Eastern Michigan was skeptical of their roster after filling the quarter-back position against Western Michigan Oct. 19. Mike Glass III, EMU’s starter and captain, was out with an injury. Preston Hutchinson, the backup, was forced into duty and started the Eagles crucial game against the Broncos at home.
Hutchinson’s journey began in Mason, Ohio, where he became a two-star recruit, according to 247 Sports. Hutchinson went to Mason High School and was named to the Greater Miami All-Conference team three times. He joined the Eastern Michigan football team before the 2017 season but redshirted and sat out the entire season.
He was named the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year and prepared for his freshman season. Hutchinson only played in one game during his freshman year, compiling one passing yard and one rushing yard against Ball State. He helped the Eagles earn one of their biggest wins of the season over rival Western Michigan a year later.
Hutchinson was almost perfect in Eastern Michigan’s most recent victory. He threw 357 yards and three touchdowns on 86.1% of passing. He connected on all but five of this throws. Hutchinson also finished the game with 9.9 yards per completion and had a 86.1 QBR with an EMU 34-27 victory. He added a touchdown and nine yards on the ground as well.
“I have a 1-0 mentality,” Hutchinson said. “It’s not about me individually and my stats. I’m just trying to get a W in the win column. The team was extremely calm and was acting like it was anybody else in there. I was very anxious. I hadn’t played in three years, but after the first play, I got rid of the nerves, and it was a great team win. My receivers made huge plays.”
One of those huge plays came within the final minutes of the fourth quarter as the Eagles trailed 27-26. Hutchinson led his team down the field and threw a beautiful 34-yard passing touchdown to Matthew Sexton, putting the Eagles up by five points with 36 seconds remaining. Jairus Grissom added the two-point conversion to put the Eagles up 34-27.
“It was an unbelievable feeling when Matt came down with that ball,” Hutchinson said. “Like I said, I haven’t played in three years since high school, so sealing the deal with that pass, I can’t even describe how good of a feeling it was. It was a huge win. We haven’t beaten Western in a long time, so I’m proud of the guys for coming through.”
The Eagles next game is on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Toledo.
“The sky is the limit,” Hutchinson said. “We’re going to bring it to Toledo like we did tonight to Western. I had a clean pocket to throw from the whole game, so I attribute my success to that. I expect the same thing from every receiver. I think they all do a great job running their exact routes. Guys just continued to make plays like they had all day."