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at Eastern Michigan 31 … Akron 23

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 1, 2011


Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Akron at Eastern Michigan


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 5 - Akron at Eastern Michigan

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Oct. 1 at Eastern Michigan 31 … Akron 23
CFN Analysis: Eastern Michigan is 3-2? No matter how it happened, no matter what the competition, and no matter how many flaws there are, it’s October and the program has a winning record. Take it. The passing game is a disaster with Alex Gillett not able to generate anything deep down the field, but he’s running well and the ground game is rolling. Dominique White had a big game running for 164 yards and three touchdowns, while Gillett added 62 yards and a score to go along with a 4-of-9, 94-yard passing day. The secondary did a nice job of coming up with stops to get the defense off the field, and it’ll have to be extra tight next week at Toledo.

Just when it seems like Akron is making positive steps forward, the mistakes keep on coming. The Zips are getting horrendous play from both lines, they’re not generating a pass rush, and they’re not doing anything on special teams. The defensive front was shoved around by Eastern Michigan was too easily, and even though Jawon Chisolm ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, and threw an eight-yard scoring pass, the offense didn’t move the chains. Quarterback Clayton Moore had trouble on third down and the offense didn’t do its part to give the D any sort of rest. Even so, Brian Wagner was his typical terrific self with 17 tackles and a forced fumble.

(AP) YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Dominique White ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday, leading Eastern Michigan to a 31-23 victory over Akron.

White scored twice, on runs of 14 and 1 yards, to give the Eagles (3-2, 1-0 Mid-American) a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. Clayton Moore threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Keith Sconiers for the Zips (1-4, 0-2) to cut the deficit in half.

White's third TD run, a 2-yarder, gave Eastern Michigan a 24-10 lead on its first drive of the third quarter. Quarterback Alex Gillett scored the final touchdown for the Eagles, on a 4-yard run with 12:43 left to make it 31-16. Gillett attempted only nine passes, completing four, as the Eagles ran for 228 yards.

Moore also caught a TD pass for Akron, an 8-yarder from running back Jawon Chisholm, in the third quarter. Chisholm ran for 122 yards and a TD.

Akron (1-3) at Eastern Michigan (2-2) Oct. 1, 1:00

Here’s The Deal …Hello Mid-American Conference...After toiling in-between teams that are much better and teams that are much worse, the conference is ready to roll. Such is life as a MAC member. Akron finally got its first win against VMI last week and will be looking to carry momentum forward into conference play, while Eastern Michigan is coming off two straight floggings against Michigan and Penn State. Truth be told, neither team has looked that hot on the offensive side of the ball, so both will probably be happy to know that the beginning of playing teams in their own league could give them an opportunity to get things rolling. The two teams last met in 2009, with Akron squeaking out a 28-21 win. All told, the two have squared off a total of 28 times with Akron holding the 17-11 advantage overall, but with EMU holding the edge at home 8-6. A win in the first game of conference play would do wonders for both teams’ confidence level moving forward.

Why Akron Might Win: Eastern Michigan has been the example of what not to be in a football program the last few years. The reality is that they are still trying to build to something and nobody is expecting them to do much in the MAC this year except improve game to game. So far this year, the Eagles have almost no passing game, and are ranked 109th in the most important offensive stat, scoring.

Though neither team can boast about the expectations of big things this year, Akron at least has a bit more confidence and pedigree than what the Eagles have been having to deal with the last few years. The Zips won’t have as hard of a time stopping EMU as weeks past, and they’ll be able to move the ball more than what they have been able to muster against the likes of Ohio State and Cincinnati. In a battle of fairly even teams, Akron has the slight edge in psyche and and could easily pick this one off on the road.

Why Eastern Michigan Might Win: It’s not like Akron is better than Eastern Michigan. Both teams struggled last year, and all indications are that they are both going to struggle this year. For all of the trouble that EMU has had moving the ball, Akron has been about as bad, only scoring just over 13 points a game. Where the Eagles have a huge advantage is running the ball against the Zips. Yes the offense is not filming a clinic on how to execute, but at least Eastern Michigan has the one dimension and identity of averaging just over 234 yards on the ground.
That’s music to coach Ron English’s ears as Akron has given up decent chunks of real-estate on the ground, ranking 89th nationally against pedestrians, and allowing an alarming amount of over 38 points a game (116th).

There is also the added advantage of this being a home game. As mentioned earlier, EMU has an edge in this series at home, and when two teams appear pretty equal on paper, a home crowd and surroundings can be the difference between winning and losing a tight one. Look for the momentum and emotion of a home crowd to give Eastern Michigan every opportunity to pull this one out.

What To Watch Out For: The outcome of this game is all going to hinge on how well Akron can stop the running attack of Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are traditional in one sense by utilizing the skills of the sophomore QB Javonti Greene, but also get chunks of yardage from 6’1”, 215lb. junior Alex Gillett when things break down. They are not going to get a free seat via air miles, so look for them to stay on the ground and try to control this game all the way to victory.

For Akron, it is going to absolutely need to get a better push at the line to have any chance of slowing down this running game enough. So far this year, the Zips have only managed three total tackles for loss, and are tied for 107th in QB sacks. If the pressure doesn’t improve in this game, it could spell doom and gloom for the Zips.

What Will Happen: This is a toss up on paper. Both teams have struggled to get anything going offensively and haven’t done much to stop anyone on the defensive side of the ball. But at least EMU has an identity. It will hand the ball off on the onset, through halftime, and all the way into the showers. The Eagles won’t exactly move the ball up and down the field consistently, but they’ll be able to do it enough to get some scoring opportunities and wear down the Zips defenders. Akron on the other hand is going to have a hard time getting enough push on the DL line to take control of this game. It will be easier for AU to move the ball against the Eagles than other teams, and there will be some scoring chances, but in the end this low scoring affair will be won by the home team because of its ability to produce a little more offense.

CFN Prediction: Eastern Michigan 21 ... Akron 17
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Eastern Michigan -8.5   O/U: 47.5

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