2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 8 - WMU at EMU
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Oct. 22 at Eastern Michigan 14 … Western Michigan 10
CFN Analysis: An argument could be made that this was the biggest win for EMU in the last 15 years. Now the program has won three of the last four games, it’s in the mix for a winning season, and the five wins shows the program really and truly is turning around. This was a high-powered Western Michigan offense that was all but shut down, while the offense perked up with it had to thanks to Javonti Greene’s 50-yard touchdown dash. Greene set the tone early taking a pass 50 yards for a score, and while the offense was hardly consistent, with most of the production coming from those two plays, the defense picked up the slack with a phenomenal defensive effort. With home games up next against Ball State and Buffalo, and with a layup against Kent State coming, seven wins has to be expected … at least.
Was Western Michigan suffering a hangover from the clunker of a shootout against Northern Illinois? The offense is far too good and far too talented to be this miserable against a mediocre Eastern Michigan defense. Alex Carder couldn’t get anything happening down the field, and Jordan White caught a harmless seven passes for 70 yards. There were plenty of chances to take over the game and put it away, but the offense couldn’t do it. The defense gave up two big plays and did a terrific job the rest of the way, but this was a disaster. All of a sudden, it’s going to take a lot of work and a ton of help to win the West, but there’s still time. There can’t be any slips, though.
(AP) YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Javonti Greene caught a 50-yard pass from Alex Gillett in the first quarter and scored on a 50-yard run midway through the fourth quarter as Eastern Michigan beat Western Michigan 14-10 on Saturday.
Greene was held to 61 yards in 13 carries for the game, but broke loose for the 50-yard run with 7:46 to play, putting the Eagles (5-3, 3-1 Mid-American) ahead 14-10. John Potter had kicked a 37-yard field goal earlier in the final quarter to give the Broncos (4-4, 2-2) a 10-7 lead.
Gillett was 6 for 9 for 144 yards. His pass to Greene -- the duo's only connection of the day -- opened the scoring early in the second quarter.
Tevin Drake's 46-yard run in the opening three minutes of the second half tied the game for the Broncos. Alex Carder completed 24 of 34 passes for 181 yards for Western Michigan.
Western Michigan (4-3) at Eastern Michigan (4-3) Oct. 22, 1:00
Here’s The Deal …There’s lots of story lines in this one, and what a difference a week makes as each team had surprising results--but for much different reasons. Western Michigan got absolutely manhandled by a Northern Illinois squad that had been having all kind of issues leading up to last week, and Eastern Michigan had a thrilling win over what many considered to be a better Central Michigan team.
As a result, both teams come in at 2-1 in the MAC West, and still alive in this division elimination game of sorts. To add to the intrigue, its a winner take all MAC Michigan cup contest with the winner clinching bragging rights of the three Michigan MAC schools until next year. Not to be outdone, it is also homecoming week for the Eagles.
Not surprisingly, this will be the 47th meeting between the two schools, with the Broncos holding a 29-15-2 edge overall, and with three straight wins in the series. The last win by EMU was a strange 19-2 victory at home in 2007, and it’ll be looking to continue the positive vibes as a result of a turnaround season. WMU is simply looking to wipe the bad taste out of its mouth from last week.
Why Western Michigan Might Win: This one is a total mismatch when looking at strength vs. weakness. The Broncos have a dynamic passing game with Alex Carder being the trigger man for an offense that is averaging almost 300 yards a game. They’ll look to pass at every opportunity they can, and then catch Eastern Michigan off guard with the ground game mixed in just enough. Though the run will be a bit of an after though, WMU may not need it to control the game.
That’s because Eastern Michigan has one of the worst pass defense in the country as far as efficiency goes (which is what really matters). There are mismatches all over the field when WMU will drop back to pass, and it could get ugly for an Eagles team that ranks just 108th against it. EMU will try its best to stop the high-octane aerial assault that is coming to town, it just doesn’t have the personnel to get it done.
Why Eastern Michigan Might Win: Did the strength vs. weakness card already get played? It pertains here as well because the Eagles have the total opposite offensive philosophy. They are going to run the ball, run the ball some more, and when there is nothing else to do, you’ll see the run again. And just like Western Michigan’s offense, EMU will be using its strength against the Broncos weakness. By committee, it will be the the 15th nationally ranked rushing offense butting helmets against the 112th ranked (221 ypg) rush defense of WMU. That should be enough of a mismatch to saddle up the running game and control the clock.
Other variables that will help Eastern Michigan is the steady improvement and growing confidence of a team starting to buy in to what Ron English is selling. He keeps preaching for his team to trust the process and stay the course. Now there are tangible wins to get people excited--players included. Four wins may not be much for the outside on-lookers, but for the Eagles, it already doubles the entire win total of last year. Confidence, hunger, and the fact that the game is at home will undoubtedly play into the outcome.
What To Watch Out For: If opposites really do attract, then this game is going to be really fun to keep an eye on. It’ll be the run first, pass only when needed style of Eastern Michigan versus the
bomb it all over the football field and run just to want to appear balanced style of Western Michigan. Which style of play wins out will dictate who comes away as the victor.
Where the biggest mismatch may be however, is in the golden arm of Alex Carder and the play-making ability of Jordan White on the receiving end for the Broncos. White, a 6’0”, 200lb. senior WR leads the nation in catches per game at 11.17 per game, and is third in total yards by a receiver (133.83 ypg). Carder will be looking for him early and often, and it could prove to be the difference.
What Will Happen: Eastern Michigan has the program on the right track, but there is still some more progress to be made before it can expect to go toe to toe with Western Michigan. The WMU attack is just too potent, and the personnel on the Eagles’ sideline needs more seasoning and at least a couple of more of Ron English’s recruiting classes before they’re ready to really make some noise.
Of course EMU will come out trying to establish the run while WMU uses the skills of Alex Carder and Jordan White to move the ball through the air. Eastern Michigan will move the ball, but it has no passing game to keep the Broncos from selling out against the run and stopping a one dimensional attack. The Eagles also won’t be able to stop the bleeding on defense when WMU takes to the air. They’ll fall behind, and they’re just not built to make any kind of sustainable comeback.
CFN Prediction: Western Michigan 48 … Eastern Michigan 17
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