The Eastern Michigan University football team took a disappointing loss against Mid-American Conference foe, the University of Akron, losing 47-21 at Rynearson Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles now fall to 1-5 on the season and hold a record of 0-2 in the MAC.
Akron jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, and took a 40-14 lead into halftime to spoil the homecoming festivities for EMU.
“By far the most disappointed I’ve been this year.” EMU coach Chris Creighton said. “There’s really no other way to say it, just really, really disappointed. One of my jobs is to make sure team is ready to play, and when we are, we are at or near our best, we can beat anybody, but we we’re not near good enough to not be at our best and compete.”
Akron (3-3, 1-1 MAC) opened the scoring on its second drive of the game with quarterback Thomas Woodson finding receiver Imani Davis in the end zone for a nine-yard score with 6:07 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Justin Moody fumbled the return and the Zips recovered at the EMU 22-yard line, leading to another Akron touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0.
“A special teams turnover is arguably the best or the worst thing that could happen.” Creighton said. “When the ball is taken away from you on special teams, it’s a double-whammy. So, that one hurt.”
The Eagles were able to answer on the next drive, driving 75 yards in nine plays, capped off by a seven-yard pass from quarterback Brogan Roback to receiver Austin Stone for the score. The drive was kept alive after tight end Sam Browning made a diving catch on the sideline to pick up nine yards on a fourth and one situation from Akrons 28-yard line.
After the Zips drove 78 yards on the next possession, EMU answered again with another 70-yard drive, this time featuring a trick play with tight end Cody Tuttle throwing a pass to Browning and completing it for 48 yards to the Akron 14 yard-line. Browning scored five plays later on a two-yard bootleg pass from Roback to cut the deficit to 21-14.
After being down 14 points again on its next possession, the Eagles went three-and-out and was forced to punt. Kicker Dylan Mulder, who was stepping in for regular punter Austin Barnes, had his punt blocked by Andrew Hauser, and the ball bounced back 25 yards and out of the end zone, giving Akron a safety and a 30-14 lead.
Akron scored 10 more points before halftime to take the 26-point lead into halftime.
“When you make plays, you build good emotions.” Creighton said. “But when you aren’t, you have to endure when plays are being made against you, and we didn’t and we were disappointed with that.”
The Eagles were unable to gain any traction in the second half, as both sides scored only one touchdown for the 47-21 final score.
“When you make explosive plays, that changes everything.” Akron coach Terry Bowden said. “And that was the difference in the ballgame; we just made the explosive plays. Eastern Michigan is a much better football team than they were last year. Their offense is a very smart offense. They’re going to score points against a lot of people, so you gotta do what we did and score, score, score.”
The Eagles will next travel to Toledo next week to face the 5-0 Rockets at the Glass Bowl. Kickoff is set for noon next Saturday.
-Eddie Daugherty caught a 41-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, making all three touchdowns he has scored this season be from beyond 40 yards. The other two were a 64-yard score against Wyoming and a 45-yard touchdown against Army.
-Eastern Michigan had four turnovers in the game, giving the Eagles a -6 turnover ratio on the season.