The Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-4, 1-3) are returning home to face the Buffalo Bulls (4-4, 2-2) at Rynearson Stadium on Nov. 2 at 12:00 PM. The Eagles are coming off a 37-34 loss in overtime against the Toledo Rockets. Senior running back Shaq Vann ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the loss at Toledo.
Creighton touched on what the team can learn from the loss to Toledo: “I think it started with our opening kickoff. They broke loose. On their first play, they ripped off a big run. It’s not basketball but there is a fair amount of momentum in football. I think it started with the kick off. We missed some tackles and had some breakdowns with communication.”
The Eagles will look to bounce back against Buffalo and win their second game in the MAC. Eastern Michigan comes into the game with the more superior quarterback and wide receiving group. Mike Glass III will start for the Eagles at quarterback as he has 1,896 yards, 15 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Kyle Vantrease will start at QB for the Bulls.
According to Creighton, the keys to victory will be winning the turnover battle again and having less dropped passes. The Eagles forced three fumbles against the Rockets and recovered two of them. EMU had just one turnover in the loss. The team had seven drops, though. Glass connected with six receivers for 286 yards but that could have been more with less drops.
“The first takeaway is how hard our guys fought and continued to believe even though we weren’t playing good football the whole time. We won the turnover takeaway battle,” said Creighton. “We had seven drops, it was raining the entire game, but we had too many drops. I thought our balance, run and pass, was good for the second week in a row.”
A big part of the Eagles offense improving over the last two weeks has been the return of Shaq Vann. Vann was injured in the loss to Kentucky and missed the majority of four games before returning against Western Michigan. He’s been great since his return, averaging 103.5 rushing yards on 18.5 carries per game.
Buffalo’s defense has been very good this year and the Eagles will have to make them uncomfortable in order to come away with the win. The Bulls have given up just 23.4 points per game. If Eastern Michigan wins this game, it will likely be because Glass and Vann both have good games.
“Moving into the last four games, it’s mainly to take one game at a time. We want to win every game. The only thing we can do is take it one game at a time,” said senior long snapper Drake Sutton. “This week it’s against Buffalo. A win would be huge for us. It would put us on the right course to ending our season right.”
The Eagles are favored by two points.