball State has given up an average of 268 yards per game in the air, I expect to see the Eagles throw the ball up into the air to try and take advantage. If the Cards allow Mike Glass III to do his magic, I expect a long game for them. Eastern Michigan would do well to be on the lookout for Ball State safety Amechi Uzodinma, who has three interceptions.

The Cardinal passing attack is led by Drew Plitt who is 123-of-190 in passing attempts, avergaing 281 yards per game, with a TD-to-INT ratio of 11:5. His main targets are Riley Miller, Antwan Davis and Justin Hall. On the ground, the Cardinals average 148 yards per game and that attack is led by Caleb Huntley who averages 88 of those yards. They are facing a defense that has given up an average of 181 yards per game.

Again, if the Cardinals can disrupt the Eastern Michigan passing game, I think they have a pretty good chance of winning. If Eastern Michigan can add a modicum of a rushing game in addition to their passing attack, they will prevail. Given that Eastern Michigan is returning home and both these teams seem evenly matched, I expect a good homecoming for Eastern Michigan

Will the Eagle soar?
Kenneth Bailey