All three Directional Michigan schools are back in action this weekend. Highlighted this weekend are some noteworthy road games for both Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Also, Western Michigan finally gets into the MAC swing of things.
Let’s get started.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS
LAST WEEK: L vs. Miami, 31-14
OVERALL: 2-2 (0-1 MAC)
Central Michigan will be coming off a game of missed opportunities last Saturday against Miami.
Statistically, the Chippewas were fairly neck-and-neck with the RedHawks. CMU was shut out entirely in the second half. Arguably the biggest turning point in the game was an interception thrown by quarterback Shane Morris right on the goal line as the Chips were going in. Miami eventually turned that into a field goal to cap off the scoring in that game.
Morris was responsible for both of Central’s touchdowns in the game, one passing and one rushing. He connected with Eric Cooper for the passing TD, one of six receptions for Cooper who led the team in receiving that game.
This Saturday (1 p.m. ET on ACC Network), Central steps back out of conference for a crucial road game against Boston College (1-3). The Eagles have dropped three straight by an average of more than 26 points, but their lone win came against another MAC school in Northern Illinois in Week 1.
Central will need to establish the ground game early. Boston College poses the worst rush defense in the ACC, having allowed at least 150 yards rushing in all four games played this season.
EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES
LAST WEEK: L vs. Ohio, 27-20
OVERALL: 2-1 (0-1 MAC)
Like their Central counterparts, Eastern Michigan will be looking to bounce back from a home conference loss this Saturday.
However, unlike their Central counterparts, Eastern’s loss came in double overtime against Ohio. The Eagles put together a strong against a Bobcats team that could end up being the top team in the MAC this season.
Quarterback Brogan Roback has shown he can really sling it around the field. However, the Eagles’ run game just hasn’t got going yet (irony?). Only Bowling Green has averaged fewer rushing yards per game among MAC teams than EMU so far this season. The defense does deserve some credit early on, giving up the third-fewest among of yards in the league.
So how will Eastern Michigan fare against SEC foe Kentucky (3-1) this Saturday (4 p.m. ET on SEC Network) in Lexington? The Wildcats certainly don’t wanna hear about EMU’s sob story of losing at home after they surrendered a two-score lead to rival Florida in the fourth quarter and missed a game-winning field goal late, nearly capturing the first win over the Gators in 31 years.
Like Central Michigan, EMU will need to find some semblance of ground game if they want to hang around with Kentucky. The Wildcats, prior to their loss to Florida, held their three previous opponents to less than 65 yards rushing.
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
LAST WEEK: W vs. Wagner, 49-14
Western Michigan kicks off #MACtion play this weekend after taking caring of business last weekend at home.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jon Wassink has utilized his arm more in the last two weeks. Against Wagner, Wassink was 11/12 for 163 yards and three touchdowns. He allowed a rushing attack led by Jamauri Bogan and Jarvion Franklin to do the dirty work between the tackles.
Western Michigan now continues their three-game home stretch with the conference opener this Saturday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN3) against Ball State (2-2). This will also be the first league game for the Cardinals, who are coming off a loss at Western Kentucky last Saturday.
The Broncos have won three straight meetings head-to-head against BSU, including the last two by 32 and 47 points, respectively. Watch for the ground game in this one. WMU boasts the best rushing attack in the MAC, but Ball State has done an adequate job stopping the rush. Their 143.8 rushing yards allowed per game is fourth in the conference, and that’s heavily inflated due to a performance against Alabama-Birmingham where they were gashed for 336 yards.