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Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Michigan State Spartans Preview


It's hard to look at this upcoming game between the Eastern Michigan Eagles and Michigan State Spartans without having flashbacks of their game from two years ago, when a dropped ball by Donald Scott would end up costing EMU the game. Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio hasn't forgotten about it.

"In 2012, it was 7-6 at the half (against the Eagles),'' Dantonio said. "I think we were a 30-point favorite. Our guys need to come ready to play.''

But that was two years ago. Since then, Michigan State has won a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl. Since then, you can count EMU's win total with just one hand.

In terms of total offense and scoring, EMU is second to last averaging 243.7 yards and 11.3 points per game.

Rob Bolden will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles. He hasn't done a whole lot in his two appearances this season and, as we all know, this wouldn't be the first time he's had to go up against a Big Ten defensive unit. It's likely that Brogan Roback will not play at all. The offense has yet to have a 100-yard game through the air.

There are a number of factors in the quarterbacks' difficulties, one is the lack of productivity from the wide receivers. Through the first three weeks, the two leading receivers on this team are Tyreese Russell and Darius Jackson, who both have nine catches for 71 and 38 yards respectively. Neither of them are listed as wide receivers. Combined, the top three wide receivers (Dustin Creel, David Gibson and Tyler Allen) have nine receptions for 79 yards.

The Eagles defense will have their hands full, too. Coming off of a bye week after playing at Oregon, the Spartans are fourth in the B1G in scoring with 36 points per game. Connor Cook, who is 41-for-60 with five touchdowns through the air, has helped his team be second in the conference in passing offense. To limit his success, the Eagles really need to figure out a way to stop Tony Lippett, who leads the B1G with 150 reception yards per game. Three of his 15 catches have been for touchdowns.

Jeremy Langford, MSU's first string running back, is averaging 3.86 yards per carry with 143 yards and a touchdown. Opponents are averaging 211 yards per game on the ground against EMU this year.

Prediction: I said it to Joe from The Only Colors and I'm sticking with it. Bad guys win 38-9.