Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Eagle Preview

I don't really know how good EMU is--you generally don't go wrong by saying they aren't very good. They just usually aren't. The only argument is over degree--how not very good are they? The answer appears to be...kind of not very good, but not really not very good. Let's look at the season.

9/1/2007 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. L 3-27

9/8/2007 * Ball State Rynearson Stadium L 16-38

9/15/2007 * Northern Illinois DeKalb, Ill. W 21-19

9/22/2007 Howard Rynearson Stadium W 38-15

9/29/2007 Vanderbilt Nashville, Tenn. L 7-30

10/6/2007 Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. L 22-33

10/13/2007 * Ohio Athens, Ohio L 42-48

10/19/2007 Northwestern Ford Field - Detroit L 14-26

10/27/2007 * Western Michigan Rynearson Stadium W 19-2

11/3/2007 * Toledo Toledo, Ohio L 28-52

You've got a road loss to a BCS team--Pitt--but the Panthers are terrible this year, so a good MAC team might have been able to compete with them. Then, they lose to a decent Ball State team. They then beat an awful NIU team and I-AA Howard. So far, no real evidence, but at least they are capable of winning a game.

Next, they head on the road and lose to an OK Vanderbilt team and put a scare into UM at the Big House. They lost a shootout to OU on the road, and then lost to Northwestern on a neutral field. In their biggest win of the season, they look out a disappointing WMU team in Ypsi. Finally, they lost big to UT.

What does this tell us? This team was good enough to win two conference games, which is not normal, and actually has no bad losses on its track record. They are pretty much won what you might expect and lost what you might expect. But, as I think about it, any wins at all might be more than you expect.

Let's head deeper into the numbers.

QB Situation--EMU has two QBs, R-so Andy Schmitt and t-Fr Kyle McMahon. McMahon actually got the start against UT, but Schmitt finished the game. By all account, Schmitt appears to be the better QB--and a pretty good one. McMahon may be the better runner, and if so, I would expect him to get snaps Friday.

EMU has an average TB, Pierre Walker, who is in that Ontario Sneed-Garrett Wolfe-Eugene Jarvis little squirt running all over on us mode. He had a big game against UT and will probably get his yards against us, but he's only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. He's not a terror. We have to tackle average players.

I looked at how the Eagles stack up in the MAC stats.

  • They are 2nd to last in pass offense. Given their poor TB play, this team has trouble scoring, except against UT. They are 11th in total offense.
  • A +5 TO ratio has helped them to the success they have had.
  • They are 7th in total defense
  • They are 3-6 on onside kicks!!! WTF. Who's tried 6 onside kicks so far.
  • Their net punting game is #2 in the country.
  • They have the worst 3rd down defense in the MAC
  • Their kicker is pretty good and his hit from 50 yards.

Mostly, in the middle of the pack in almost all MAC stats--somewhere in the 5-8 range. They are, therefore, an average MAC team that is partly riding a good turnover wave to some decent records. This is on the road, and you never look past anyone, but we should win this game.

Another note--this game doesn't actually count except for being bowl eligible.

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