Eastern Michigan stands at 6-4 and has already clinched bowl eligibility. Kent State has the mirror image of that record, standing at 4-6 and needing to win both of their remaining games to get into a bowl.
How similar are these teams? They even both share the same league record, standing at 3-3 in the MAC.
What can we make of that?
Kent State scores as many points as they give up at this point in the season, both scoring and allowing 29 points per game. Their passing attack is led by Collin Schlee who has a 59.6 percent completion rate and averages 250 yards per game. Schlee has scored 16 total touchdowns in 2022, with five interceptions. He is backed up by Devin Kargman, who has played in 4 games this season and has a 51.5 percent completion rate. He has averaged 58 yards per game and has thrown two picks. The Golden Flashes have a fairly potent rushing game that averages 210 yards per game. It is led by Marquez Cooper who has gotten more than half of those yards per game at 110 yards per game. Leading receivers are Donte Cephas who averages 83 yards per game and Devotez Walker with 72 yards per game. Overall, they have fumbled the ball 4 times.
Their opponents average 279 yards per game in the air and have been intercepted 7 times. Their opponents have gained an average of 260 yards per game on the ground and have fumbled the ball 5 times. They have sacked their opponents’ quarterbacks 16 times this season. Overall, it is a defense which has proven vulnerable if you can keep the up-tempo offense on ice.
Eastern Michigan has scored an average of 27 points per game and have given up an average of 30 points per game. They have, however, managed to stay competitive in many games by utilizing turnovers and excelling at situational football.
It’s largely assumed Austin Smith will be leading the passing attack after his performance last week. He has a 58 percent completion rate and averages 97 yards per game. He has thrown four interceptions. He has also run for an average of 32 yards per game. The rushing attack has been led by Samson Evans who averages 95 yards per game. Evans has been one of the strongest runners in the NCAA, with 11 touchdowns on the ground. Tanner Knue has been the leading target for the passing game at an average of 52 yards per game.
On defense, Eastern Michigan has allowed an average of 162 rushing yards per game and 220 yards in the air. They have 7 interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries. They have sacked the quarterback a total of 16 times this season. These stats are a little misleading as they made several adjustments to the defense mid-season and have greatly improved, shifting from a zone look to a man-to-man concept after the first month of the season.
I expect this to be a fairly close game as stats wise the two teams are fairly evenly matched. Both teams are within a touchdown per game of the records being flipped. Kent State needs to win in order to keep their bowl hopes alive. Eastern Michigan needs to win to get to a better bowl game. The game is at Kent, so I will give a slight edge to the Golden Flashes.
The game starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, and will be on a quarter of the Ocho on ESPN2. Have some fun #MACtion tomorrow night.