The Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-4, 0-1 MAC) host the Akron Zips (2-3, 0-1 MAC) with both teams coming off of week five losses. The Eagles fought hard, but ended up on the short end of a 44-22 game at LSU, while the Zips nearly beat the Ohio Bobcats on homecoming, but failed to find the end zone in a 14-12 loss.
EMU looks to be better this year than they were last year. With quarterback Reggie Bell out with a broken jaw, Brogan Roback has proved to be a worthy replacement for now, but he does struggle with interceptions. He's thrown for 1,038 yards and 6 touchdowns with 7 picks this season. The real strength in the Eagle offense, though, is running back Darius Jackson. Jackson, who could be the best running back in the MAC, is one of the leading rushers in the conferece so far. He will be facing a strong Akron run defense that hasn't given up much on the ground.
Eastern Michigan really struggles stopping the run. This could be trouble as Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson is a dual threat quarterback, and his running back Conor Hundley averages over five yards per carry.
Akron's loss to Ohio last week was frustrating because the Zips had the advantage in nearly every statistical category. A couple of early Ohio touchdowns was all they could get, but Akron couldn't find the end zone. This week, the Zips face a defense that hasn't performed nearly as well as Ohio has in 2015. In fact, Eastern has the worst rush defense in the nation although they have the fourth best pass defense.
Our full game preview can be found here.
Players to watch
Akron RB Conor Hundley: Hundley has never averaged less than five yards per carry in a season in his career. The he's slimmed down from last year and is still just as strong. He could be a tough matchup for a run defense that doesn't stop much.
Akron WR Imani Davis: Davis' progression as a Zip hasn't been as great as it could be. As a senior, he is still making too many drops, but he's shown a lot of improvement this year. He had 5 catches for 94 yards last week, and could be a primary target for Woodson against a strong pass defense.
EMU RB Darius Jackson: Jackson has been a machine for the Eagles in 2015. On 78 carries, he has 473 yards and he leads the MAC with 8 touchdowns. Akron held Ohio to -5 yards rushing in the second half last week. If that carries over, the Eagles could struggle to move the ball.
EMU WR Dustin Creel: Creel has been an efficent target for the Eagles with 19 catches for 206 yards and 3 scores in 2015. He made a touchdown catch last week and has had at least two catches in every game this year.
Quick game info
Akron leads the all-time series between the two programs 18-12, winning last year's meeting in Akron 31-6.
Game time, date: The game kicks off at 3:00 EST on Saturday October 10.
Location: Rynearson Stadium (capacity 30,200) in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Streaming: The game can be streamed on ESPN3
Odds: Akron -7.5. Other college football odds can be found on ESPN.