On a night where both teams were playing for pride, EMU comes back to win on Senior Night, setting up for a shot at the Michigan MAC Trophy.
If you would have told me that Eastern Michigan would have rushed for over 200 yards against Western Michigan when I wrote my preview, I would have told you that you were nuts. But that happened as Eastern Michigan ran for 247 yards, and only passed for 175 yards.
When it looked like Western Michigan was going to be slipping out of Rynearson with a win, Eastern Michigan (7-4, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) was able to claw back and steal the victory by a final score of 22-21 over rival WMU (6-5, 3-4 MAC) on Tuesday night thanks to a stellar defensive effort in the fourth quarter allowing the offense to find its rhythm.
Western Michigan seemed to be cruising to the touchdown that would seal the game for them and then Eastern Michigan forced a fumble from Kaleb Eleby. They were able to get the game-winning field goal on the ensuing possession. A Michael Smith interception on the next drive would seal the deal for the Eagles.
Ben Bryant had a workman-like 13-of-23 passing effort for 175 yards. EMU’s lone passing touchdown was courtesy of Samson Evans on a Wildcat look to Hassan Beydoun from 19 yards out. The Eastern Michigan rushing attack would be led by Jawon Hamilton’s would get 179 yards, while Chad Ryland would go 5-of-5 on field goals to score the lion’s share of Eastern’s points.
Western Michigan’s Kaleb Eleby would go 22-of-29 for 307 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Western Michigan’s La’Darius Jefferson would lead their rushing attack for 86 yards. Skyy Moore led all receivers with 12 receptions for 181 yards and a score.
Western Michigan travels to DeKalb, Illinois where they will face the Northern Illinois Huskies on Tuesday night to finish off the season. The Eagles will travel to Mount Pleasant where they will face Central Michigan on Black Friday. There’s a lot on the line for Eastern Michigan in their upcoming contest, as they have the chance to win Michigan MAC trophy for the first time since 2012, and also a chance for 8 wins in a season. A prospective eight-win season would be the first time since 1987 the program has reaches such heights.