College football action on Saturday evening and a pair of teams from the Mid-American Conference will square off as the Western Michigan Broncos grapple with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Broncos won this game at home last year by a score of 27-24.
Michigan MAC Trophy
Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan are all battling for the Michigan Trophy and WMU can secure the trophy with a win in this game. It would be the 2nd year in a row that they have won it. The Broncos have won the last five games in this series, including last year's 27-24 at home.
WMU has followed each win up with a loss this year and each loss with a win. They enter off a 38-16 home win over Miami-Oh so they will be trying to break their current trend of win one lose one. They are now at 4-3 on the year and the defense has been the key to their success. The Broncos are 101st in total defense and 65th in points allowed, giving up 26.9 ppg, but we note that they have allowed 44.7 ppg in their three losses, which were all on the road, but just 13.5 ppg in their four wins, which were all at home. Those are telling stats right there. We even go a bit further to note that they have allowed 51 and 52 points in their two games against Power Five teams, but just 20 ppg in their games against non-Power Five teams.
“We’ve always talked about getting our defense to a level where we can win a championship and I think we’re heading in that direction,” Lester said. “They limited big plays and they got turnovers. We held on in the fourth quarter and pulled away a little bit, so I was proud of the way we played as a team.”
The offense has been solid all year as they come in ranked 31st in total yards and 34th in scoring at 35.4 ppg. Let's take that one step further. The Broncos have averaged 25 ppg against Power Five teams, compared to putting up 39.6 ppg against non-power-five teams. John Wassink has been solid this year as he has thrown for 1906 yards with 14 TDs and six INTs so far. He will be facing an EMU defense that ranks 105th in passing defense.
EMU Comes Up A Bit Short
The Eastern Michigan Eagles come in with a 3-3 record that includes a road win over Illinois from the Big 10. Still, they are not where they want to be in the MAC as the Eagles are off to a 0-2 start in league play. They hope to get in the MAC win column with a win over a very inconsistent WMU squad. The Eagles are off of a 29-23 home loss to Ball State as they came up just a bit short in their quest for their first MAC win of the year. The defense has been an issue for them as they have now allowed at least 29 points in each of their last five games. The Eagles are 106th in total defense and 100th in points allowed, giving up 32.0 ppg.
The Eagles lost the turnover battle 4-1 and they were just 2-of-13 on 3rd down in their loss to the Cardinals. Mike Glass III leads the 40th ranked passing offense and he was 20-of-34 for 283 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals The bad news was that he was intercepted three times in the loss. The Eagles were limited to just 89 yards and running the ball has been an issue as they are just 124th in the nation in that department.
The Western Michigan Broncos are:
The Eastern Michigan Eagles are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five overall
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games against the Mid-American Conference