Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Illinois prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the RedHawks and Panthers.
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Illinois Game Preview
When: Saturday, Sept. 10 – 3:30 ET
Where: Fred C. Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio.
Miami’s 45-21 loss to Iowa might not look all that good on paper, but it has plenty of reason to be optimistic heading into this matchup with Eastern Illinois. The RedHawks went on the road against a team that finished undefeated in the regular season last year and made things a little interesting in the fourth quarter. The offense showed flashes and overall came away with a good building block going into a winnable matchup with an FCS opponent.
Eastern Illinois outgained Western Illinois in its opener, but three costly turnovers contributed to a 38-21 defeat. The Panthers will need to protect the ball better if they want to have any shot at leaving Oxford with an upset victory.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
There were some questions about whether Billy Bahl could be successful after a freshman season when he tossed 13 interceptions and only eight touchdowns. But he looked poised and controlled against Iowa, going 19 of 29 for 266 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t panic having to throw often following a large first-quarter deficit. Bahl could use some help from his running game, which finished with 158 yards against the Hawkeyes. He also fumbled twice.
What to Know About Eastern Illinois
The Panthers can be explosive offensively – when they hold onto the ball. Mitch Kimble threw touchdown passes of 53 and 79 yards and ran for another 19-yard score. He also threw a pick and fumbled twice. Korliss Marshall is a huge threat in the passing game, but none of it will matter if Kimble can’t protect the ball.
Offense: Miami (OH) – If Bahl can do what he did against Iowa, it’s assumed he should have an even better day against EIU if he cuts down on his turnovers.
Defense: Miami (OH) – Neither team was very successful defensively in their openers, but the Panthers allowed a 70-yard touchdown run that put their game out of reach late.
Special Teams: Even – Both teams looked decent in that regard last week.
Coaching: Miami (OH) – Chuck Martin has the RedHawks as one of the dark horse teams in the MAC.
Even – This one could come down to the turnover battle after both squads gave the ball away last week.
Matchup To Watch
Bahl vs. Kimble
The quarterbacks aren’t competing directly against each other, but the outcome likely will come down to how each of them play. Bahl showed what he can do against a quality defense, and Kimble showed a knack for the big play. Can either of them cut down on their turnovers?
Spread: No Line
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Illinois Prediction
Bahl outduels Kimble and the RedHawks pull away after halftime.