FACTS & STATS: Site: InfoCision Stadium (30,000) — Akron, Ohio. Television:
ESPN3.com. Home Record: Eastern Michigan 1-0, Akron 1-1. Away Record: Eastern
Michigan 0-3, Akron 1-1. Neutral Record: Eastern Michigan 0-0, Akron 0-0.
Conference Record: Eastern Michigan 0-0, Akron 0-0. Series Record: Akron
GAME NOTES: The Eastern Michigan Eagles were in much need of a bye week
following the team’s Sept. 20 rout at the hands of Michigan State. Now rested
and ready to take the field, they’ll travel to face the Akron Zips in the Mid-
American Conference opener for both squads at InfoCision Stadium.
Eastern Michigan had a rough experience in non-conference play. Following a
three-point win over FCS program Morgan State, the Eagles were heavily dropped
at Florida (65-0), Old Dominion (17-3) and Michigan State (73-14) in
consecutive contests. They are coming off an open week and will open
conference play this weekend with their fourth straight road contest.
Prior to last weekend’s game against Pittsburgh, it appeared the Zips were in
for a rough three-game stretch. They were downed by Penn State and Marshall in
consecutive games, and had a road test against the ACC Panthers. But Akron
came away with a huge 21-10 win, evening the team’s record at 2-2.
Akron and Eastern Michigan have been playing each other in a series that dates
all the way back to 1949. The Zips hold the advantage in the all-time series,
17-12, but last played the Eagles in a 2011, a 31-23 loss.
The bye week for Eastern Michigan was perfect timing. After three straight
losses, including two blowouts to exceptional football programs, the Eagles
needed some time off, especially after registering only five first downs in
the loss to the Spartans. In four games, the EMU offense has only scored 48
combined points (12 ppg average), and is responsible for just 216.5 total ypg.
That’s not out of the ordinary for a team playing such a difficult non-
Rob Bolden was the only player under center in EMU’s loss to Michigan State.
He completed 10 passes for 115 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The
Eagles have been inconsistent at the quarterback position, employing at least
three players who have all attempted more than 20 passes (two have attempted
41 passes). In four contests, the Eagles are averaging just 82.8 passing ypg.
The running game has been promising from time to time, and is averaging 133.8
rushing ypg with three scores on the ground. Bronson Hill is the main weapon
in the run game, gaining 199 yards on 47 carries. Ryan Brumfield has two
rushing touchdowns, and Darius Jackson has punched in one score. Tyreese
Russell has caught a team-best 13 passes in the receiving game for 109 yards
and a touchdown.
As one can expect, it’s been hard to gauge exactly how good the Eastern
Michigan defense is with all these tough non-conference games. The defense
hasn’t been good enough to limit Florida or Michigan State, but it did slow
down Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Henicke. In four games, the team has
allowed 45.8 ppg and 499.3 total offensive ypg.
Linebacker Great Ibe has a team-high 43 tackles so far, helping to pressure
the opposing quarterbacks and limit the run game. Defensive lineman Pat
O’Connor has 22 tackles with a team-high six for loss and 3.5 sacks. If he can
get to Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl and disrupt the Zips’ backfield, the Eagles
will have much easier time on the road.
Akron traveled to Pittsburgh last weekend as a clear-cut underdog. But afterredi