Despite the return of the suspended players, the Eastern Michigan University football team (1-9, 1-5 Mid-American Conference) couldn’t get past Western Michigan (4-6-0, 3-3 MAC), losing 45-30 in a game that lacked significant defense by either team.
“Obviously, we are not coaching well enough defensively, because we do not do what we’re supposed to,” Head coach Ron English told AnnArbor.com. “It falls on the coaching, so I’m not satisfied with our abilities, and I coach, too. I coach the safeties with my abilities.
Western gave up 491 yards and four touchdowns to the Eagles, and EMU surrendered 518 yards and six touchdowns to the Broncos.
The Eagles’ second-half woes continued.
After tying the game 24-24 with Sean Graham’s 20-yard field goal with 8:32 left in the third quarter, the Eagles were outscored 21-6 the rest of the way.
All three of the Broncos’ second-half touchdowns were big-yard plays, including a 66-yard pass to Juan Nunez from quarterback Alex Carder.
This made it a two-score game with 9:13 remaining. Sixteen seconds before, the Eagles had brought it within eight after EMU’s own big-yard touchdown play, a 32-yard pass to Garrett Hoskins from Alex Gillett.
The Eagles looked as if they would be able to respond, driving the ball 12 plays and 57 yards on the very next drive. They got the ball into Bronco territory, as deep as the WMU 36-yard line.
On first and 10 from the 36-yard line, Gillett was called for a 13-yard intentional grounding penalty. At the WMU 49-yard line, Gillett was sacked by Mitch Zajac for a loss of nine yards, putting EMU on its own 42 and setting up a third-and-32 at the EMU 42-yard line.
Gillett rushed for 29 of the 32 yards needed for the first down, but WMU’s Paul Hazel forced a fumble, and the Broncos took over with 4:32 left in the game.
The Eagles got the ball back with 2:11 to play, but the drive was cut short by another turnover. Gillett was intercepted on the fourth play of the drive by Keith Dixson. From there the Broncos ran down the clock.
Gillett had another productive outing for the Eagles, passing 13-for-24 for 214 yards and three touchdowns. Rushing, Gillett finished with 159 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. This is the fifth game this season Gillett has rushed for at least 100 yards.
Gillett was also responsible for three turnovers, two of them interceptions and one a fumble, all in the fourth quarter.
Dwayne Priest and Tyrone Burke, back from their suspensions, made a noticeable difference in the offense. Priest rushed 26 times for 87 yards. Burke caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles possessed the ball for almost twice as long (39:37) as the Broncos (20:23).
Carder was efficient for the Broncos, completing 17-of-21 passes for four touchdowns. Bronco running back Brian Fields was also effective, rushing 31 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles will travel to Buffalo for a 2 p.m match on Saturday, Nov. 20, to face the University at Buffalo.