Eagles remain winless on road, fall 36-14 to UMass
The Eastern Michigan football team lost its fifth consecutive road game Saturday, falling 36-14 to the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
This was the first ever matchup between the two teams. UMass joined the Mid-American Conference in 2012. Saturday also marked the one year anniversary of the murder of former EMU receiver Demarius Reed.
The Eagles have not won a road game since Nov. 17, 2012 - a 29-23 victory over Western Michigan University.
"[It was our] biggest disappointment of the year," Eastern coach Chris Creighton said in a recording after the game. "I'm responsible for having the team emotionally ready - you know, the intensity, the fight, the energy - and to be honest with you, I thought we were flat and for whatever reason couldn't muster up the passion and the energy [and] the intensity necessary to play this great game."
Reggie Bell started for Eastern (2-5, 1-2 MAC). He was 10-of-21 for 147 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Blake Frohnapfel was the quarterback for UMass (2-6, 2-2 MAC). He completed 28-of-51 passes for 337 yards and one interception.
Bell was the leading rusher for the Eagles, rushing 21 times for 40 yards.
Shadrach Abrokwah carried 24 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns for the Minutemen. Lorenzo Woodley had 15 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Tyreese Russell was Eastern’s leading receiver, catching three passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Tejae Sharpe had 193 yards receiving for UMass – on 13 catches.
The Minutemen missed or had blocked three of their point after attempts.
UMass started the scoring on a 17-yard touchdown run by Abrokwah, capping a 11-play, 83 yard drive.
The Eagles answered on their first drive – marching 75 yards in eight plays and finishing with a 32-yard pass from Bell to a wide open Tyreese Russell.
Abrokwah (16 yards, missed PAT) and Woodley (two yards) each added rushing touchdowns for UMass before Eastern put itself in a position to score.
Bell found Bronson Hill – lined up in the slot – for a 34-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter.
"We weren't able to consistently manufacture drives," Creighton said.
That would be the last time the Eagles scored in the contest. Abrokwah punched in a touchdown from four yards out and Logan Laurent made a 31-yard field goal to end the first half.
Abrokwah scored the last points of the game with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. Eastern blocked the PAT.
The Eagles return home for the next two games. Northern Illinois University comes to town next Saturday for the first of the two.
The Huskies took on Miami University-Ohio, Saturday.
EMU last played NIU in Dekalb, Ill. on Oct. 26, 2013. The Eagles fell 59-20.
Brogan Roback started for Eastern – going 7-of-17 for 109 yards. Tyler Benz relieved him and was 6-of-15 for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Then-Heisman Award nominee Jordan Lynch started for the no. 22/23 ranked Huskies. He was 16-of-20 for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho