Five interceptions from Brogan Roback -- including a pick six to seal the deal in the fourth quarter -- led to defeat for the Eastern Michigan University football team (3-7, 1-5) as they fell to the Chippewas from Central Michigan University (6-4, 4-2) 42-30 Wednesday Nov. 8 at Kelly-Shorts Stadium.
As a team, the Eagles were only outgained by four yards total 332-328, and they picked up more first downs 22-12, as well as holding CMU to one first down and 32 total yards in the second half. However, turnovers decide football games and the five turnovers were just too much to overcome.
Former University of Michigan quarterback and Central transfer Shane Morris threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns completing 61.1% of his pass attempts. With six wins overall, the Chippewas are now eligible for bowl consideration.
Roback was 23-of-39 for 204 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He now has 54 total touchdown passes for his career placing him ahead of E-Club Hall of Famer Charlie Batch with the most in school history. On the ground, Shaq Vann and Ian Eriksen both had solid days rushing with 14 carries each. Eriksen finished with 52 yards rushing while Vann led the team with 71 and a touchdown.
"As poorly as we played, I still really believed that we were going to win," EMU Head Coach Chris Creighton said. "It's my job to make sure that our team is mentally, emotionally and physically ready to play, and obviously we weren't."
Sophomore Maxx Crosby finished with a career high three sacks, including a strip-sack that he returned for a touchdown to start the game leading to a 7-0 start early in the first quarter. He now has 9.5 sacks for his career. Senior Jason Beck and sophomore Brody Hoying each had 8 tackles, while Jeremiah Harris finished with 6 tackles as well as a sack.
On their third offensive possession of the contest, the Eagles were able to find some momentum, when Shaq Vann ran for 20 yards on four carries to get them near midfield. Blake Banham caught a pass from Roback to land the Eagles into Chippewa territory to end the first quarter. Paulie Fricano kicked a 38 yard field goal early in the second to cut the lead to 14-10.
With seven minutes to play in the game, Roback connected with Matthew Sexton for an 18-yard touchdown pass. After a failed two point conversion, the score was 35-30. However an interception late in the fourth was returned for a touchdown, and that was the ball game.
"Coach Neathery and the defensive staff did an awesome job. The defense really responded and gave us a chance to win the game."
"I told them that we're still going to come back and finish off with the best football that we've played all season," Creighton said. "Thats what winners do."
The Eagles continue their road trip next Wednesday Nov. 15 for a night game in Oxford, Ohio as they square off against the RedHawks of Miami of Ohio. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.