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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Eagles fall to Toledo, 63-20

Eastern Michigan University football had a difficult time defensively stopping the undefeated and nationally ranked University of Toledo Rockets, falling 63-20 for the Eagles fifth straight loss.

Eastern Michigan quarterback Reginald Bell made his return from a jaw injury that took place in week one against Old Dominion. Bell completed 16-of-26 passes for 121-yards, and ran for 28-yards. An ankle injury pulled Bell from the game in the second half; Brogan Roback finished the game going 7-of-11 through the air for 55-yards.

Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3) started the game strong with a long drive that resulted in a field goal. The EMU defense would force the Rockets to punt on the ensuing possession, which led to another field goal for the Eagles, and an early 6-0 lead.

That lead wouldn’t last long as Toledo (6-0, 3-0) put together a 14 play, 78-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown.

Toledo picked apart the EMU defense handily through the air for the rest of the game. Toledo quarterback Phillip Ely, went 18-of-27 with 327-yards and four touchdowns through the air.

“Phillip (Ely) threw the ball really well and got into a great rhythm in the second and third quarter,” said Toledo coach Matt Campbell. “What excited me was to see how we threw and caught the football so efficiently.”

The Rockets offense scored on 8 of the 11 times they had the ball this game, all of them resulting in touchdowns. Toledo put up a season high 611-yards of total offense, 373 passing, and 238 rushing.

Eastern Michigan has given up more than 400-yards in every game this season, and this is the second time a team has complied more than 600-yards of total offense against the EMU defense.

“We knew that they threw it and ran it they’re good at it, didn’t catch us of guard,” said EMU coach Chris Creighton. “There’s times where we’re there to make the play or make the tackle, and (we) just didn’t make the play or the tackle.”

Offensively EMU moved the ball fairly well in the first half, but the Toledo defense was too much for the Eagles. EMU ran for 282-yards as Darius Jackson and Shaq Vann shared the carries in this game.

Darius Jackson rushed for both of the EMU’s touchdowns; he led the team with 113-yards on the ground.

“We got two talented running backs and we got more outside of that, just got to put it all together,” said Creighton.

Eastern Michigan travels to Northern Illinois next week for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.