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Eastern Michigan vs. Toledo game preview, odds, what to watch

Echo Sports Editor Blake McQueary gives some insight in a preview of this MACtion showdown between the Eagles and Rockets

The month of November has finally rolled around, and for Mid-American Conference (MAC) fans, it’s the best time of the year. That's right, never fear, because midweek MACtion is here as the Eastern Michigan University football team travels to the Glass Bowl for a date with the University of Toledo. 

Coming off of 10 days of rest, the Eagles look to reset after their demoralizing loss to Western Michigan, 45-21, that stripped away the Michigan MAC title from their realm. As for the Rockets, they enter the week on an eight-game winning streak after a MACtion win last Tuesday over the University at Buffalo, 31-13. 

Since 2000, Toledo has dominated the matchup as they hold a 20-3 record over the past 23 years against the Eagles. 

Here is your full game preview, as well as how to watch and what to watch for:

How to watch 

When: Wednesday, Nov. 8

Where: Toledo, Ohio

Time: 7:30 p.m. 

TV: ESPN2

ESPN Analytics: Toledo 88.2% chance to win 

Keys to success, what to watch 

EMU: The key to success for the Eagles on Wednesday will have to be a defensive effort of limiting the production of Toledo’s offense and getting them off of the field by diminishing their third-down efficiency. This Rockets offense ranks 39th in the country in total yards per game (431.7 yards) while also ranking fourth in the country in rushing yards per game (227.2 yards), but the bread and butter for Toledo comes from third down efficiency as they rank 20th in the country in that category (46.7%). Where it gets scary for Toledo is when they are unable to find success on third downs, causing them to get into close battles. The Rockets went 6-14 on third downs against San Jose State, which ended up being a four-point win, 2-10 on third downs against Northern Illinois University, which ended up being a two-point win, and 4-15 on third downs against Miami University, which ended up being a four-point win. If they limit the amount of snaps this offense takes, and cause them trouble converting on third downs, they can leave the Glass Bowl with a crystal clear win. 

Toledo: For the Rockets on Wednesday, the defense will need to continue to cause this lackluster Eagles offense to struggle. EMU ranks 131st in the nation in total offense as they average 260.7 yards per game, which is second-worst, while Toledo ranks 31st in the country in total defense, averaging 331.6 yards allowed per game. It’s also apparent from EMU’s week-nine game against Western Michigan that junior quarterback Austin Smith is the sole of this offense after making his first appearance in the second quarter with the Broncos and creating the spark that EMU needed. So if Toledo can shut him down, especially limit his mobility, the Rockets will improve to 9-1 on the season.