On Friday, September 1st, the Charlotte 49ers look to avenge last season’s loss as they travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan, to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Kickoff is 6:30 P.M. ET inside of Rynearson Stadium. Early forecasts call for a chance of rain.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles head into the 2017 season with the hopes of improving on last year’s 7-6 record. With plenty of offensive firepower, the Eagles are looking to soar to the top of the MAC West division. The keys to their success this season will be stability with the offensive line and an improved defense.
The Charlotte 49ers finished 2016 with a 4-8 record and one of the worst defenses in the Nation. There’s cautious optimism with the 49ers as they look for their young players to develop throughout the season. A quick development could lead to a potential bowl game this year.
The line opened up with Eastern Michigan being favored by 11.5 points. However, it has since jumped up to a high of -14, before settling in at -13.5 points.
Last year, the Eagles jumped out to a 3-1 record to start the season including a convincing win over the 49ers 37-19. Eastern Michigan never trailed in this game as they dominated the 49ers on the road.
This year, the Eagles return most of their key offensive contributors and look to build off their success from 2016. Quarterback Brogan Roback will lead the offense that averaged over 29.5 points per game last year. Roback threw for over 300 yards per game in 6 of his last 7 outings. With a Charlotte defense that gave up nearly 310 passing yards per game last year, look for Roback to easily eclipse the 300 yard mark and the Eagles to put up at least 30 points again.
Charlotte’s bread and butter is their run game. Unfortunately, their top running back Kalif Phillips is gone, which leaves several unproven rushers to try and carry the load. Athletic quarterback Hasaan Klugh will add to the rushing total, but will it be enough? The Eagles aren’t known for their defense, but they have improved dramatically from the 2015 to the 2016 seasons. If they can stop the run then the 49ers are in trouble. All four of Charlotte’s wins last season came when they successfully rushed for 180 yards or more. Can they reach this number and put pressure on the host team? Odds are that this won’t happen.
Charlotte is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games, and post the same 1-5 ATS record in their last 6 September football games. The 49ers are 3-5-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.
Eastern Michigan is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games, 4-2 ATS in their last 6 home games, 4-0 in their last 4 Friday games and 4-0 in their last 4 games against Conference USA opponents.
With a terrible 49ers defense and a one dimensional offense, the Eastern Michigan Eagles should dominate this game at home and win by more than two touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see the Eagles jump out early in this game and never look back.