The Eastern Michigan football team lost a tight battle to San Diego State University in overtime by a final score of 23-20. Both Tyler Wiegers and Mike Glass III continued to split the reps at quarterback but the two-headed monster was not enough to slay the Aztecs.
Neither team managed to score a touchdown in the first quarter. The teams relied heavily on their kickers to finish drives that the offense could not. Chad Ryland drained a 51 yard field goal late in the first quarter to tie the game at 3-3. The 51 yard kick was his first attempt and first make from over 50 yards and the longest of his collegiate career to date.
In the second quarter both offenses began to wake up. SDSU scored first on a 25 yard passing touchdown following a 7 play, 69 yard drive. The offense didn’t stop there for the Aztecs. They responded with yet another touchdown pass, this time from 24 yards out. On the ensuing possession EMU was forced to punt, giving SDSU the opportunity to push their lead to three possessions just before the half came to a close. The Aztecs began to drive down the field until junior defensive back Kevin McGill intercepted a pass and returned it to the SDSU 36 yard line. The interception not only flipped the momentum but also the field position putting EMU in prime position to score before the end of the half. Glass completed a 27 yard strike to wideout Line Latu to set the Eagles up with a first and goal on San Diego State’s two yard line. From there, Glass finished the job by running the ball in, scoring the Eagles first touchdown of the game and making the score 10-17 heading into the break.
The third quarter was all Eagles. EMU’s defense held strong, keeping the Aztecs off the board. Glass completed yet another deep pass, this time a 37 yarder that was caught by Arthur Jackson III for a touchdown. Now with the game tied, the two teams advanced into the fourth quarter deadlocked at 17.
SDSU’s defense took notes from Eastern and locked up the EMU offense in the fourth. Neither team was able to find much luck until late in the quarter. Following a mythodical, 12 play offensive possession, EMU stalled in San Diego State territory, leading to a Ryland field goal attempt. From 24 yards out, Ryland drilled the kick and gave EMU the lead with only three minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately for the Eagles SDSU was far from done as they delivered a clutch drive of their own and tied the game with a field goal in the last minute of play. The 20-20 score held until the final whistle and the two teams progressed into overtime.
EMU started the overtime period with the ball. Running back Shaq Vann had his number called first, receiving the hand off and rushing for a gain of three yards. On the following play Glass threw an untimely interception effectively securing the game for San Diego State. SDSU ran three conservative plays and kicked a field goal to earn themselves the victory.
This loss stings for the Eagles. After a season full of close defeats in 2017, another close loss cuts deep. Thankfully for EMU, the loss comes out of conference meaning the team is unaffected when it comes to their pursuit of a MAC Championship. With the rest of the season containing only conference opponents EMU has no time to sulk following the loss. After three straight road games EMU finally returns home to take on Northern Illinois on Saturday, September 29th at 6:00 p.m..