Eastern Michigan and Miami are winless in MAC play and occupy the cellar of their respective divisions. Each team has one win, albeit the RedHawks victory was against FCS-level Presbyterian way back in Week One. Eastern Michigan picked up its win – on the road, no less – against Wyoming in Week Two. Suffice it to say both teams could use a another win. They actually play each other Nov. 7 in Oxford, so somebody will be getting at least one more.
Facing the Eagles and RedHawks Thursday are two teams coming off wins. Eastern hosts Western Michigan as part of the MAC Michigan Trophy series. Miami, which dropped a 35-13 decision to the Broncos in Kalamazoo Saturday, will host Buffalo. The Bulls belted Ohio, 41-17, over the weekend.
Here’s more on Thursday’s matchups.
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Thursday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Yager Stadium; Oxford, OH
Miami RedHawks (1-7, 0-4 MAC)
- True freshman Billy Bahl is at the quarterback helm. Although he struggled with interceptions earlier, he completed 13 of 26 for 200 yards with no interceptions last week against Western Michigan. He only turnover came with a fumble when he was hit by a blindside blitz while throwing.
-- WR Sam Martin was a key target Saturday, hauling in six catches for 134 yards.
- LB Paul Moses led the defense with a game-high 12 tackles. LB Kent Kern is a key component in the defense. He owns a team high 66 tackles, including 10 TFL (2nd MAC).
-- The RedHawks are last in scoring offense, registering 14.4 ppg. They will be going against a Buffalo defense that is fifth in scoring defense, allowing 25.1 ppg.
-- Miami is 11th in scoring defense, allowing 36.5 ppg. Buffalo is fifth in scoring offense (28.0 ppg).
-- The RedHawks are 11th in pass offense (206.5 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (116.8 ypg).
-- The RedHawks had just one turnover (albeit costly) last week, but there were several fumbles that fortuitously ended up back in Miami hands. Interceptions, especially during Bahl’s first few games at the helm, helped put the RedHawks last in turnover marcing (-12) (-1.50 per game).
-- The RedHawks have been inconsistent on defense, but they played relatively well against Western Michigan’s explosive run game last week after struggling the previous week against Northern Illinois. Pass defense has been an issue in a number of games, and MU is 12th in pass defense efficiency.
Buffalo Bulls (3-4, 1-2 MAC)
-- The Bulls ended a three-game losing streak Saturday by blasting Ohio 41-14 at UB Stadium. Buffalo's defense, which ranks fifth in scoring (25.1) and eighth in total defense (413.6 ypg), forced four turnovers (all interceptions). UB defenders took two interceptions to the house. The Bulls held Ohio to just 54 yards rushing.
-- Junior RB Jordan Johnson responded to his first start with 147 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries against Ohio.
-- Quarterback Joe Licata completed 21 of 32 passes for 212 yards. Marcus McGill recorded eight catches for 81 yards to lead receivers.
-- The Bulls have won five of the last seven meetings with Miami, including two of the last three at Yager Stadium. Anthone Taylor rushed for 222 yards as Buffalo came from behind to defeat Miami 25-27 last year.
-- Brandon Berry has registered 65 tackles of the last six games, including double digit tackles in five straight contests.
-- The Bulls have scored six defensive TDs in the last five games.
-- Senior linebacker Okezie Alozie was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Ohio. He recorded two interceptions, returning one for a TD and setting up a field goal with the other.
WESTERN MICHIGAN AT EASTERN MICHIGAN
Thursday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, Mich
CBS Sports Network
Western Michigan (4-3, 3-0 MAC)
-- The Broncos are seeking their first win in Ypsilanti since 2005.
-- WMU had given up just five sacks prior to last week when Miami registered four.
-- The Broncos thrived on their running game two weeks ago against Ohio and turned to the pass game in last Saturday's 35-13 victory over Miami. QB Zach Terrell completed 25 of 32 passes (including his first 14 throws) for 278 yards and three touchdowns.
-- Wide receivers Daniel Braverman and Corey Davis each had over 100 yards receiving. Braverman finished with 135 yards on 13 catches. Davis owned seven catches for 113 yards. The duo is second nationally in receptions.
Linebacker Robert Spillane led WMU with nine tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks against MU. One one three-and-out, he made all three tackles - two for losses.
-- The Broncos rushed for 401 yards in the second half against Ohio two outings ago. LeVante Bellamy (149) and Jamauri Bogan (135) were both over 100 yards, while Jarvion Franklin neared the century mark with 95 yards.
-- QB Zach Terrell is ranked third in pass efficiency. Braverman is second among MAC receivers in receptions (10.7 rpg). Davis is sixth (6.0 rpg).
EASTERN MICHIGAN (1-7, 0-4 MAC)
-- Eastern dropped a 41-17 decision to Northern Illinois last Saturday. Jackson had 101 on 24 rushes for the Eagles. QB Brogan Roback completed 26 of 43 passes for 219 yards. The Eagles, meanwhile, defense had three sacks.
-- Senior RB Darius Jckson ranks second in the MAC in rushing (799 yards, 99.8 ypg). That leaves him 19th nationally. His 78 total points place him second in the MAC and 25th in the nation.
-- The Eagles are on pace to finish third all time (program) in yards and scores.
-- EMU's red zone offense has been efficient, with the eagles scoring on 88 percent of thier chances. That is third in the MAC and 33rd nationally.
-- Senior linebacker Great Ibe leads the MAC in total tackles (80), despite missing one game due to injury. He also ranks four nationally.
-- Senior kicker Dylan Mulder is second in program history in PATs (93), fifth in field goals (32) and fourth in career points (189).
-- EMU fell to Western Michigan 51-7 in Kalamazoo last season. The Eagles, however, have won three of the past four meetings.