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2023 MAC Football Week 7 Game Recap: Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Kent State Golden Flashes

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Miami (Ohio) at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (3-3, 1-1 MAC) welcome the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-5, 0-2 MAC) to Rynearson Stadium for a game set to kick off at noon on Saturday. The Eagles are coming off a 24-10 win against Ball State, while the Golden Flashes lost to the Ohio Bobcats by a score of 42-17.

Game Notes

  • Date and time: Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 12 p.m. Eastern
  • Location: Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Network: CBS Sports Network (A valid cable subscription is required for viewing.)
  • Gambling considerations: Eastern Michigan is a 8.5-point favorite, with an over/under of 40, per DraftKings.
  • All-time series and streak: Kent State leads all-time, 19-15, but EMU snapped KSU’s two-win streak the last time these two teams met.
  • Last Meeting: Taylor Powell came off the bench to save the day, as EMU rallied from 10 points down to beat Kent State 31-24 on Nov. 16, 2022.

The Golden Flashes are in the midst of a to-the-studs rebuild, scoring an average of 13 points per game and allowing 35 points per game. They are led by quarterback Michael Alaimo, a former Purdue Boilermaker who has a 57 percent completion rate for an average of 145 yards per game. He has thrown for just two touchdowns and four interceptions. The leading rusher for the Golden Flashes is Gavin Garcia, who averages 56 yards per game and is a part of the 115 yards the team gains on the ground per game on average. Kent State’s leading receiver is Crishon McCray, who averages 54 yards per game. He is followed by Trell Harris with 46 yards per game. The offense has allowed 23 sacks.

As I said above, Kent State allows 35 points per game. On the ground they allow and average of 174 yards per game and in the air they allow 234 yards per game. They have four interceptions and one fumble recovery. They have sacked opponents’ quarterbacks seven times.

The Eagles have scored an average of 17 points per game and have allowed 20 points per game, a sort of performance which has put fans in the habit of keeping a bottle of TUMS nearby. Austin Smith is their lead quarterback, and has a 61 percent completion rate for an average of 139 yards per game. Smith has five passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown and three interceptions. The Eagles split time on the ground between Jaylon Jackson and Samson Evans and each of them average around 47 yards per game. The lead receiver is Tanner Knue with 42 yards. The offense has allowed 20 sacks.

Joe Sparacio is the leading tackler for the Eagles with 69 tackles. As a unit, they have 12 sacks, six interceptions and three fumble recoveries to maintain a positive turnover ratio. They also have allowed 20 points per game.

Based on the statistics, I expect the Eagles to have their second good game in a row.

They should be able to establish their run game against a team that allows 174 yards per game. That should allow them to open up the passing game. They are also facing a team that gives up the ball at least once per game and has allowed the quarterback to be subjected to pressure quite a few times. I hope that means that Eastern will play a fairly aggressive blowout since it’s been a season of close calls to this point. It should be a comfortable win for Eastern, but we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s the case.