Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-10 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. Toledo Rockets (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Friday, November 20, 2009, Glass Bowl, Toledo, Ohio.
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Eastern Michigan +20/Toledo -20
Eastern Michigan has two chances left to get a win this season. Toledo does not want to be the team to give the Eagles their first win, as the Rockets host Eastern Michigan in a Friday night MAC contest.
Eastern Michigan hasn’t had many chances to win a game this season. The Eagles lost by three points to Northwestern and by two points to Ball State to give Ball State its only win of the season. Those two games were the only times the Eagles lost by less than 12 points this season. In their last three games, three losses to Arkansas, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, the Eagles have been outscored 148-47. They lost each of the last three by at least 21 points and by an average of 33.7 points per game.
The Eagles have gone through three quarterbacks this season, but Alex Gillett started under center in the 35-14 loss to Western Michigan last week. Gillett was 15-for-26 for 186 yards, one passing touchdown and three interceptions. He also ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. The running backs had a total of 73 rushing yards. For the season, Dwayne Priest leads the team in rushing with 597 yards and four touchdowns. Jacory Stone is the team’s leading receiver with 30 receptions for 332 yards and one touchdown.
Toledo is coming off three straight losses, two of which came to undefeated MAC teams Central Michigan and Temple. The other was a 31-24 loss at Miami of Ohio to give the RedHawks their only win of the season. Based on that, it’s possible Toledo could do the same for the Eagles and give them their first win of the season. Five of Toledo’s six losses this season have been by at least 16 points. The margins of those five blowout losses have been 21, 38, 32, 16 and 28. Their six losses have come by an average margin of 23.7 points per game. Their last two wins have come by a combined eight points.
The problem for Toledo has been its defense, not the offense. The Rockets have allowed at least 30 points in all but one of their games this season. They’ve been able to score at least 20 points in all but one of their games this season. Quarterback Aaron Opelt has completed about 60 percent of his passes and has 1,991 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. DaJuane Collins leads the team in rushing with 773 yards, 10 touchdowns and a 5.5 yards-per-carry average. Eric Page and Stephen Williams have both been solid threats at wide receiver. Page has 71 receptions for 986 yards and seven touchdowns, while Williams has 66 receptions for 938 yards and five touchdowns.
Toledo has the 13th worst pass defense in college football, allowing 256.5 yards per game. The Rockets have 10 interceptions and have given up 22 passing touchdowns. Eastern Michigan has the fourth best pass defense in the country, only allowing 156.2 passing yards per game. The Eagles have given up 16 passing touchdowns while picking off nine passes. But part of that impressive pass defense has to do with the success of other teams with the running game against them. They have the second worst run defense in the country with 279.9 rushing yards allowed per game and 31 rushing touchdowns. Toledo is allowing 176.6 rushing yards per game and has given up 29 rushing touchdowns.
Eastern Michigan is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games and four of its last six games have gone over. Toledo is 1-4 ATS in its last five games and the total has gone over in five of its last seven games. The Rockets are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games. Toledo defeated Eastern Michigan last season, 41-17.
Ryno’s Pick: Both of these teams have awful defenses. Sure, Eastern Michigan does a decent job against the pass but Toledo can neutralize that by running the ball. It will be rare to see many tackles and good defensive plays in this game. Despite how poor the Eastern Michigan offense is, the Eagles are likely to score a few touchdowns at the very least. Toledo scores points, so that won’t be a problem, but the Rockets defense will have to step up to avoid giving the Eagles their first win. There will be a lot of turnovers in this game and it’s safe to say it won’t be a defensive battle. Take the over when it comes out.