Waldo Stadium -- Kalamazoo, Mich.
Emotions spanned from agony to ecstasy over the outcomes of Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan games last Saturday.
For EMU, it was agony after falling at home to Northern Illinois 26-23 in three overtimes. For Western, it was ecstasy after watching a 50-yard Miami field goal sail just wide in the final seconds, leaving the Broncos with a 40-39 dramatic road victory.
Given that Western and Eastern rank 1-2, respectively, in passing offense, Saturday's match-up could be a wild one. However, EMU’s offense must rebound from its struggles last week -- especially in the ground game.
The Broncos are now averaging 37.4 ppg (3rd MAC), while EMU is sixth at 28.4 ppg.
The Eagles, however, have a statistical edge in defense, allowing 24.0 ppg, (2nd MAC) to Western Michigan's 31.6 ppg.
EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES (2-3, 0-1 MAC)
---- The Eagles are actually just a few plays from being 5-0. They opened with two straight wins, the second of which knocked off Purdue. After a seven-point MAC loss at Buffalo, Eastern has dropped two straight in overtime. The first was at San Diego State (23-20), while the last outing was a 26-23 home loss to Northern Illinois in three overtimes.
---- Last week’s matchup pitted the Eagles against a very strong defensive team, and EMU struggled at times.
After running off 10 quick points against NIU, the Eagles had trouble moving or scoring. Despite three overtimes, EMU finished with 62 yards rushing and 180 more through the air. The Huskies held Eastern without a first down on nine straight drives at one point.
---- Eastern was plus-2 in turnover margin against Northern.
---- The Eagles are fourth in pass efficiency, one spot behind Western Michigan.
---- Kyle Rachwal is fifth among MAC defenders with 9.4 tackles per game (9.4 per game). Maxx Crosby has registered 6.0 tfl.
---- Quarterback Tyler Wiegers has completed 64 percent of his passes (71/111), good for 877 yards with fourTDs and one interception. However, he has been sacked 11 times.
---- Wiegers connected on just 17 of 40 (42.5%) with one TD last week against Northern Illinois.
---- Junior Mike Glass has completed 31 of 53 (58.5%) this season. He has five TDs and has been intercepted once. Opponents have sacked him five times. His three rushing touchdowns is tops on the team.
---- Eastern Michigan has surrendered 16 sacks (10th MAC).
---- Blake Banham leads the Eagles in receptions (26) and receiving yards (387 yards). Arthur Jackson III is next with 304 yards (17 catches). Mathew Sexton and Line Latu have combined for 26 catches, 455 yards and four touchdowns.
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS (3-2, 1-0 MAC)
---- After opening with losses to Syracuse and #21 Michigan, the Broncos have won three straight. Western’s least amount of points during its current winning streak was 34 against Georgia State.
---- WMU trailed Miami 27-14 and 33-21 before scoring three of the the game’s last four touchdowns.
---- Quarterback Jon Wassink enjoyed a career day, completing 27 of 42 for 439 yards and five TDs against Miami. He is currently the MAC’s passing leader with an average of 284.6 yards per game. He ranks sixth in passing efficiency.
--- Four of Wassink’s TD passing against Miami went to freshman jayden Reed, who now leads the conference with seven touchdowns. Junior D’Wayne Eskridge, who missed time with an injury, came back to catch seven balls for 141 yards against the RedHawks. He is averaging 23.6 yards per catch.
---- Wassink (collarbone) and safety Davontae Ginwright (knee) both went down with season-ending injuries in last year’s WMU-EMU tilt (Game 8).
At the time of his injury, Wassink led the MAC in completion percentage (.642) and ranked second for pass efficiency (145.4) - those numbers also stacked up nationally, ranking 27th for completion percentage and 33rd for pass efficiency, while coming in at 29th in points responsible for.
---- Redshirt senior running back Jamauri Bogan ranks seventh in school history with 2,803 yards and third with 30 career rushing touchdowns. In 2015, Bogan made his way into the record book, splitting carries with Jarvion Franklin and racked up over 1,000 yards and 16 TDs himself. He was named MAC Freshman of the Year.