December 26, 2019
By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)
Ypsilanti, MI —
With bowl trips becoming the norm for the EMU football team’s season ending wrap-up, the Eagles are solidifying the Coach Creighton era as easily the best football coaching stint in the school’s history. Creighton has certainly led an increase in pride, execution and even brand awareness in Michigan’s hot bed of college football excellence that is Washtenaw county.
With that said, the Quick Lane Bowl does NOT look to be a walk in Riverside Park for the Eagles and their fans and alums.
The Eagles (6 – 6, 3 – 5 MAC-West) face will face a quality foe in the Univ. of Pittsburgh (7 – 5, 4 -4 ACC). The Panthers are strong defensively, as you would expect with Coach Pat Narduzzi leading the team. The former DC for MSU’s Spartans was/is known for a solid, if not suffocating defense and in this year’s Panthers, the trend continues. The defense gives up an average of 22 points per game. The numbers break down to 107 YPG Rushing and 196 YPG Passing for a Total Offense Average of 302 YPG defensively.
The Eagles will counter with an offense that averages 29 PPG on the strength of 281 YPG Passing and 122 YPG Rushing for an average of 403 YPG of Total Offense.
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In senior QB Mike Glass III, EMU has a solid passer that leads a balanced group of receivers that includes; Dylan Drummond who lead the team with 51 catches for 483 yards and 3 TDs. He is complimented by Quian Williams who has 50 catches for 593 yards and 5 TDs. Shaq Vann is the Eagles workhorse in the ground game with 667 yards and 8TDs, Willie Parker is the next most popular name to call for the ground game with 142 yards and 2 TDs.
On the defensive side of the ball, EMU is more generous than the Panthers averaging 30 PPG against. Foes of the Eagles have averaged 202 YPG on the ground and 226 YPG Passing for a Total Offense of 428 YPG against.
Pitt’s QB Kenny Pickett (2,737 Passing Yds., 10 TDs and 9 INTs.), if given time will be looking down field for his favorite wide receivers, Taysir Mack (62 catches for 711 yards and 2 TDs) and Maurice Ffrench [no typo, that is how his last name is spelled], (84 catches, 685 yards, 3 TDs).
On the ground, the Panthers are led by A.J. Davis (532 yards/4 TDs) and V’Lique Carter (271 yards/0 TDs).
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These two teams appear to be pretty evenly matched, at least on paper, with perhaps the ‘Strength Of Schedule’ metric providing any real difference in the stats. Pitts S.O.S. is at 59, or the 59th hardest schedule in the FBS ratings. The Eagles ‘Strength Of Schedule’ is 108th in the country…so the Panthers played foes whose cumulative strength was almost twice EMU’s foes strength.
The Quick Lane Bowl is December 26th, 2019 at 8PM, at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.
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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.