Toledo 45, Eastern Michigan 28
Western Michigan 52, Central Michigan 44
Amechi Uzodinma II’s second quarter 71-yard interception return started a 21-point Ball State run as the Cardinals came from behind to edge NIU.
Ball State had a mere five yard advantage in total yards, while Northern owned one more first down and a 2:10 edge in time of possession. Each team had one turnover.
John Richardson’s 41-yard field goal with 41 seconds left pulled the visiting Huskies within six, but Ball State covered the ensuing on-side kick and ran out the clock.
BSU had a balanced attack, grinding out 201 yards rushing and 214 through the air. Caleb Huntley provided the only ground TD and produced 103 yards on 25 carries. Senior QB Drew Plitt completed 17-of-25 for 214 yards with two TDs and one interception. Yo/Heiz Tyler and Justin Hall combined for 14 catches, 181 yards and a score.
Bruce Cosby (14 tackles), Jaylin Thomas (13) and Brandon Martin (11) all reached double figure hits for the Cardinal defense.
Senior quarterback Ross Bowers completed 27-of-40 for 300 yards with one TD and an interception for NIU. Ryrice Richie led the receiving corps with 11 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Harrison Waylee’s 17 rushes for 63 yards led the Huskie ground game. Erin Collins provided two rushing TDs.
Jordan Gandy and Devin Lafayette led the defense with 11 and 10 hits, respectively. Dillon Thomas picked off one pass.
Toledo scored 38 of the game’s first 45 points and bounced back from its heartbreaking loss at Western Michigan last week with a road over EMU.
Eastern Michigan scored three TDs over the last 16 minutes, but it was too late to catch Toledo, which held a 489-278 advantage in total yards.
Four of UT’s TDs offensive TDs covered 24 yards or more (25, 68, 24, 57) and the visitors also scored on a 20-yard interception return.
Eli Peters passed just 15 times, but he completed 11 for 190 yards and two TDs. Carter Bradley came in to complete 5-of-7 for 108 yards and two more TDs. Ronnie Blackman led Toledo receivers with five catches for 88 yards.
Bryan Koback led Toledo rushing with 13 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown as the Rockets gained 191 yards overall on the ground.
Eastern Michigan was limited to 34 yards rushing on 31 carries. Quarterback Preston Hutchinson, meanwhile, completed 25-of-38 attempts for 244 yards with four TDs and one pick.Quian Williams and Hassan Beydoun combined for 16 catches, 150 yards and a score. Tanner Knue and Bryson Cannon also owned receiving TDs. Terry Myrick (14 tackles) and Tariq Speights (11 tackles) led the EMU defense.
The Broncos prevailed in an offensive slugfest that saw the two teams combine for 1034 yards, yet just one turnover.
It was a game filled with big plays. Western Michigan’s two third quarter scores included 72- and 85-yard Kaleb Eleby passes to D’wayne Eskridge. Central Michigan hit paydirt on its third play from scrimmage when Kalil Pimpleton ripped off a 65-yard run. Kobe Lewis scored on a 69-yard run midway through the third period.
After Central Michigan took an early 14-0 lead, WMU roared back with the next 38 points. The hosting Chippewas could get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Eleby completed 12-of-20 for 383 Bronco passing yards. He tossed five TDs and one interception. Eskridge had four receptions (212 yards), with three going for touchdowns. Jaylen Hall also registered four catches, providing 110 yards and two TDs.
The Broncos’ run game shined, as well, producing 246 yards with a pair of scores. La’Darius Jefferson did most of the damage with 33 carries for 150 yards. Sean Taylor averaged 6.3 ypc. across 15 runs for 94 yards with one TD.
Central Michigan’s ground attack rolled up 219 yards of its own, with Kobe Leis (16 carries 114 yards, 2 TDs) and Pimpleton (7 carries, 108 yards, 3 TDs) leading the way.
Quarterback Daniel Richardson completed 13-of-19 for 157 yards and one touchdown. George Douglas and Devonni Reed led the Eagles defense with 11 stops apiece.