MAC football notebook: Western Michigan crushes EMU, Central Michigan downs Akron

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Western Michigan continued its stellar conference play last Thursday night, defeating Eastern Michigan 58-28.

The Broncos (5-3, 4-0 Mid-American Conference) dominated this game from start to finish. After going down 7-0 to start the game, Western Michigan rallied off 23 straight points, putting them ahead by 16 with one minute, 57 seconds remaining in the first half.

Though the game was relatively close at halftime at 23-14, the Broncos began to break away in the third quarter with three touchdowns.

The Eagles (1-8, 0-5 MAC) had no answer for Western Michigan’s run game. Jarvion Franklin got things started with a 24-yard touchdown run on their first possession of the half and Jamauri Bogan ran it into end zone from two yards out on the next possession. This was followed by a 31-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zach Terrell. Just six minutes into the second half, the Broncos jumped out to a 44-14 lead.

Eastern Michigan struggled getting things going offensively. The Broncos forced a season-high four turnovers and their offense capitalized on them, with scores coming after an interception and fumble. Eagles quarterback Brogan Roback struggled, passing for 263 yards and three touchdowns alongside two costly interceptions.

For the Broncos, Bogan had a career-high four touchdowns on just eight carries. Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell finished the game 17-of-23 for 252 yards and added 72 yards on the ground. As a team, the Broncos finished with 279 yards on the ground, averaging just under eight yards per carry. They also ran for six touchdowns.

With the win, Western Michigan stays in second place in the MAC West, trailing Toledo for first place in the division. The Broncos take on Ball State next Thursday, Nov. 5.

The Eagles will look to rebound next Saturday at Miami (Ohio).

Central Michigan survives in victory at Akron

Central Michigan grinded out a victory over Akron 14-6 Saturday in Ohio.

Chippewas (5-4, 4-1 MAC) quarterback Cooper Rush finished the game 23-of-37 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 21 yards on the ground. Junior receiver Anthony Rice had his best game of the season, finishing with nine catches for 105 yards and hauled in the decisive touchdown in the third quarter that stretched Central Michigan’s lead to eight.

The score came with 11 minutes, 59 seconds left in the third frame with the Chippewas up 7-6.

Neither team succeeded on the ground in Saturday’s defensive battle. Central Michigan finished with a total of 39 rushing yards while the Zips (3-5, 1-3 MAC) finished with just 25 yards on the day.

Zips quarterback Thomas Woodson threw for 252 yards (22-of-36) and a touchdown, but Akron’s lone touchdown came on a 57-yard pass to Jerome Lane early in the second quarter.

The Chippewas defense was exceptional all game. The unit forced five straight punts from the Zips’ offense following Rice’s touchdown grab and the defense sealed the game at the end, as defensive back Tony Annese intercepted Woodson with 45 seconds left.

The loss dropped the Zips into fifth place in the MAC East. They look to rebound next Saturday at Gillette Stadium where they will take on Massachusetts.

With the win, the Chippewas moved into third place in the MAC West. They have 10 days to prepare for their matchup with No. 20 Toledo.

Thomas Johnston can be reached at [email protected]