After the disappointing loss in Toledo, the Eagles return to Ypsilanti where they host the Buffalo Bulls. While both teams share the overall record of 4-4, the Bulls are 2-2 in the MAC while Eastern Michigan is 1-3. It is when you start looking at the other numbers that the similarities end.
When Buffalo has the ball, expect them to run it. They average 221 yards on the ground versus 134 yards in the air. Their rushing attack is led by Jaret Patterson who runs for an average of 104 yards per game. I will also mention the other running back in the form of Kevin Marks because he averages 80 yards per game. While Kyle Vantrease has played in all eight games, he is 46 of 76 for 58 yards per game but he has only thrown one interception. His counterpart is Matt Myers and he is 49 for 105 for 120 yards per game with four picks. Their receiver of note is Antonio Nunn with 52 yards per game. The Bulls average 26 points per game.
The Eagles are led on defense by Turan Rush who has five sacks and one fumble recovery. The other Eagle of note is Brody Hoying who has four tackles for loss with one interception. The Eagles have been decent in the turnover department with eight interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. While it good that they have that many, I still consider fumble recoveries as a gift. The Eagles have given up an average of 32 points per game. The Eagles have given up 204 yards per game on the ground and 240 yards per game in the air.
I think if Eastern Michigan is going to have any success, they are going to have to continue with the ground game they’ve had in the past two games.
They’re finally averaging above 100 yards per game on the ground thanks to their recent performances. A big part of that is because of Shaq Vann who has 64 yards per game but he almost broke 100 against Western and he did break 100 against Toledo. Mike Glass III will likely take the snaps and why not, he is 164/235 and averages 271 yards per game. The only knock on him is that he has thrown 8 interceptions. Glass can depend upon the strength of having three receivers who have over 45 yards per game in Dylan Drummon, Arthur Jackson and Quian Williams. We can’t rule out Mathew Sexton who isn’t too far behind those three. I’m hoping that Eastern Michigan’s passing game can help them establish their running game.
All of that is a pretty tall order though. They face a defense that has only given up 23 points per game. That same defense has managed to find it opponents quarterbacks 24 times per game. While Eastern Michigan’s line has been good, I’m not sure they can stop that. It may require Mike Glass’ legs. The Bulls defense is led by Taylor Riggers with 5.5 sacks. He is followed by Malcolm Koonce with 4.5 sacks. Also of note is Khalil Mack’s brother, Ledarius with 4 sacks. That same defense is no slouch against the run after only allowing 94 yards per game.
So what does all this mean? I have a feeling that Buffalo is going to come on the upper end of this battle. I just hope that Eastern Michigan can keep is close because if they do, they might pull it off.