A pair of schools from the Mid-American Conference meet in a crossover matchup in the Great Lakes State. The Akron Zips head west as they face the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Saturday afternoon. Akron was knocked off 36-26 at home by Northern Illinois in their last contest on November 1. Eastern Michigan picked up a 17-7 over Central Michigan in one of the geographical battles of the state last Saturday. The Zips own a 10-7 advantage in the all-time series and have taken two straight meetings, including a 47-21 victory on the road in the last meeting on October 10, 2015.
Akron Zips Try to Climb Over .500
Akron had a two-game win streak snapped with their loss to Northern Illinois. With the defeat, the Zips dropped back to the .500 mark on the season and stand 2-3 in the Mid-American Conference standings. Akron never led but cut a 17 point deficit to 27-26 in the third quarter before running out of steam. The Zips were outgained 484-361 in the contest, allowed 34 first downs while picking up 19 and lost time of possession by a 34:05 to 25:55 margin. In addition, Akron turned the ball over twice while forcing one takeaway. The Zips gave up a pick six while having an extra point blocked that was returned for a defensive two-point conversion. Akron is 3-5 ATS this season while the under is 5-3 in those contests.
— Akron Zips Football (@ZipsFB) November 2, 2018
The Zips enter this contest 88th in the FBS in passing offense with an average of 209.9 yards per game through the air and 121st in rushing offense with 111.1 yards per contest. Akron is 114th in the FBS in scoring offense with 22.9 points per game and 57th in scoring defense as they allow 25.1 points per contest. Kato Nelson has completed 123 of 244 passes for 1,647 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions while ranking second on the team with 313 rushing yards and a score. Alex Ramart is five of 17 for 32 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Van Edwards Jr. is the lead back in the system for the Zips with 101 carries for 417 yards plus three scores. Deltron Sands is next in line but he has only 29 carries for 88 yards. Andre Williams leads the team with 36 receptions for 540 yards plus five touchdowns. Kwadarrius Smith (19 grabs, 346 yards, three TD) and Nate Stewart (22 catches, 280 yards, TD) are reliable secondary targets. Nick Gasser has hit 17 of 18 extra point attempts and 13 of 17 field goals this season with a long of 49. Jerry Fitschen hit his lone extra point attempt and has not attempted a field goal this season.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Try to Earn Bowl Eligibility
Eastern Michigan has won three of their last four games after taking down Central Michigan. The win pushed them back to the .500 mark on the season and 3-3 in conference play. A win here for the Eagles would get them that important sixth win that would get them bowl eligible. Eastern Michigan pulled away from a 7-7 tie after three quarters by scoring 10 fourth-quarter points to secure the win. The Eagles outgained the Chippewas 349-198 in the game, held an 18-10 edge in first downs and controlled the clock by a 35:14 to 24:46 margin in the contest. Eastern Michigan turned the ball over three times but forced four takeaways. The Eagles are 6-4 ATS while the under is 6-4 in their games this season.
📽️ Defense Paves the Way for 17-7 Win
— Eastern Michigan Football (@EMUFB) November 3, 2018
The Eagles are 54th in the FBS with 247.2 yards through the air while ranking 108th in rushing with 130.4 yards per game on the ground. Eastern Michigan is 81st in the nation in scoring offense with 27.7 points per game and 44th in scoring defense as they allow 23.7 points per contest. Tyler Wiegers hit 143 of 215 passes for 1,619 yards with 11 touchdowns against two interceptions while adding 36 yards and a score on the ground. Mike Glass III is 55 of 92 passing for 820 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. He is second on the team with 391 rushing yards and six scores. Shaq Vann leads the team with 130 carries for 553 yards and five scores while Ian Eriksen (41 carries, 123 yards) and Willie Parker (27 carries, 109 yards, TD) are the next backs in line. Blake Banham leads the team with 51 receptions for 602 yards and five scores. Arthur Jackson III (36 catches, 469 yards, three TD), Mathew Sexton (29 receptions, 282 yards, three TD) and Line Latu (21 grabs, 364 yards, three TD) are secondary options in the passing game. Chad Ryland has hit all 31 extra points and 10 of 16 field goal tries this season with a long of 51.
- Eagles are 11-33 ATS in their last 44 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
- Eagles are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game
- Zips are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Defense is the name of the game for these two teams as both squads are good on that side of the ball. Both tams have QB injury issues as Nelson is questionable with an ankle injury for the Zips while Glass III has a leg injury that has him questionable. The Eagles have Wiegers to run the offense and he’s been good this season. That’s the difference as Ramart hasn’t shown he’s capable of taking over the system effectively. Eastern Michigan should get the win here to become bowl eligible but the Zips’ defense keeps this one close. If you’re playing the line, take the points and Akron in this contest.
Prediction: Akron Zips +13
Full-Game Total Pick
We’ve seen both teams play extremely tough defense. Eastern Michigan held Central Michigan without a touchdown, marking the first time they pulled off holding an opponent without an offensive score since 2008. Akron has been kept in games defensively: they were burned by a pick six and the blocked extra point returned for a score that turned a one point game into a 10 point contest. The Zips have to get Nelson back in the mix for this one if at all possible. Can Akron pick up an upset win on the road here or will Eastern Michigan make it four wins in five games?
The under is 12-3 in the Zips’ last 15 road games, 20-6 in their last 26 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game, 10-3 in their last 13 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 6-2 in their last eight in November. Eastern Michigan has seen the under go 3-0-1 in their last 4 games following an ATS loss, 6-1 in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 4-1 in their last five conference games. Given the way both teams have struggled offensively and the solid defenses in this one, the under seems like a solid option here.
Prediction: Under 44.5