The stakes are high some would say for this Mid-American Conference (MAC) I-94 battle between Eastern Michigan University and Western Michigan University as the Michigan MAC title is on the line. If EMU can pull out a win, it’s one step closer to retaining the title they won last year for the first time since 2012, but with a WMU win, a new champion will be crowned.
Both teams enter the week fresh off of heartbreaking losses and are looking to get the train back on the tracks as the Eagles fell in the final minute last Saturday to Northern Illinois, 20-13, meanwhile Western Michigan suffered a defeat to a very talented Ohio squad, 20-17.
Through 58 total meetings by the two, the Broncos lead the all-time series 34-22 with two ties, but the story has been a little different in recent years as the Eagles have won the last four meetings all by 10 or more points.
Here is your full game preview, as well as how to watch and what to watch for:
How to watch
When: Saturday, Oct. 28
Where: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Time: 1:00 p.m.
EMU vs. Western Michigan odds
Spread: WMU -2.5
Over/Under: 48 points
Moneyline: WMU -137
ESPN Analytics: EMU 53.8% chance to win
Keys to success, what to watch
EMU: This is a must-win game for the Eagles if they want to keep their MAC west hopes alive, and to do so they will need to return the favor from the defense and convert on third downs while running an up-tempo offense. If you’ve watched this team, it’s no secret that the offense has been poor as they average a total of 18.3 points per game with 110.5 rushing and 143.1 passing yards per game. Now if you’ve really paid attention it’s also known that this offense gets rolling in an up-tempo style which will be an important tactic against a Broncos defense that allows 34.3 points and 405.0 yards per game. The Eagles defense is no worry, but it’s the offense that must capitalize on things for this team to stay in front.
WMU: Offense, offense, offense; you can’t say it enough. That’s the key for WMU on Saturday and to add to that, if the Broncos can find a way to score in the red zone it could potentially be a field day for them. WMU averages 23.9 points per game and 375.6 yards per game and it’s expected that running back Jalen Buckley could have an explosive game against an EMU defense that struggles to contain the run. An important factor to also watch out for is mistakes as the Broncos are really good at avoiding those, while the Eagles take pride in creating them.
With a matchup this even, it could really just come down to talent, which might be spooky on this Halloween weekend for Western Michigan.