Friday, September 24, 2010

Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan: Week 4 Preview, History Lesson, and Prediction

The No. 2 Buckeyes have another "scrimmage" this week as they welcome in the Eastern Michigan Eagles to Ohio Stadium.

Just like the Ohio Bobcats who Ohio State hosted (and defeated 43-7) one week ago, the Eagles will also receive a payment of $850,000 from Ohio State for their visit to Columbus.

Unlike their namesake, these Eagles have not been flying very high as of late if ever, and they aren't exactly going to be spreading their wings in this matchup with the No. 2 Buckeyes.

Ohio State (3-0) is the favorite to win the Big 10 and is considered a legitimate BCS national title contender, while EMU (0-3) just hopes to win more than three games.

There is no comparison between these two programs and their 2010 expectations, but we'll go ahead and do it anyway for the greater good, and stuff...

Eastern Michigan—By the Numbers

EMU has used two quarterbacks this season, Alex Gillett and Devontae Payne.

Gillett has thrown for 350 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions. He has also rushed for 172 yards and has a QB rating of 119.7.

Payne has 148 yards passing with an interception and no touchdowns for a QB rating of 90.5.

Running back Dwayne Priest has rushed for 199 yards (on 50 carries, a 4.0 yards per carry average) and has scored three touchdowns.

The Eagles leading receiver is Kinsman Thomas with six receptions for 197 yards and two scores.

Ben Thayer has caught 10 balls for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Donald Scott has 3 catches for 72 yards with a touchdown, and Josh LeDuc has made 9 receptions for 58 yards with one touchdown.

Overall, EMU ranks 86th in passing yards per game (189.9), 71st in rushing yards per game (142.00), 91st in points per game (21.0), and 108th in points allowed per game (37.0).

Ohio State—By the Numbers

Terrelle Pryor had his first two turnovers on the year last week vs. Ohio on two ill-advised passes. He forced the ball into coverage mainly because the game was never close, but he must not get used to having that luxury with Big Ten play looming.

This week, however, he has little to worry about against Eastern Michigan.

To date, Pryor has 715 passing yards, six touchdown passes, two interceptions, 165 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. His QB rating is 156.6.

Over 12 games, Pryor is projected for 2,860 passing yards, 660 rushing yards, 32 total touchdowns versus only eight interceptions.

Although Pryor is the leading rusher for the Bucks, Brandon Saine and Boom Herron are close behind.

Saine has 158 yards and two touchdowns. He is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and he also has five catches for 49 yards with two touchdown receptions.

Herron has gained 137 yards rushing with three touchdowns. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

Jaamal Berry has seen limited action but that should change this week as the potential blowout ensues. So far, he has carried the ball 11 times for 103 yards. His average of 9.4 yards per carry is definitely the main reason Buckeye fans want to see him on the field more.

Devier Posey leads Ohio State with 13 catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Dane Sanzenbacher with 11 catches also for 208 yards and one touchdown.

Tight end Jake Stoneburner has nine catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Dan Herron has four receptions for 79 yards.

As a team, Ohio State is 33rd in passing yards per game (254.3), 25th in rushing yards per game (206.3), 16th in points per game (41.3), and a still misleading 9th in points allowed per game (12.7) due to the three scores the Buckeyes special teams untits have allowed. Take away those 21 points and the Buckeyes are actually only allowing 5.7 points per contest.

Ohio State—Eastern Michigan: History Lesson and Other Tidbits

• This will be the first-ever meeting between Ohio State and Eastern Michigan.

• Ohio State is 38-8 overall vs. non-conference opponents under Jim Tressel.

• Ohio State is 51-2 in their last 53 non-conference home games.

• Ohio State is 59-7 at home overall since 2001.

• Ohio State has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 24 games.

• Ohio State is 16-0 vs. current MAC teams since 1992.

• Ohio State has won 56 consecutive non-conference home games against unranked teams.

• Jim Tressel is 1-4 all-time vs. EMU as head coach at YSU.

• Eastern Michigan lost 16-0 to Ann Arbor High School in 1892.

• Eastern Michigan is coached by former Louisville and Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English.

• Eastern Michigan has never been ranked in a major college football poll.

• Eastern Michigan is currently on a 15-game losing streak, and their overall record since 2006 is 8-40.

• Eastern Michigan is 0-26 all-time against current Big Ten teams, losing by an average of 28 points.

• Eastern Michigan is 0-7 vs. ranked opponents since 1992, losing by an average of 42 points.

Summary and Prediction

What is there to summarize?

The Buckeyes should win and win big without so much as breaking a sweat.

This game really should be about sitting the starters after halftime and getting to see what some of the young guys can do in the second half as conference play is set to begin next weekend. It will be good to know which of them can be counted on if needed down the stretch.

This is yet another one of those games where no matter how bad coach Tressel tries to not run up the score, scoring at least 40-50 points is inevitable.

After just falling short late in the game last week, it would be a little surprising if the "D" doesn't finally pitch their first shutout of the year in this one.

Of course, that is once again assuming the special teams units don't blow it this week.

Final Score

Ohio State 55
Eastern Michigan 0

Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan
Kickoff is Saturday 9/25 at 3:30PM

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  1. There once was a bird called the EMU,
    Can't recall the last time that he flew,
    What's that you say?
    It's the Eagles we play?
    Well it really only matters what we do.

  2. What is the point of scheduling a cupcake game like this, it's certaintly not for the fans. Come on OSU, you can do better than this. How about scheduling some WAC and MWC teams. Three MAC teams in one year is a little too much.

  3. 1. Ohio State A.D. Gene Smith scheduled this game as a favor to E. Michigan. Smith was their A.D. before coming to OSU in 2005. It gives OSU an extra home date and puts a little coin in EMU's pocket.

    2. This will be OSU's 2nd game vs. a MAC opponent. Marshall is not in the MAC. The Thundering Herd are in Conference USA.

    3. All 4 OOC games were against FBS opponents and the same cannot be said of many of the other top programs in the nation. Many of them continue to face a team from the FCS each season.

    FYI: Ohio State has in the past, and still in the present and future worked hard to schedule at least one OOC game per year vs. a top FBS team from a BCS conference (examples: Texas, USC, Miami, Oklahoma, Cal, Tennessee, Va Tech, Cincy, etc)

  4. "3. All 4 OOC games were against FBS opponents and the same cannot be said of many of the other top programs in the nation. Many of them continue to face a team from the FCS each season."

    So true. In the SEC, 11 teams scheduled games against FCS teams; only Vanderbilt did not.

    As an aside, EMU is 4-1 against Tressel. But that was when EMU was fielding respectable (by MAC standards) football teams (late 80s) and Tressel was at Youngstown State.


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