Why Eastern Michigan Will Win The LendingTree Bowl
Liberty has been a turnover machine over the second half of the season.
It wasn’t bad over the first five games, and then the interceptions were flowing, the fumbles were there in a loss to Louisiana, and the season ended with 11 turnovers in the last three games – all losses – and 18 in the last eight games. Eastern Michigan doesn’t force a ton of takeaways, but it’s 5-0 when coming up with two or more.
It’s more than that, though, when it comes to the Eagles and Flames.
Liberty has a big penalty problem to go along with the turnovers. It’s among the worst teams in college football in penalties and yards after getting flagged, and Eastern Michigan is No. 1 in the nation in fewest penalties.
Eastern Michigan has to get its good passing game going, the pass rush has to get through the leaky Liberty O line, and …
Why Liberty Will Win The LendingTree Bowl
Malik Willis. Which one will show up?
A strong pro prospect with all the skills, he’s been way too erratic over the final kick. The accuracy hasn’t been there and the interceptions have been been a problem, but when he’s on – with his legs as well as his arm – he can take over games.
He’s not alone. There are strong parts in the backfield to get the ground attack going, and everything should work just fine against an Eastern Michigan run defense that doesn’t get into the backfield and gives up yards in chunks.
The fewer throws from Willis – even with his NFL talent – the better.
Eastern Michigan can throw the ball, but there’s not a whole lot happening down the field, and now it has to deal with a strong Liberty secondary that gives up just 174 passing yards per game.