Eastern Michigan beat Bowling Green pretty handily, but what did we learn?
Ben Bryant has established himself as a pretty good quarterback, supplanting last year’s starter Preston Hutchinson after a brief start-of-season battle. He was 20-of-26 for 286 yards and two touchdown in the game on Saturday, with no interceptions, with many similar performances in MAC play which have kept the Eagles competitive.
Eastern Michigan can score in bushels when they need to. They have had five out of their eight games where they have scored over 30 points. With a more consistent defense, it is possible they would be standing at 4 and 0 in the MAC right now. Spotting teams a two score lead doesn’t help.
Both losses in the MAC were by a touchdown. See the lesson from above. Their defense hasn’t seemed as strong this year as it has in the past few years since Neal Neathery took over. With 14 sacks, six fumbles and four interceptions, it hasn’t been as aggressive as in years past. They don’t lose a ton on defense for next year. With many key players returning next year, I’m going to make a prediction that Eastern Michigan will be in a position to make a run for the MAC next year.
Bowling Green is awful this year. Their stats seem to back that up. It seems like a long fall after a promising start to the season, as they’ve gone winless in league play so far this season.
Barring a complete meltdown, it looks like Northern Illinois is going to win the MAC West. They currently stand at 4-0 and everyone else in the west is 2-2. Northern Illinois holds the tie breaker over Central, Eastern and Toledo. With four games left for everyone, it’s going to take a miracle for them to catch Northern Illinois. About the only team with a realistic chance is Western Michigan (if NIU loses out and WMU wins out,) but that might be tough.
The MAC East seems a little more wide open, with Kent State and Buffalo considered favorites, but .