Eastern Michigan started off strong against Buffalo, striking first blood on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glass III to Mathew Sexton. The good news would stop there for the Eagles, then giving up 43 unanswered points before ending in a 43-14 loss. Eastern Michigan is now 4-5 on the season and drops to 1-4 within the MAC.
"It was a terrible day. We talk about Eastern Michigan football and we are how we play on game day. At the same time, there are a lot of people who work really hard and care deeply. That is not a representation of who we are. We are embarrassed, and disappointed," head coach Chris Creighton said of his teams performance on Saturday.
Eastern Michigan was banged up, seeing three of their starters hobbled due to injury. Dylan Drummond, Hunter Andrews, and Glass would all seek attention from the training staff. Glass would try to stay in the game but one series later he would be replaced by back-up Preston Hutchinson.
"We got beat up, in a lot of ways," Creighton said. "I think that there was nothing serious."
In a tough day offensively, Eastern Michigan managed to pick up just six first downs, three of which game on the final drive of the game. Glass and Hutchinson would combine for 185 passing yards. Glass would throw for one score and Hutchinson would rush in for the other Eagles touchdown. Hutchinson also threw one interception. The Eastern Michigan rushing attack only salvaged 25 yards on 17 carries.
Buffalo's offense would have a field day against the Eagles defense. The Bulls ran 85 plays on offense and dominated the time of possession, holding onto the football for over 41 minutes. Buffalo ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns. Jaret Patterson would account for 160 of those yards, and two of those touchdowns.
Buffalo quarterback Kyle VanTrease threw for 208 yards and a score, and would rush for two more touchdowns. Antonio Nunn caught the scoring pass from VanTrease, and led all Bulls receivers with seven receptions for 87 yards.
"We put our defense in terrible situations, both offensively and through special teams. We knew going into the game that we had to give them long fields," Creighton said. "That was the goal, and that our defense would keep them in front of them, which they did and made them earn it. We just didn't help them out at all, we didn't give them much life, we couldn't convert on third down. Obviously we had some major special teams blunders."
Eastern Michigan heads into its second bye week of the season, before getting back to action on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the University of Akron in hopes of turning around their 1-4 start to conference play. Akron is still looking for their first win of the 2019 campaign. After beating Eastern Michigan and climbing to 5-4 on the year and 3-2 in the conference, Buffalo also heads into a bye week, before returning to action against Kent State on Thursday, Nov. 14.