The Eastern Michigan Eagles (3-3, 0-2) have lost their first two games on their conference schedule against Central Michigan and Ball State. The Eagles will return to action against rival Western Michigan (4-3, 2-1) on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, MI. Western Michigan comes into the game as nine-point favorites.
Eastern Michigan’s offense struggled in the second half against Ball State, scoring just six points after a 17-point first half. The lack of offense cost the Eagles the win and they’ll look to fix that going forward. It won’t be easy, though, as the Broncos come into the game allowing 26.9 points, which is 5.1 points less than the Eagles allow on average.
EMU head coach Chris Creighton explained his goals for the offense: “If you get four yards then you’re feeling pretty good. If you get four yards on first down and you get half of that on second down. Now you’re talking about third and short. And anytime you get less than four yards on first down then you feel like you’re a little bit behind.”
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Both quarterbacks are having very good seasons, as Western Michigan’s signal caller Jon Wassink has thrown for 1,906 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions.
EMU quarterback Mike Glass III has totaled 1,610 yards, 14 touchdowns, and eight picks. The quarterback that can limit turnovers and convert on third down will likely lead his team to a victory.
The running backs are also going to have a large impact on this game. It seems like the Eagles offense hasn’t been as effective since Shaq Vann went down with an injury and Glass is actually the leading rusher on the team. Breck Turner will have to step up against the Broncos to balance out the offense. WMU running back LeVante Bellamy has 764 yards and 10 scores.
“We’re good. The goals are the same. The conference is still wide open. We still have our whole goals in front of us and we’re all really excited for the Western (Michigan) game coming up,” said Turner. “We’re 3-3 right now. Everything we want is still ahead of us and we’re going to go out every week and prepare like it is.”
This game will go a long way in determining if the Eagles can reach a bowl game, which is always the goal coming into a season. They need three more wins to become bowl eligible with six games remaining. Western Michigan is tied for second in the MAC West behind Ball State. Both teams need this win to get a step closer to their goals.
“We definitely put the one from two weeks ago behind us,” Creighton said. We give them 24 hours. I think we were all in that same spot. We talked about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to respond, and then we started looking at the film. There’s some hope when you start looking at the film. I think our team would feel the same way.”
The game will kick off from Rynearson Stadium at 7 p.m.