The Eastern Michigan University Eagles (4-5, 1-4) have lost two games in a row and are looking to break the streak on Tuesday, Nov. 12 when they face off against the win-less Akron Zips (0-9, 0-5). The Eagles are averaging 26.2 points per game, compared to just 10.2 points for the Zips. EMU defeated Akron 27-7 at Rynearson Stadium last season.
Head coach Chris Creighton and the Eagles need two more wins to reach bowl eligibility and have three opportunities to do so against Akron, Northern Illinois, and Kent State. The first two games will be on the road before the season finale is back at home. EMU has reached a bowl game in two of the last three years before not making one since 1987.
The Eagles are coming off a surprising 43-14 loss at home versus Buffalo.
Creighton discussed what went wrong against the Bulls: “Well credit to Buffalo. They had a good plan in all three phases and played well. We lost the turnover battle. We lost special teams. It was just a bad recipe. I think they’re the number one defensive team in our league and they showed it. We had a tough time on the ground and in the air.”
Eastern Michigan will look to bounce back against Akron, who allows 35.7 points and 390.1 yards per game. Akron gives up 202.3 rushing yards per game so look for the Eagles to try and make a statement on the ground with guys like Shaq Vann, Mike Glass III, and Breck Turner. The Zips are one of just three winless teams remaining in the FBS.
Glass, who suffered an injury against Buffalo, is expected to start against Akron.
“Mike’s deal is painful but it’s not serious or significant,” said Creighton.
Creighton talked about his team being overconfident versus Akron: “That should be impossible but until you get in the mind of every guy, it’s something that you have to absolutely make sure of. We have absolutely no right to think we’re better than anybody. If our guys do think we’ll just go in and win then we’ll lose the game.”
The Eagles need the defense to perform better than they have in recent weeks as well, as they have given up 27+ points in each of the last five games, including 43 points versus Buffalo last weekend. In those five games, the Eagles are just 1-4 and will look to limit the amount of big plays and long drives. EMU is giving up 236.2 passing yards per game.
“We can compete with anybody on our schedule when we’re really playing hard and playing well. And we won’t win if we’re not in that frame of mind and we’re not able to execute,” said Creighton. “I really don’t feel as if that will be an issue. Our deal is really internal right now. Challenging myself, my staff, and the team with how are we going to finish.”
“Coming into this Buffalo game, in the last three years, we’re 8-2 in games in November. Which is pretty darn good. We still have a chance to have a good November,” said Creighton. “One game at a time. Every year is different but you hope your team gets better as the year goes. There’s still a lot of football left.”
ESPN FPI gives the Eagles an 84.5% chance to beat Akron.
“November is when champions are made,” said Creighton.