The Eastern Michigan Eagles will be trying to stop a two-game losing streak when they entertain the Northern Illinois Huskies at Rynearson Stadium on Saturday evening. Eastern Michigan is coming off consecutive setbacks against Buffalo and San Diego State. The Huskies are 1-3 following a loss to Florida State.
Out of their league
This isn’t your grandfather’s Florida State team or even your older brother’s Florida State team, but these Seminoles were still more than good enough to take care of Northern Illinois last weekend. The Huskies went down to the ‘Noles 37-19 in a game that saw them constantly battle back from deficits but never got within less than seven points after falling into a 14-0 first-quarter hole.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the outcome of the game,” head coach Rod Carey assured. “We got it to the fourth quarter and I think we had our opportunities at the end with a missed field goal and a missed two-point conversion. We were in a fight, we kept on swinging, but we didn’t land enough punches. You can’t fault our effort.”
NIU quarterback Marcus Childers completed 20 of 41 passes for a season-high 215 yards and he also contributed an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. D.J. Brown finished with seven receptions for a career-best 117 yards, while freshman Cole Tucker made six catches. An opportunistic Northern Illinois defense forced four turnovers, helping the underdogs win the turnover battle four to nothing. Lance Deveaux led the way with 10 tackles and the Huskies recorded nine tackles for loss as a team.
Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan defensive end Maxx Crosby was named Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week his efforts during a 23-20 setback against San Diego State. This marks the third straight week in which an Eagle has earned a MAC weekly honor and the second such award of Crosby’s career. The junior led Eastern Michigan with a career-high eight tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks. It was the fourth multi-sack performance of Crosby’s career. The Colleyville, Tex. native helped the Eagles limit San Diego State to just 100 yards and a field goal in the second half. It marked the third consecutive contest in which Eastern Michigan held an opponent to less than 175 yards in the final 30 minutes. For the season, Crosby ranks second in the MAC and seventh in the nation with 3.5 sacks. His 16.0 career sacks are good for fourth in the program record books and he trails Kevin Howe by 1.5 sacks for third (9.0 away from Avery Brown’s program record).
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles have a question mark at quarterback. Tyler Wiegers led Eastern Michigan to a comeback win at Purdue, but he was pulled in favor of junior Mike Glass during the third offensive series against San Diego State. Glass finished 9-of-16 for 53 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles are:
- 20-7 ATS in their last 27 overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with losing records
- 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games following a loss
The Northern Illinois Huskies are:
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven overall
- 0-4 ATS in their last four road games
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Mid-American Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There were some positives to take away from the loss to Florida State for the Huskies, but they also can’t feel good about the fact that they lost–comfortably, for the most part–despite forcing four turnovers and committing none. For Eastern Michigan, both Wiegers (three touchdowns, one interception) and Glass (five touchdowns, one interception) have been solid under center.
Prediction: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Full-Game Total Pick
If Northern Illinois can once again play mistake-free football, it should be able to put up a fair amount of points. And it may have to, because Easter Michigan’s offense is also fundamentally sound. In two wins the Eagles scored 71 total points and even in two losses they put a total of 48 on the scoreboard. The over is 5-2 in the Huskies’ last seven against the Mid-American Conference. It is also 6-2-1 in the Eagles’ last nine overall, 6-0-1 in their last seven on fieldturf, and 5-0-1 in their last six against the Mid-American Conference. Look for this one go over the total.
Half-Time Side Pick
Eastern Michigan scored 30 of its 51 points in the first half against Monmouth and went for 21 of its 28 points in a loss to Buffalo during the opening 30 minutes. A return home following three road games–including two losses–should benefit the Eagles. In two of their three losses, the Huskies have been shut out in the first half.
Prediction: Eastern Michigan Eagles -1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
Northern Illinois surrendered 20 points in the opening half during its loss to Florida State. Fortunately for the Huskies, Childers is a dual-threat quarterback who has been playing well of late and an opportunistic defense has been putting him in good positions.
Prediction: Over 24