The Toledo Rockets and Eastern Michigan Eagles clash at Rynearson Stadium. The school calls it Rynearson Stadium The Factory, but I’m not so sure that’s caught on much. It was in 2014 that Eastern Michigan went through a rebranding of sorts and painted their field gray. Nothing else was working for recruiting, so why not, right? I don’t know if the gray field helped ala Boise State.
They of course went with a blue field, which was all the rage at the time, and the Broncos quickly developed into a contender shortly after. In any case, Eastern Michigan has been a respectable football program since going to the Bahamas Bowl in 2016. That ended a bowl drought that dated back to 1987.
The Eagles are still searching for their first bowl win since 1987. Ron Adams was the quarterback for Eastern Michigan, but it wasn’t until Charlie Batch came into the picture that the Eagles produced an NFL quarterback. He’s the best quarterback to come through Eastern Michigan, though the teams he played on weren’t any good either. It took two decades for the Eagles to get their program back on track.
Eastern Michigan has a competitive team on the field in 2020. I don’t have them as a MAC Championship contender just yet, but wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case in a couple of years. They continue to recruit well and attract recruits that would have otherwise gone elsewhere in the past. The Eagles go into Wednesday night with a record of 0-2.
There was no shame losing 27-23 to Kent State in the opener, and they were close against another solid team the following week. Ball State scored a late touchdown after coughing up the lead to take a 38-31 win. It was another close and frustrating loss for Eastern Michigan. They hang around in a lot of games, but always struggle to close out. The Eagles have another tough matchup tonight with the Rockets in Ypsilanti.
Toledo is a 1-1 team after coming off a shocking loss against Western Michigan. With a game which they perceived as in the bag, Toledo blew a 38-28 lead with around 3 minutes remaining. The win was capped off for Western Michigan thanks to an onside kick attempt. It was successful, and Toledo was left reeling after a 41-38 loss. That was a hard push for me, but I understand that people had Toledo at +2.5 as well, so that’s a tough beat. Head below for our free Toledo vs. Eastern Michigan pick for November 18, 2020.
Toledo Rockets vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles MAC Football Betting Odds:
Toledo vs. Eastern Michigan Prediction:
After such a devastating loss, Toledo can’t let their guard down against Eastern Michigan on the road. If they’re suffering from a hangover of any sort, Eastern Michigan is going to pick up on it and acquire a sneaky win on Wednesday night. Eastern Michigan knows how to compete hard and hang around games.
The Rockets must be ready to play on Wednesday night or risk back-to-back losses. They certainly have an offense that has the talent to put up plenty of points. That wasn’t why they lost last week. Eli Peters has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 1 interception on 64.1% completions. If Toledo didn’t have a strong run game, he would likely have much bigger numbers at the moment.
However, Toledo has one of the most dangerous running games in the conference, so Peters isn’t required to drop back 50 times a game. Toledo has gained an average of 236 yards per game on the ground. Ball State is ahead of the Rockets by just a half yard in the regard. The Rockets are fully capable of moving the ball through the air and ground, which makes it incredibly difficult to prepare for them.
Toledo should be able to exploit a Eastern Michigan defense that has conceded 483.5 yards and 32.5 points per game. Only the Miami RedHawks and Bowling Green Falcons have been worse than the Eagles defensively. I have faith in Peters and a trio of solid Toledo running backs to do their part on Wednesday night. Conversely, though, their defense didn’t look too hot against the first real offense they played in 2020.
Holding the terrible Bowling Green offense to 3 points isn’t an accomplishment. Nor is giving up 41 points to the Broncos last week. Western Michigan is the first true test that they faced and it was a failure. Sean Tyler ran for 100 yards and 8.3 yards per carry, while Kaleb Eleby passed for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns on the Toledo secondary. I’m not looking for the Eagles to score 40+ points, but Preston Hutchinson and company should be able to move the ball. I think the total is a few points too short here. I’m on the OVER in a 34-31 or 38-27 game on Wednesday night in Ypsilanti.