Eastern Michigan University’s sloppy second half against Western Michigan University Thursday night led to an insurmountable lead that was too much to overcome in the 58-28 loss.
A first-half grudge match and a late score by Eastern Michigan (1-8, 0-5) kept the Eagles within reach of making this a close game. Western Michigan led at halftime 23-14.
The second half opened up with Western Michigan (5-3, 4-0) returning a squib kick to midfield. Two plays later Broncos running back Jarvion Franklin runs 24-yards for a touchdown.
The turnover bug then hit the EMU offense on the ensuing possessions. The Eagles threw an interception, which set Western Michigan up on the EMU 26-yard line; that drive would eventually result in a touchdown. The next possession a fumble recovered by WMU led to a two-play touchdown drive.
After just 5:51 into the second half Western Michigan had scored three touchdowns and increased its lead to 44-14.
“The third quarter was a disaster,” said EMU coach Chris Creighton. “[We] can’t turn the ball over. The squib didn’t go great, and a couple plays later they’re in the end-zone, and then we turn the ball over. I’ve said for 19 years that special teams and turnovers win and lose your football games. Those are just the two I believe in and unfortunately we got beat in those two areas.”
Western Michigan had six rushing touchdowns, with no rusher surpassing 100-yards on the ground. Jamauri Bogan had a career-high day with four of those touchdowns, and rushing for 61-yards.
Much of the Broncos success came through the air setting up those rushing touchdowns. WMU QB Zach Terrell completed 73.9 percent of his passes going 17/23 for 252-yards.
For the Eagles offensively wide receiver Dustin Creel had accumulated 82-yards and two receiving touchdowns, tying a career high five touchdowns on the season that he had in 2013.
The Broncos win over Eastern Michigan gives WMU the Michigan MAC Trophy for the second straight year, after they defeated Central Michigan earlier in the season, 41-39.
“It’s a huge accomplishment not only for us but the future Broncos that celebrate with us. Bring back the trophy not by default but sweeping it,” said WMU coach PJ Fleck.
Fleck has led his team to a 4-0 start in the conference and is tied for first place with Toledo in the Mid-American Conference West division.
“I think every college football coach and team wants to play in November for something,” said Fleck. “You play in September and October to get to November. And if you’re lucky enough and the breaks go your way, November means something, and November means something to us.”
Eastern Michigan travels to Miami, Ohio next week to face the RedHawks who have matching 1-8 records, and 0-5 in the MAC. Through two seasons Chris Creighton is 1-13 against MAC schools, but has the opportunity to change that with a win on the road.
“We don’t have anywhere else to go, but get better,” said Creighton. “There’s no other choice. We’re not good enough to overcome mistakes, so we got to get better, and that starts with me.”