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2021 Week 11 Midweek MACtion Preview: Ohio Bobcats @ Eastern Michigan Eagles

Eastern Michigan still has a shot— so long as they don’t trip at any point.

Kenneth Bailey

The Ohio Bobcats travel to Ypsilanti on Tuesday night, where they will face the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

Surprisingly, the game still has title implications for Eastern Michigan. At 3-2 in MAC play, Eastern Michigan still has an outside shot at the MAC West Title— as long as they win out. IF EMU can manage the feat, they eliminate Central Michigan and Western Michigan by proxy, and hold a potentialtiebreaker if there ends up being a knot for first place.

They’ll need some help to get there, though. Northern Illinois, the current leaders, must lose twice and Ball State must lose once for EMU to have a chance at the top of the MAC West standings. Ball State faces Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Buffalo. Northern Illinois faces Ball State, Buffalo and Western Michigan. So the possibility is there.

At 2-3 in the MAC, Ohio’s chances for a MAC East Championship are pretty slim, to say the least.

Ohio has scored an average of 23 points per game while allowing 31 points per game. On the ground, they have averaged 185 yards under their lead rusher of De’Montre Tuggle. In the air, they have averaged 180 yards per game under quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who has thrown seen touchdowns and four interceptions. He regained the starting job over Armani Rogers, who took over the QB1 gig for two weeks earlier in the season. Overall, Ohio has been intercepted five times while getting five picks of their own. They have fumbled the ball seven times while getting two fumbles in return. Their quarterbacks have been sacked 14 times, while sacking the opponents 15 times.

Eastern Michigan is almost the opposite. They have had one of the more prolific scoring offenses in the MAC at 33 points per game, and are coming off two games in a row where they have scored more than 50 points.

A sore spot in their offense is their ground game, which has gained a lethargic 113 yards per game, with several performances under 100 yards as team. They live and die by the performance of former Cincincatti QB Ben Bryant, who has been one of the MAC’s underheralded gems in 2021. Bryant has thrown 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, averaging 243 yards per game in the process. The Eastern Michigan defense have recovered eight fumbles and the offense have given up four, with seven interceptions on the defense outweighing the five interceptions thrown. Eastern Michigan has been sacked 19 times, and have sacked their opponents 26 times.

On paper, this does not look like much of a matchup, but alas, they don’t play the games on paper. I’ve hoping for a good game. It is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2, with kickoff at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And my favorite mascot