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NCAA Football Game Preview: Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan – 11/16

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Game: Western Michigan Broncos at Eastern Michigan Eagles  

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET 

Odds: Broncos -5.5, Eagles +5.5 

Total: 66 

Another Tuesday in November; another college football game in the MAC. This Tuesday, it’s a battle for Michigan as Western Michigan travels to Eastern Michigan. Both teams are 6-4 and 3-3 in conference play. Neither can win the West Division and play for the MAC title, but there is the Michigan MAC trophy to play for. The team among Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan which has the best head-to-head record takes home the hardware. 

Tonight’s game will be a battle between two of the MAC’s best quarterbacks. For EMU, it is Ben Bryant who transferred in from Cincinnati. Bryant has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes this season for 2,544 yards and 14 touchdowns. His top target is WR Hassan Beydoun who has 73 receptions, 815 yards, and three touchdowns.  

Bryant’s counterpart is WMU sophomore quarterback Kaleb Eleby. The 6-foot-1-inch Eleby has thrown for 2,470 yards and 15 touchdowns. Unlike EMU, the Broncos offense is built around a strong running game. Western Michigan averages almost 200 yards per game on the ground. Sean Tyler is the team’s leading rusher with 837 yards. La’Darius Jefferson is equally capable and adds another 680 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns.  

Both offenses are outstanding. Eastern Michigan has the top-scoring offense in the MAC and the Eagles average 34 points per game for the season. The Broncos average 30.7 points per game. In their last two victories, WMU scored 45 points against Akron and 64 against Kent State. The potential is there to put up a ton of points. 

Tonight’s game likely comes down to which defense can come up with a stop or two. Neither defense is very good. It’s difficult to win games when your defense gives up four or more touchdowns per game. Both teams do just that. Western Michigan gives up 30 points a game and EMU allows 28.2. The Broncos have allowed 31 or more points in each of their last five games. In three of those five, the Broncos allowed 40 or more. In their first MAC-tion appearance of the season, Eastern Michigan gave up 49 points to Toledo. The Eagles won that game 52-49. 

If last year’s EMU-WMU game is any indication, tonight’s game could be another shootout. The Eagles won last year 53-42. Tonight’s total is 66, which is the highest the Eagles have faced this season. The Over has been a popular trend for both teams. The total has gone Over in three of the last four EMU games and four of the last five WMU games.  

The Broncos have faced one total higher than 66. In their win over Kent State, the total was 68.5. The Broncos won 64-31 with the total going way Over. The Over is also 5-2-1 in the last eight games between Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.