Eastern Michigan travels to Muncie, Indiana, where the Eagles will face the Cardinals in battle of two winless teams. Given the schedule structure, where every crossover game was played in Week 1, each game from here on out will be important in deciding who will get to play in Detroit at the end of the season.
Eastern Michigan lost their opening game against Kent State last week, by a final score of 27-23. Despite getting outplayed, EMU were able to get a 23-20 lead at in the second half, only to end up losing as they gave up another touchdown with about 7:30 remaining to a feisty Golden Flashes team. I guess the fact that hung around against a more experienced unit is a good thing but still, it is the win that matters at the end of the day.
Quarterback Preston Hutchinson was serviceable by going 21-of-35 for 241 yards and two interceptions. Running Back Darius Boone showed promise after gaining 68 yards on the ground against Kent State. Expect to see him back in this game. Hassan Beydoun had a pretty big game by catching for over 100 yards as well to help propel the offense.
Ball State returns quite a bit of experience this season and I expect that they will do well against Eastern Michigan.
Last week against Miami, the Cardinals lost 31-38, but they were able to put some points on the board, holding a seemingly dominant 20-9 lead early in the third quarter before allowing the RedHawks back into contention. They gained a total of 201 yards on the ground with Caleb Huntley getting 130 of those yards. Quarterback Drew Plitt was 19-of-32 for 309 yards. Given Eastern’s weakness in the secondary, I suspect that he will have another good game. In fact, I think Ball State could top their 29-23 performance against Eastern Michigan from last year.
Ball State comes into the game the #8 team in our Hustle Belt Power Rankings, while EMU is ranked as our #9 team, so it should be a fairly even game.
The EMU/Ball State game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network starting at 7:00 P.M. EST. If don’t want to watch the game, you have two radio options as well. If you are in the Ypsilanti area, you can listen to the game on WEMU at 89.1 on your FM dial. If you are not in the Ypsilanti area, you can listen to game streaming at wemu.org. If you are in the Muncie area, you can listen to the Ball State point of view on WLBC at 104.1 on the FM dial or streaming at wlbc.com.
It will be 46 degrees and partly cloudy at kickoff in Muncie, with no chance of precipitation and clam winds, per Weather.com. Ball State is a 8.5-point favorite going into the game, with an over/under of 61.5, per OddsShark.