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2022 MAC Football Week 6 Game Preview: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Western Michigan Broncos

The Eagles head west on I-94 to face the Broncos for an inter-division bout.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Western Michigan at San Jose State Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eastern Michigan Eagles head west on I-94 to face the Western Michigan Broncos at Waldo Stadium. The Eagles are 3-2 overall, with an 0-1 record in the MAC, while the Broncos are 2-3 overall with a 1-0 mark in the MAC. The Broncos are coming off a 44-7 win against New Hampshire. The Eagles are coming off their 20-13 comeback win over Massachusetts.

When the Broncos go on offense they are led by quarterback Jack Salopek who is 65 for 120 overall for an average of 193 yards per game. He has four touchdowns with five interceptions. He also averages about 20 yards per game on the ground. His leading target is Corey Crooms, who averages 63 yards per game. The leading rusher is Sean Tyler who averages 58 yards per game. The Broncos average 23 points per game on offense, with 126 yards per game on the ground and their passing average at about 175 yards per game.

They will face the Eagles defense, which gives up an average of 33 points per game. It is led by Chase Kline with 47 tackles. Also of note are Mark Lee and Blake Bogan who each have one interception. The Eagles rushing defense gives up an average of 166 yards per game. In the air, they allow about 245 yards per game. Eastern Michigan has just three sacks so far this season.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Arizona State
Taylor Powell against Arizona State.
Patrick Breen-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Michigan is currently led by Austin Smith on offense, who has started in relief of Taylor Powell since he picked up an injury during the Arizona State game. Smith is currently 29-of-51 for 372 yards, five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) and three interceptions. If he’s healthy, Powell 62-of-94 for 681 yards, five total touchdowns) will likely take back starting duties.

The current main target at receiving is Tanner Knue with 72 yards per game. The Eagles rushing leader is Samson Evans who is averaging 108 yards per game. Overall, the Eagles have scored 29 points per game.

On defense, the Broncos have given up 28 points per game. They have given up 152 rushing yards per game and 227 yards in the air. They have three interceptions and six fumble recoveries to go along with 10 sacks so far.

If I look at the stats, I would be inclined to say that the game is fairly evenly matched until I dig a little deeper. Western Michigan has 10 sacks and Eastern Michigan has given up 10 sacks. I think those numbers get a little better for the Eagles if Austin Smith is playing since he tends to run the ball. So I expect the Broncos to pressure the Eastern Michigan offense. If Eastern Michigan can do a decent job of controlling the ball and can get their run game going, I think they will win. If Western Michigan continues getting turnovers, it may be a long day in Kalamazoo for the Eagles. So I’m not going to make a prediction.

The game starts at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. You can listen to the game on either WEMU or the Bronco Radio Network. If you want to watch it, it will be aireed on CBS Sports Network, with streaming on Paramount+.