Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Free Pick 9/14/13
Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-1) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1)
NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm (High Point Solutions Stadium)
The Line: Rutgers Scarlet Knights -29 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The 1-1 Eastern Michigan Eagles head east for a showdown with the 1-1 Rutgers Scarlet Knights from High Point Solutions Stadium Saturday at 1 PM.
Eastern Michigan sits at 1-1 on the season after getting dismantled on the road at Penn State this past weekend 45-7. The Eagles struggled to get past a putrid Howard team the week before and had no shot from the kick in this one despite an early TD. After Hunter Matt recovered a fumble and housed it to make it 7-0 EMU, the Nittany Lions turned on the jets and ran away with it. Eastern Michigan was outgainted 574 to 183 on the day and saw five different rushers fail to pass 40 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tyler Benz threw for 115 yards and was on his back most of the day via the Penn State rush. The Eagles will need to put together a better game plan if they want to avoid a similar result in New Brunswick this weekend.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Rutgers bounced back from their heartbreaking 52-51 defeat at Fresno State in week 1 with a dominant 38-0 win over 1-AA Norfolk State. As expected, the Scarlet Knights were never tested in this one as they jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. Gary Nova was pedestrian against an inferior Norfolk State secondary, finishing with 150 yards, a TD and a pick on 12-21 throwing. Savon Huggins and Paul James dominated the smaller Norfolk State d-line and combined for over 200 yards rushing and a TD. Rutgers forced two turnovers on the day and likely could have won by more points but were constantly undone by penalties. Rutgers tallied 11 total on the day for 90 yards -- the Scarlet Knights will likely focus heavily on cutting back on this in the coming weeks.
Some trends to consider -- EMU is 8-17 against the spread in their last 25 September games and Rutgers is 3-1-1 against the spread in their last 5 games against the MAC.
While I usually like to stay away from spreads over 25 points, I think the Scarlet Knights are a strong play here. The Eagles showed that they are extremely vulnerable all over their defensive unit last weekend and I expect Rutgers to exploit them on the ground and through the air. Look for a bigger day from wideout Brandon Coleman this week and another stout defensive showing by the Rutgers defense as they run away with the cover in this one.