TIGER OPPONENT PREVIEW: EASTERN MICHIGAN
By Greg Gibson
On Saturday (6:30 P.M., SECN-A), the Missouri Tigers (0-1) play host to the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-0).
Eastern Michigan comes in off of an historic offensive performance in its season-opening 61-14 victory over Mississippi Valley State. Last year, Eastern Michigan finished 1-11, including 0-8 in the Mid-American Conference.
In the off-season, Eastern Michigan voted to keep their football program.
The last time Eastern Michigan visited Faurot Field was in 1997, when Barry Odom played linebacker in the Tigers’ 44-24 win over the Eagles.
Chris Creighton is in his third season at Eastern Michigan. His overall record is 4-21, 1-15 MAC.
Last year, Eastern Michigan averaged 25.4 points/game, but they allowed over 500 yards and 42.1 points/game.
The Eastern Michigan roster has players from the St. Louis area, including QB Todd Porter (O’Fallon, IL), who started the Mississippi Valley State game and finished 15-22-1 for 171 yards and 3 TDs.
Austin Barnes (O’Fallon, IL) averaged 46.5 yards on 2 punts for the Eagles in their season-opener.
Reserve defensive lineman Odie Granger is from East St. Louis, and freshman DB Rashon Davis is from CBC.
It appears that Brogan Roback, the team's starting QB from a year ago, remains suspended, so it looks like it will be Porter, a junior-college transfer from Garden City, taking the snaps.
The Eagles’ 1,000-yard rusher from a year ago was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but against Mississippi Valley State, Shaq Vann and Ian Eriksen combined for 253 yards and 4 TDs on 32 carries.
Their leading receiver against Mississippi Valley State was their big tight end, Nigel Kilby, with 4 receptions for 67 yards and 1 TD. Their second-leading receiver was the diminutive slot receiver, Antoine Porter, with 3 receptions for 40 yards and 1 TD against Mississippi Valley State.
Wide outs Johnnie Niupalau (2 receptions for 29 yards) and Sergio Bailey (3 receptions for 33 yards) also had productive season openers.
The Eagles play a 4-2-5 defense, which has been bolstered by the return of DL Pat O’Connor, who missed all of 2015 with and injury after leading the MAC in sacks the year before.
Eastern Michigan held Mississippi Valley State to just 23 yards rushing, while O’Connor registered 2 sacks, including a sack-strip, and 3 QB hurries. LB Kyle Rachwal led the Eagles with 10 tackles, including 1 for a 7-yard loss.
MIZZOU STAT EMU
11.0 Points Per Game 61.0
26.0 Points Allowed 14.0
180 Rush Yards 281
241 Rush Yards Allowed 23
282 Passing Yards 198
253 Passing Yards Allowed 146
462 Total Yards 479
494 Total Yards Allowed 169
25:47 Time of Possession 28:24
10-for-24 Third Down 5-for-11
2-for-5 Red Zone 9-for-9