The Buffalo Bulls travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan on Saturday to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles. After starting the season hot at 3-1, including a win against a Big Ten team (Illinois), EMU has sputtered in MAC play, going just 1-3 in their first four conference games.
The EMU offense starts and ends with QB Mike Glass. Glass leads the MAC in passing yards per game, and is also the second leading rusher for the Eagles. Despite being the most prolific passer in the MAC, Glass doesn’t have one receiving target that sticks out, as he prefers to spread the wealth. EMU has four pass catchers with at least 300 yards receiving, and another four that have more than 100 yards receiving on the season. By comparison, UB has a total of four pass catchers over 100 yards, and only Antonio Nunn has more than 200 (370). While the Eagles have been very successful through the air, they’ve been much less successful on the ground, ranking 10th in the MAC at 3.4 yards per carry. Shaq Vann is their leading rusher with 318 yards on the season, and Glass has chipped in 191. EMU will likely struggle in this facet of the game, when they face the top rushing defense in the MAC in UB.
There are a few defensive standouts on the EMU defense, which has ranks towards the bottom of the MAC, ranking 9th in both yards per play and points per game allowed. The Eagles return three all-MAC defensive backs from last season, Kevin McGill, Vince Calhoun, and Brody Hoying. Calhoun leads the Eagles in tackles on the season with 76, with LB Kobie Beltram following closely behind with 71. The Eagle pass rush is keyed by DL Turan Rush whose five sacks are third in the MAC.
This will be an interesting game between evenly matched teams with clashing styles. The pass happy Eagles will look to jump ahead early against a UB team that’s strengths are their run game and defense. This is a crucial game for both teams, with both the Bulls and Eagles needing wins in three of their last four games to feel good about their bowl selection odds.