Toledo Rockets Vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles 10/8/11 Mark’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread
The Eastern Michigan Eagles look for a big upset of the Toledo Rockets as both teams settle in to their conference schedules. The Eagles defeated Akron 31-23 in their MAC opener last Saturday while the Rockets crushed Temple 36-13 to start the MAC 1-0.
Eastern Michigan went in to their game against Akron as a rare favorite and didn’t quite look comfortable in that role. The Eagles deserved to be a favorite with a more competitive team thus far although we are not talking about a team that will compete in the MAC. The performance against the Zips says EMU has a long way to go with an offense that still lacks punch. Eastern Michigan totaled just 322 yards but struggled to just 3 of 15 on third down which isn’t surprising for a running team that can’t and doesn’t throw often. The ground game finished with 228 yards and averaged just over four yards per carry with Dominique White leading the way with 164 yards on 28 carries with three trips to the end zone. Quarterback Alex Gillett added 62 yards on 18 tries while throwing a total of nine times with four completions for 94 yards. That’s what is called stretching the field in Eastern Michigan lingo as this team avoids the pass like the plaque. The Eagles defense gave up 302 yards and held Akron to 3 of 15 on third down but avoided the big play which is a good formula when facing Akron.
After facing Ohio State, Boise State and Syracuse in consecutive weeks Toledo went to Temple and dismantled the Owls in front of their fans in an easier than expected contest. The final numbers say it wasn’t a big offensive day for the Rockets with only 305 yards but most of the damage took place in the first 30 minutes with the Rockets holding a 22-13 lead heading in to the break. This was more of an efficient performance than explosive with the rushing attack going for nearly 160 yards for four yards per try. Morgan Williams ran for 121 yards on 20 carries to give Toledo showing some muscle in the trenches where Temple was thought to have an advantage. Quarterback Austin Dantin was nearly perfect through the air completing 12 of 14 for 115 yards and a touchdown in a very controlled effort. More impressive was the performance of the Rockets defense that held Temple to 318 yards and took the Owls bread and butter running game away. That forced the Owls to the air where they are not as efficient or comfortable.
The Rockets are a bit banged up at key spots with QB Terrance Owens nursing a back problem which might mean fewer balls in the air and more running. Eastern Michigan will run all day whether it’s successful or not. Obviously stopping the Eagles on the ground is the objective for Toledo and I see them doing a good enough job to win. The Rockets won’t lose this but I’m counting on EMU to have enough success to shorten this game and keep the score from getting out of hand. Could be wishful thinking but give me the three touchdowns…