Eastern Michigan adds to their Sky Miles as they travel to Urbana-Champaign, where they will face HAL-9000— err, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. If you asked me about this game at the beginning of the year, I would have said that Eastern Michigan might have had a chance to pick up their third Big Ten* win in a row. But as I look at things, I’m not so sure now.
Mike Glass III has looked pretty good taking to the air. After two games, he stands at completing 54 of his 75 passes for an average of 262 yards per game. He has connected for five touchdowns and has thrown two picks. On the surface that sounds good but when you look at the fact that Shaw Vann is only averaging 47 yards per game, it is sounding like the Eagles are passing exclusively. On the bright side, Mike Glass III has at least three targets (the reception yards fall down after these three). Mathew Sexton leads the pack with 51 yards. He is followed by Quian Williams with 48 yards after that is Dylan Drummond with 46 yards. Given what they are arrayed again, I see that continuing.
On defense, the Fighting Illini have only given up 13 points per game so far. Granted, they have faced Akron and Connecticut, but I think they gives a pretty good idea of how the Eagles will fare. On the ground, the Illini have only given up 37 yards per game and 201 yards in the air. I expect to be another game where Eastern Michigan will have trouble finding their legs and will have to take to the air again. If Mike Glass can stay away from the folks in orange, he should have a good day. He might find himself having to use his legs as Illinois already has 11 sacks for the year.
The Illini offense is led by Brandon Peters who is 38-of-58, with 195 yards per game. He has thrown seven touchdowns and only one pick. He also features in their rushing attack with 26 yards per game. Illinois have three capable backs in the form of Jakari Norwood, Dre Brown and Ra’Von Bonner. All of them average close to 30 yards per game. The favorite target of Peters is Ricky Snelling, who has averaged 55 yards per game so far.
Eastern Michigan’s defense has not been as disruptive this year with only three sacks. They do have 4 interceptions though. They have held their opponents to 263 passing yards per game and 156 rushing yards per game. Given what I’ve seen on paper, this may be a long game for the Eagles, but you never know.