The Eastern Michigan University football team fell to 1-8 after losing to University of Toledo, 42-7, Saturday at Rynearson Stadium.
“We didn’t block anybody,” Eagles’ coach Ron English said. “That was certainly our worst game in terms of penalties (nine for 86).”
EMU is 1-4 in Mid-American Conference play. Toledo (6-3) is 5-0 in the MAC, staying tied with Northern Illinois atop the West Division. The series stands 27-11 for EMU.
“The team is (beaten up after playing) some tough nonconference opponents in the past weeks,” English said of games against Virginia and Vanderbilt.
The game against Toledo was EMU’s first returning home after a three-week road trip, one game of which was EMU’s first win, against Ball State.
Toledo struck first, one play after starting quarterback Austin Dantin fumbled and suffered an apparent shoulder injury, ending his night.
But that didn’t matter.
Backup quarterback Terrance Owens threw his first of four touchdowns, to Danny Noble for a 74-yard score. David Rush ran in for the two-point conversion to put the Rockets up 8-0.
The Eagles scored with five minutes left in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Corey Welch to pull them to within 8-7. Other than that touchdown, EMU’s offense did not score for the rest of the game.
The defense played solid in the first half, only allowing the Rockets to score twice. However, in the second half it collapsed.
“I didn’t underestimate Toledo coming into this game; I knew they were undefeated and beat Purdue coming in,” English said.
EMU gave up two touchdowns in the third quarter giving up big plays in the secondary for long runs after the catch. Owens, Toledo’s backup quarterback, was efficient, completing 10 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns.
“Our defense played good first in the first half, and I think Toledo was one of the top two teams we’ve played; there are well-coached,” English said. “We just didn’t play well enough offensively to give our defense a chance.”
Toledo scored twice in the third quarter on passes by Owens, the Rockets also scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away. EMU had the advantage possession-wise; running 20 more offense plays- 72 to Toledo’s 57 and having a possession time more than 33 minutes compared to Toledo’s 26 minutes.
EMU quarterback Alex Gillett threw for 170 yards, completing 15-of-26 pass attempts. He also threw two interception in the second half, which led to scoring drives for Toledo.
“I just don’t think he played as well as he has,” English said of Gillett. “The offense wasn’t sharp at all. Alex didn’t play as well as he had. I just don’t feel like the offense showed up, that could be a lot of things.”
Jay Karutz was kept busy punting nine times for 319 yards averaging 35 yards a punt.
Toledo ran for 200 yards on 38 attempts. Eastern Michigan was playing without five of its players due to the indefinite suspensions handed out by English on Thursday.
Those players were line backer and leading tackler Tim Fort, starting running back Dwayne Priest, starting corner Latarrius Thomas, receiver Tyrone Burke and linebacker Steve Brown.
This week EMU is idle. The Eagles’ next game is at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13, against Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo
Press conference video with English