The Miami RedHawks football team returns home for an early conference clash with the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium, after opening on the road against Florida. After a solid and unexpected showing against the Gators in week one, Miami looks to get their home and conference records off to a strong start against the Eagles. Eastern Michigan is coming to Oxford off of a tough loss to Army to open their season last weekend.
Miami Will Win If: Miami quarterback Zac Dysert can keep the turnovers to a minimum while the defense stops the Eagle running attack. Miami was plagued by turnovers last week against Florida, in a game that saw Dysert throw four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Dysert should have an easier time against the Eastern Michigan defense, which allowed 31 points to Army last weekend. Dysert’s new targets in the passing game, Armand Robinson, who caught 11 passes for 111 yards against Florida and Chris Givens, who caught 2 for 25 yards should have a big game if they can get some separation from the Eastern Michigan defensive backs. Look for Miami to try and establish the run game as well, as their leading ball carrier last week totaled only 19 yards on 5 carries.
The Miami defense needs to step up to help shut down the Eagles running duo of half back Dwayne Priest and quarterback Alex Gillet. The two ran for a combined 268 yards and three touchdowns against Army in week one. Stopping the running game will make Gillet throw the ball, something that he did only 9 times last week. If Miami can slow down the Eastern Michigan offense, they will give the team a great shot at winning the game.
Prediction: Yager Stadium seats just over 24,000 people. That’s nothing compared to the Big House of Michigan per say, but when it is packed full of fans, it can be a tough environment to play in. The only problem is, it hasn’t reached it’s maximum capacity in over six years. Since 2007, the last year in which Miami made the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, attendance has been decreasing rapidly at the stadium for RedHawk home games. Look for that to change this year, as Miami fans will come out in strong support to give the Eagles a hard time, and to support their RedHawks, who are looking to win just their third conference game since 2007. Eastern Michigan will give Miami a tough game, but the duo of Dysert to Robinson will put the RedHawks on top in a close one. 24-14 Miami over Eastern Michigan.
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Written by Michael Solomon