The University of Massachusetts Minutemen bring their 1-3 record to Rynearson Stadium on Saturday, where they will face the Eagles of Eastern Michigan, who currently stand at 2-2. The Minutemen are coming off a 42-10 drubbing at the hands of the Tulane Green Wave. The Eagles are coming off their 50-21 loss to the Bulls of Buffalo.
If you will recall, the Eagles defeated the Minutemen last year by a score of 42-28. The Eagles were able to outlast the Minutemen and gain their first victory against UMass on the road; the Eagles had two losses against the Minutemen during their short stint in the MAC prior in the all-time series.
The Minutemen will likely be led by quarterback Gino Campiotti. So far, he has a 49 percent completion rate and averages 165 yards per game. He also the Minutemen’s leading rusher, averaging 60 yards per game. On the ground, he is followed by Ellis Merriweather with 55 yards per game. Their leading receiver is Cameron Sullivan-Brown with 27 yards per game. On average, UMass has scored a lowly 10 points per game, while giving up 32 points. They have an average 248 yards of offense, while giving up 356 yards.
The Eagles starter at QB will likely be Austin Smith, who has a 66 percent completion rate for 227 yards per game. He’ first debuted agaisnt Arizona State after Taylor Powell sustained an early injury, and was the starter in last week’s loss to Buffalo.
On the ground, the Eagles will be led by Samson Evans, who averages 104 yards per game although that stat was padded somewhat by his outstanding game in Arizona. Tanner Knue is the leading receiver with 73 yards per game. The Eagles score an average 31 points per game while giving up 38 points per game. The average of 385 yards of offense while giving up 450 yards of offense per game.
I think Eastern Michigan has a high powered enough offense that they should be able to beat the Minutemen. This one could end up with Eastern Michigan putting the Minutemen way but I think it defends on how there defense behaves. If Eastern Michigan shows up with a stout defense, they will win. If they don’t, I think it will be a shoot out but I think the Eagles will come out on top.
The game starts at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time and will be on WEMU and the Varsity Network for radio, with exclusive streaming on ESPN+.