Eastern Michigan, in search of second win, hosts rival Central Michigan on Saturday
Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com
Three weeks after scoring 95 points in two games, the Eagles (1-8, 0-5 Mid-American Conference) are in need of another jolt to their offense when they play host to Central Michigan Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium.
The Eagles have managed just 17 points combined in their last two games and 498 total yards of offense.
Hill has continued to put up numbers despite the lack of consistency from the rest of the offense and put up 111 yards last week in a 45-14 loss to Ohio.
As Hill’s consistency has remained, Benz’s has looked more like a sophomore quarterback in the last two weeks combining for 20-of-45 passing for 252 yards, while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions.
“We were indecisive in the passing game a little bit. I thought the quarterback looked at the rush a little bit as the game went along. And he is a young quarterback and he just to learn to go through his progressions and right now he’s struggling doing that,” head coach Ron English said about Benz after the Ohio game.
That’s not to say the defense has been reliable either.
The EMU defense has allowed more than 425 yards in every game except two. One was against Bowling Green and the other was against FCS school Illinois State. But both of those teams managed to get 350 yards or more, and a win, against the Eagles.
The rushing defense is the worst in the country, giving up 302.6 yards per game. The next closest is Miami (FL) who gives up 246.2 yards per game. No EMU opponent has run for less than 200 yards in a game this season.
Thankfully for the Eagles, Central's strength is in the passing game. The Chips average 261 yards a game through the air, but just 138.6 on the ground.
Zurlon Tipton does have 12 rushing touchdowns on the year for the Chips and averages 6.2 yards a carry, but it is quarterback Ryan Radcliff and receiver Titus Davis’ leading the Chippewas this season.
Davis has caught 40 passes for 831 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Radcliff completes nearly 60 percent of his passes and has thrown 16 touchdowns against just seven interceptions this season.
Saturday’s game is the next-to-last home game this year for the Eagles before they host Northern Illinois on Nov. 23 to close out the season.