Ohio vs. Eastern Michigan prediction and game preview. The Bobcats try to improve to 3-0 in MAC play when the Bobcats host the Eagles.
Ohio vs. Eastern Michigan Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 2 p.m. ET
Where: Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio.
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
An argument could be made that if Ohio was more efficient finishing drives with touchdowns rather than settling for field goals, Western Michigan wouldn’t be only ranked MAC team. The 4-2 Bobcats squandered opportunities in a 56-54, three-overtime loss to Texas State in the opener and a 28-19 loss at Tennessee as Louis Zervos kicked four field goals in each. They’ve been better during their three-game winning streak, though, and held off Bowling Green, 30-24, last week.
Eastern Michigan had a three-game winning streak of its own going, but its worst offensive performance of the season resulted in last week’s 35-20 loss to Toledo. The Eagles have lost the last six meetings with Ohio, and quarterback Brogan Roback might need a big game to help end that streak.
What to Know About Ohio
Greg Windham had a solid game under center for the Bobcats last week, completing 20-of-27 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown while adding 43 and a score on the ground. Getting the ball into the end zone helped improve Ohio’s red-zone touchdown percentage, which still ranks ninth in the MAC at 50 percent. Its 11 red-zone field goals are tied for the most in the nation.
The defense is doing its job of getting the ball back to the offense, too. The Bobcats have forced four turnovers in each of their last two games, and their 16 takeaways rank third in the nation. They’re allowing an average of 5.16 yards per play, which is good for third in the MAC.
What to Know About Eastern Michigan
Starter Todd Porter suffered a shoulder injury against Bowling Green on Oct. 1, and Roback, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for a violation of team rules, came on and threw three touchdown passes in a victory. Roback was the returning starter and might keep the job even if Porter is healthy. The redshirt junior finished 20-of-38 for 255 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Protecting the ball against the Ohio defense will be key for the Eagles to keep their own unit off the field. EMU allowed over 900 combined yards to Bowling Green and Toledo, and it is tied for seventh in the MAC in scoring defense allowing an average of 29.7 points per game.
Offense: Even – Ohio averages less than a yard more per game than Eastern Michigan as they sit fifth and six, respectively, in the conference in total offense.
Defense: Ohio – That ball-hawking defense could be the different in this one.
Special Teams: Ohio – Zervos’ 15 field goals are the second-most in the country.
Coaching: Even – Ohio’s Frank Solich and EMU’s Chris Creighton have a combined 38 years of coaching experience and have their teams at 4-2 this seaosn.
Intangibles: Ohio – Bobcats have a six-game winning streak in the series, though they haven’t faced the Eagles since 2013.
Matchup To Watch
Brogan Roback vs. Ohio’s defense
Roback will need to make solid decisions when facing this Ohio secondary. The Bobcats’ nine interceptions are tied for eighth in the country. Kylan Nelson and Javon Hagan have two apiece.
Spread: Ohio -7
Ohio vs. Eastern Michigan Prediction
The Bobcats force four Eastern Michigan turnovers, Windham accounts for 35o total yards and Ohio pulls out the victory and covers the spread with points to spare.
Ohio vs. Eastern Michigan final score prediction: Ohio 38, Eastern Michigan 21