Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ohio Bobcats
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Peden Stadium – Athens, Ohio
Opening Line: Ohio -15 1/2
Current Line: Ohio -16
Opening Total: 56
Current Total: 57
Opening Money Line: Ohio -650 / EMU +525
Current Money Line: Ohio -650 / EMU +525
The Ohio Bobcats and Eastern Michigan Eagles meet for the 29th time Thursday night in MAC action at Athens, Ohio. Ohio leads the series 16-11-1. The Bobcats have won 7 of the last 8 games in the series, including the last 4. Ohio won the last meeting 30-17 in 2010 in Ypsilanti.
Eastern Michigan is 1-7 this season and 0-4 in the Mid-American Conference under coach Ron English. The Eagles are in last place in the MAC West division. The only win for the Eagles came two weeks ago at home against Army 48-38. Eastern Michigan has road losses to Ball St 37-26, Purdue 54-16, Michigan St 23-7, and last week at Bowling Green 24-3. The Eagles also have home losses to Illinois St 31-14, Kent St 41-14, and Toledo 52-47. EMU is 3-5 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season. The Eagles were 14 point underdogs in the Bowling Green game and the total was 52.
Eastern Michigan is averaging 336.1 yards per game on offense, including 186.1 passing and 150 rushing yards. The Eagles are #103 in both total and passing offense out of 124 teams. They are #78 in rushing yards. Eastern Michigan is being outscored 38-22 this season. (#98 scoring, #114 points allowed) The Eagles are -6 in turnovers with 17 giveaways. EMU averages 55 penalty yards a game and has allowed 13 sacks. The Eagles are 31/112 on third and fourth down conversions and 14/16 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns. On defense, the Eagles are allowing 490.9 yards per game, including a top 20 pass defense allowing just 188.5 yards per game. Unfortunately, the rush defense is dead last nationally allowing 302.4 rushing yards per game. Eastern Michigan is #116 in total defense. The Eagles have forced 6 sacks and 11 turnovers. EMU opponents are 57/125 on third and fourth down conversions and 26/33 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns.
Eastern Michigan quarterback Tyler Benz has completed 75 of 139 passes (54%) for 1,092 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 33 carries, 40 yards and a rushing touchdown. He has been sacked 9 times. Benz missed the first two games of the season. Back-up Alex Gillett started those two games, but hasn’t thrown a pass in the last 5 games. He has been used as a rusher since then. Gillett has thrown for 397 yards with 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Gillett is the second leading rusher for the Eagles with 38 carries, 178 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Running back Bronson Hill has 74 carries, 605 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 7 catches, 148 yards and a touchdown. Javonti Green has 38 carries for 159 yards, along with 9 catches, 114 yards and a receiving touchd0wn. Dominique Sherrer has 49 carries for 147 yards. Ryan Brumfield has 28 carries for 84 yards, along with a receiving touchdown in his only catch. Receiver Garrett Hoskins has 31 catches, 472 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Dustin Creel has 12 catches, for 196 yards. Demarius Reed has 18 catches, 171 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with an 83 yard punt return. Donald Scott has 11 catches, 164 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Ohio is 7-1 this season and 3-1 in the MAC East under coach Frank Solich. The Bobcats suffered their first loss of the season last week at Miami-(OH) 23-20. The loss dropped them into a tie with Miami for third behind 4-0 Kent State and 4-1 Bowling Green in the division. Ohio has road wins over Penn St 24-14, Marshall 27-24, and Massachusetts 37-34, along with home wins against New Mexico St 51-24, Norfolk St 44-10, Buffalo 38-31, and Akron 34-28. Buffalo, Akron, UMass, and Eastern Michigan have a combined 3 wins overall and none in the MAC. The Bobcats are 3-5 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season. Ohio has failed to cover in their last 4 games, including against Miami when they were 6.5 road favorites and the total was 59.5.
Ohio is averaging 450.1 yards per game on offense, including 239.8 passing yards and 210.4 rushing yards. Ohio is #24 rushing nationally. The Bobcats are outscoring teams 34-24 this season. Ohio is +15 in turnovers with only 4 turnovers. The Bobcats are averaging 56 penalty yards and have allowed 11 sacks. Ohio is 63/141 on third and fourth down conversions and 32/39 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns. On defense, the Bobcats are allowing 397.8 yards per game, including 266 passing yards and 131.8 rushing yards. The Bobcats have forced 19 turnovers and 16 sacks this season. Ohio opponents are 73/152 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/24 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns.
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton has completed 131 of 217 passes (60.4%) for 1,645 yards with 12 touchdowns and an interception, along with 63 carries, 175 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Beau Blankenship has 214 carries, 1,025 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 12 catches, 141 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Boykin has 46 carries, 288 yards and 3 touchdowns. Daz’mond Patterson has only 118 combined rushing and receiving yards but he does have a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Receiver Donte Foster has 31 catches, 323 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bakari Bussey has 23 catches, 226 yards and no touchdowns. Landon Smith has 7 catches, 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. Troy Hill has 14 catches, 169 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not counting Blankenship, 5 other Bobcats have at least 8 catches. Ten Bobcats are listed at questionable or out for Thursday’s game including 3 receivers and 4 defensive players.
Eastern Michigan is 5-2 ATS after failing to cover, 9-4 after a straight up win, 1-4 in Thursday games, 1-5 after rushing for less than 100 yards, and 1-6 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.
Ohio is 4-1 ATS after passing for more than 280 yards, 7-2 in Thursday games, 9-3 in November games, 3-7 after failing to cover, 2-5 after allowing more than 280 passing yards,0-6 against teams with losing records, 0-5 at home against teams with losing road records, 0-4 in conference games, overall, and on fieldturf. The favorite is 6-1-1 ATS in this series recently, and the home team is 4-1-1. The Bobcats are 7-1-1 ATS versus the Eagles in teh last nine, including 4-0 in Athens.
Blankenship and the Ohio running game are salivating at the prospect of facing Eastern Michigan’s bottom ranked rush defense. There is no question Ohio is the better team here, but the Bobcats’ last 4 games have all been decided by 7 points or less. As mentioned other than Miami, those games have been against the MAC bottom feeders. Ohio has shown a tendency to let inferior teams hang around. I could see that happening with one win Eastern Michigan with the Eagles scoring late to get inside the 16 point number.
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