Western Michigan 41, Toledo 38,
Central Michigan Chippewas 40, Northern Illinois 10
Ball State (1-1) 38, Eastern Michigan (0-2) 31
In an ironic twist, the Cardinals beat Eastern Michigan by the exact same score and in a very similar manner to which BSU lost at Miami the previous week. This time it was Ball State breaking a 31-31 tie with a short run in the game’s final seconds.
It was one of three touchdowns on the night for Caleb Huntley who carried 34 times for 204 yards (6/0 ypc). The Cardinals massed 304 yards rushing overall and added another 232 through the air. Drew Plitt completed 22-of-31 with one TD and one pick. Antwan Davis and Justin Hall each recorded seven catches. YoHeinz Tyler caught four balls, including a TD. The trio combined for 188 yards.
Preston Hutchinson led Eastern Michigan with 250 passing yards and 104 on the ground. He completed 17-of-29 with one touchdown.That went to Bryson Cannon, who caught five balls for 76 yards. Tanner Knue registered eight receptions for 121 yards.
Chad Ryland hit one field goal from 52 yards out and missed one from 53. Jacob Lewis kicked and 51-yarder and Jack Knight hit two (44-yards and 34-yards) for the Cardinals.
Eastern Michigan had the largest lead of the night, owning a 21-7 advantage midway though the second stanza. However, the home team chipped away and took a 28-24 lead on Plitt’s 33-yard strike to Tyler at 10:02 of the fourth quarter. BSU added a field goal before Eastern Michigan forged a tie at 31-all with 4:12 remaining.
Western Michigan (2-0) 41, Toledo (1-1) 38
Down by 10 with under three minutes remaining, host Western Michigan used a trip play to nip Toledo in the final seconds. WMU first closed with by driving 70 yards on 11 plays, capped by Kaleb Eleby’s one-yard run. The PAT, however, failed, meaning Western still needed the ball and a touchdown with just 45 ticks left.
It got the ball by recovering Thiago Kapp’s onside kick. Three straight Kaleb Eleby completions took it to the Rockets’ nine. After rushing to the line, Western Michigan faked a clock-killing spike. Eleby held onto the ball and lofted an easy touchdown pass to wide open Jaylen Hall.
Toledo led in many statistics and had a 501-437 advantage in total yards. However, it did give up the ball on one interception and the onside kick.
Eleby completed 20-of-29 for 284 yards and three Bronco touchdowns. He also had two rushing scores. Sean Tyler finished with 12 carries for 100 yards rushing. Dwayne Eskridge caught seven balls for 131 yards and a score.
Toledo’s Eli Peters completed 30-of-46 for 339 yards with one TD and one pick. Bryant Koback led Rocket rushers with 24 carries for 78 yards and two TDs. He added 61 more yards on seven catches. Isaiah Winstead had a long of 55 yards among his four receptions for 96 total yards.
The Chippewas scored just one first half touchdowns and added a safety before finding their offensive stride midway through the third quarter.
It was 33-0 after Lew Nichols III’s 36-6ard TD run at 14:17 of the fourth quarter. John Richardson put NIU on the board with a 45-yard field goal, but Ty Brock finished Central Michigan scoring with a 10-yard run at 5:22.
Andrew Haidet found Dennis Robinson on a 31-yard TD strike with 11 seconds left for Northern’s only touchdown of the evening. Haidet came on in relief of Ross Bowers, who completed 16-of-32 for 139 yards. Northern also struggled running the ball, finishing with just 74 yards.
Central Michigan, on the other hand, registered 237 yards on the ground and got another 196 through the air as Daniel Richardson completed 13-of-19 with two TDs and one interception. Each of his two passing TDs covered 58 yards -- one to Dallas Dixon and the other to Nichols.