Five things to take away from Eastern Michigan University’s 42-10 loss at Central Michigan University.
Passing the football
After being held to a total of four yards last week against Bowling Green State University, quarterback Brogan Roback turned things around against the Chippewas. He was 14-of-27, for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Roback did throw an interception, which was returned by Avery Cunningham for a touchdown.
The freshman has shown all year that he is a legitimate threat downfield. Passes of 34, 16 and 13 yards proved that again on Friday.
Tyler Benz also made a brief appearance, on a trick play in the 3rd quarter. Taking the handoff from Roback, he completed a 12-yard pass to Dustin Creel, putting the Eagles in a great position to score. Unfortunately, two plays later, Roback fumbled the ball.
For Central, the passing game was practically non-existent. Cooper Rush was 9-for-14 for 92 yards and an interception. He was also sacked twice.
Catching the football
A great performance by a freshman quarterback is nothing, without the play of the people catching his passes.
Wide receiver Dustin Creel had a standout performance in Friday’s loss. He caught 10 passes for 109 yards, including a 34-yard catch at the end of the first half and did not have a touchdown.
Over the final four games, Creel emerged as Roback’s go-to target.
With 6 catches for 115 yards (of 12 completed) against Toledo, 2 for 29 and a touchdown against Western Michigan (of 9 completed) and the only outlier being last week’s game where Quincy Jones caught the team’s only completion, the sophomore made an impact late in the season.
CMU had three players with two receptions each, of the nine completed passes. None resulted in touchdowns.
Running the football
Running back Bronson Hill showed exactly why he should have been on the field, rushing for 166 yards on 25 carries. His longest rush was 26 yards, but he averaged 6.6 yards a carry – making himself a key factor in the run game.
Ryan Brumfield got the start and was a non-factor in the game. He gained 36 yards on 11 carries.
For Central, the win came largely because of one player. Running back Zurlon Tipton obliterated the Eastern defense in his final regular season game as a Chippewa.
Tipton’s 20 carries for 216 yards and 4 touchdowns all but handed CMU the Michigan MAC title. The last time a CMU running back rushed for 200 yards was Oct. 27, 2012 vs. Akron.
Tipton’s four TD’s tied a career-high.
EMU’s special teams did not make much of an impact Friday. Tyler Allen returned six kickoffs for 114 yards, while Jaleel Canty returned one for 20 yards.
CMU opened the second half with an 84-yard kick return for touchdown by Courtney Williams. That touchdown essentially took Eastern’s momentum at the end of the first half and reversed it.
The Chippewas never looked back.
After the murder of Demarius Reed, many people, myself included, thought former coach Ron English’s job would not be in jeopardy until after the end of the season. That was until the now-infamous recording of English berating his players came to light.
Interim coach Stan Parrish took over the team before the team’s overtime win against WMU and did a great job holding the team together despite the two incidents looming over the team’s head.
After Friday’s loss, the 67 year old Parrish said he would not be pursuing the job next year, and hinted at retirement – though he said he would be thinking about it first.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho