On the coldest game of the year for Eastern Michigan, the Eagles’ running game was nothing but hot. Eastern Michigan football got back in the win column after two consecutive losses, topping Akron 42-14.
The Eagles are now 5-5 on the season and 2-4 in conference play.
Eastern Michigan’s running back group had rushed for just three touchdowns throughout the entire season before accounting for five of the six touchdowns on Tuesday, Nov. 12, all of which came on the ground. Shaq Vann scored four touchdowns, while Willie Parker and Mike Glass III added one each.
“The last couple games have been tough,” head coach Chris Creighton said on his team’s play following the victory. “It was a really good, fun week. With the weather, we just had great energy. It was far from perfect out there for sure. We played pretty well. We played some good complementary football.”
Vann is the first Eastern Michigan rusher to top 100 yards rushing in a single game since he last accomplished the feat against Central Michigan during the 2018 season. Vann rushed for 142 yards on 5.1 yards per carry and four touchdowns. Glass also rushed for 83 yards and a score.
“We had juice,” Vann said. “Not every snap went the way that we wanted, but we had juice. It feels good. We just have to keep it going into next week. We have to play complimentary football. The defense has to do their job and we have to go back out and do it on our end.”
Glass also had a solid outing through the air, completing 80% of his passes for a total of 246 yards on just under 10 yards per completion. Glass completed balls to eight different receivers, with Dylan Drummond, Mathew Sexton and Quian Williams leading Eastern Michigan receivers with four receptions each. Sexton topped all EMU receivers with 76 yards.
The Eagles offense was forced to punt just twice.
Defensively, Eastern Michigan had been giving up close to 30 points per game heading into Tuesday’s contest against Akron. The Eagles were able to get back on track with a very stout performance in which they gave up only two scores. The team was able to earn two sacks and six tackles for a loss, as well as an interception by Brody Hoying.
Kobie Beltram led the Eagles with 11 tackles, including one of the two sacks forced by the EMU defensive unit. The Eagles were able to hold Akron to just 54 yards rushing as a team, snapping a streak of five consecutive games in which Eastern Michigan had allowed a 100-yard rusher from the opposing team.
Heading into Tuesday’s game, Akron had not been able to find the end zone since Sept. 28. The Zips were able to find it twice on Tuesday night, both coming through the air from QB Kato Nelson. Nelson connected with Julian Hicks and Timothy Scippio for touchdowns. Nelson totaled 288 passing yards, 121 of which went to Jeremiah Knight on six receptions.
Eastern Michigan will return to action next Tuesday, Nov. 19 against Northern Illinois.