Eastern Michigan struggled to find a rhythm as it fell to Toledo , 35-20 at Rynearson Stadium on Saturday.
Students came out to see the Eastern Michigan football team (4-2, 1-1) play during Homecoming week and it had the tenth largest turnout in Rynearson Stadium history as 21,412 tickets were sold. The Eagles were not able to pull of the win for their fans as they struggled to get back in the game after going down 28-13 to the Toledo Rockets (4-1,1-0).
“It’s a very disappointed locker room right now. And very different in my two and a half years,” said coach Chris Creighton.
The offense struggled to run the ball as they ran for 62 yards as a team. The offense was able to get some production from the passing game as it had 255 passing yards on the day to put the team total at 317.
Due to injuries suffered by Shaq Vann and Blake Banham, redshirt freshman Breck Turner and redshirt sophomore Ian Eriksen had the bulk of the carries for the Eagles. Turner led the team with 10 carried for 21 yards and touchdown. Eriksen got the start for the game as he carried the ball seven times for 17 yards as the Eagles struggled to run the ball.
“It’s been tough to rush against Toledo in my three seasons. A lot of it is their scheme and their players,” said Creighton on how the Eagles struggled to run the ball.
Redshirt junior Brogan Roback got the start for the Eagles, his first of the year due to Todd Porter being injured against Bowling Green. Roback’s last start was against Central Michigan last year and was set to start before a suspension. Roback completed 52.6 percent of his passes as he added a touchdown and an interception and threw for 255 yards.
“We knew that their front seven would be tough. We prepped that all week,” said Roback. “We had a little bit of a slow start and that’s not how our offense is.”
On the receiving end the Eagles were led by a pair of juniors in Sergio Bailey and Antoine Porter. Bailey caught five passes for 89 yards including a 44-yard reception and Porter had six receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Eddie Daugherty picked up where he left off with four receptions for 74 yards. Daugherty led the team in receiving yards in 2015.
The defense struggled to stop running back Kareem Hunt of Toledo as he ran for 141 yards and scored a touchdown against the Eagle defense. The Rockets combined for 220 total rushing yards as a team. The Eagles also struggled to stop quarterback Logan Woodside as he threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns. The Rockets, as a team, combined for 467 yards of offense.
As a defense, the Eagles combined for 102 tackles, a sack, seven tackles for loss, two pass break-ups and four quarterback hits. Redshirt senior Ike Spearman and redshirt sophomore Kyle Rachwal led the team as they each contributed 11 tackles. Freshman Vince Calhoun has continued his break out season as he contributed eight tackles and a pass break up that saved the team from surrendering a touchdown.
“We didn’t really change. They kind of adjusted what they were doing,” said Spearman on defensive halftime adjustments.
Eastern Michigan looks to rebound against Ohio University (4-2,2-0) as it heads down to Athens, Ohio on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2 pm at Peden Stadium.
“The support was fantastic,” said Creighton on the support of the fans. “We really appreciate the support that we have received all week. I know we didn’t win the game today but we will make Eastern Michigan folks proud.”