When and where: October 13, 2018, Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, MI, 1:00 PM ET
Four straight losses already has the Eastern Michigan Eagles looking for a turnaround game to salvage the season. What better way to do that than beating their conference rivals, the Toledo Rockets, at home? The Rockets will come into Rynearson Stadium on Saturday after blowing out Bowling Green, 52-36. Meanwhile, the Eagles are coming off a 27-24 heartbreaker against Western Michigan.
Return of Mitch Guadagni?
Toledo could get starting quarterback Mitch Guadagni back in the lineup by Saturday’s game. He was knocked out of the Week 5 road game against Fresno State early with a concussion, and the Rockets were forced to move on with sophomore quarterback Eli Peters. Unsurprisingly, Peters struggled in a hostile environment by going 10-of-21 passing for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
He had only played a few minutes of garbage time up until that point, and that was his first real opportunity to take the reins of the offense.
Last Saturday, he made his first start of the season against Bowling Green and put on a better showing with 184 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Rockets will likely keep him on deck just in case Guadagni needs another week to heal from his head injury, but all signs point towards the junior quarterback’s return. That’s great news for the Rockets considering how well he was playing before the injury.
— Toledo Football (@ToledoFB) October 8, 2018
Guadagni is an efficient passer who rarely turns over the football, which are two things coaches love at this level. Toledo head coach Jason Candle would be happy to have him back as the team prepares for Eastern Michigan.
Close games continue to haunt Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan hasn’t been blown out in any of the four games in their losing streak. If a few plays went differently, we could be looking at a 6-0 team right now. However, the same could be said about many other teams in college football. Eastern Michigan has shown the ability to put up a fight against some talented teams, but they haven’t been able to close the deal.
Their last four games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The last three have come down to three points.
Losing to Western Michigan hurts especially because the game was against a division rival, and they allowed a 13-point comeback in the fourth quarter. It was an ugly defensive performance down the stretch as the unit gave up two touchdowns.
Mike Glass III (@mglassiii) is today's player of the game…
— Eastern Michigan Football (@EMUFB) October 6, 2018
Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass tried to be a one-man band with 155 passing yards and one touchdown, along with leading the team with 101 rushing yards and one touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a persistent Western Michigan team.
- Eagles are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games after an ATS win
- Eagles are 4-12 in last 16 head-to-head meetings
- Rockets are 17-5 In last 22 games played on the road
- Rockets are 4-0 ATS in last 4 games on the road against a team with a losing record at home
- Rockets are 11-3 ATS in last 14 games against a team with a losing record
- Rockets are 5-1 ATS in last 6 games after putting up more than 450 total yards in previous game
- Rockets are 16-7-1 ATS in last 24 games after putting up more than 200 yards rushing in previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Toledo should have Guadagni back on the field, which will make life even more difficult for Eastern Michigan head coach Chris Creighton. The Eagles are giving up an average of 407.3 total yards per game, including 208.8 yards on the ground. That should essentially set the stage for another big game from sophomore running back Shakif Seymour, who ran up and down the field on Bowling Green for 101 yards.
Freshman Bryant Koback provided the thunder to Seymour’s lightning in that contest, adding 90 yards and three touchdowns. The running back duo should be able to run wild on the Eastern Michigan defense, opening up even more opportunities for their quarterback to take shots downfield.
Toledo might be struggling defensively, but they are fortunate to have an offensive unit averaging 46.4 points per game and 448.8 total yards. That’s simply too much offense to expect Eastern Michigan to match, even if they have a tendency of playing close games. They also haven’t shown the ability to come out on top when things are tight over the last four weeks.
Prediction: Toledo Rockets (-1.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these two teams. I expect that trend to continue given Toledo’s ability to run up the scoreboard and their lack of defense. Eastern Michigan should be able to match that output since they typically play to the level of the opposition.
Prediction: Over 65.5