It was a tale of two halves, as both teams . . .
As a whole offense, EMU had 474 total yards, including 212 on the ground and 262 through the air.
Leading the ground assault redshirt freshman Breck Turner, who paced the Eagles with a career-high 107 yards on 17 carries. In addition to breaking the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career, Turner scored his second touchdown as an Eagle. Splitting carries with Turner, redshirt sophomore Ian Eriksen added 69 yards on 20 rushes.
In the air, the Eagles completed passes to seven different receivers, maintaining the balance they have displayed all season.
Redshirt freshman Nigel Kilby finished with five receptions for a career-best 92 yards, including a 64-yard pick up, the longest reception of the game. Kilby's big reception came on a trick play in which redshirt freshman Isaac Holder tossed the ball down field after catching a screen pass in the backfield.
Junior Sergio Bailey capped an impressive day with 40-yard touchdown reception, registering 71 yards on four catches, while junior Antoine Porter chipped in 64 yards receiving.
Defensively, the Green and White were lead by a pair of 12-tackle performances, the most by an Eagle this season. Redshirt sophomore Kyle Rachwal registered 12 stops, five solo and seven assisted, recording double digit tackles for the third time this season.
The Eagles began the game on defense and quickly gave up a big play on a screen pass, a 43-yard strike down to the EMU 13-yard line. After three straight pass plays, the Eagles forced a 30-yard field goal attempt that went right.
After trading possessions, EMU began its second drive from its own 17. On a third and three-play, Porter's pass was tipped and hung in the air, only to be intercepted by BGSU at the 31, setting the Falcons up with a short field.
The Falcons ended up with first and goal from the two, where three straight rush attempts up the middle were stuffed, forcing fourth and goal. BGSU then ran a play fake, and completed a short pass for a touchdown.
Needing a quick response, the Eagles got it on the next drive. In between rushes from Eriksen and Turner, T. Porter completed long passes to Bailey II and A. Porter for 17 and 38 yards, respectively. That moved Eastern into the red zone for the first time at the four yard line. Two plays later Turner punched it in for his second touchdown of the season, tying the game at seven.
After stopping the Falcons on back-to-back drives, the Eagles began a long drive at the 10 minute mark of the second quarter. After a 20-yard T. Porter rush on third down to get into Falcon territory, EMU coughed up its first lost-fumble of 2016. The miscue gave the Falcons their second turnover of the game, and possession of the ball at their own 28.
The defense stepped up for the third consecutive time after the turnover, forcing another punt, and giving EMU one more chance to get points before the half. However they went three-and-out. Despite a hail mary attempt right before the half from BGSU after getting to midfield, the pass was picked off in the end zone by freshman Vince Calhoun, keeping the score at seven apiece headed into halftime.
The defensive struggle continued into the second half as both teams failed to tack on any points in the first three possessions. This prompted a change in QB for EMU, with Roback entering the game on the second drive in place of a banged up T. Porter.
BGSU finally broke the stalemate on an efficient 10-play drive midway through the third quarter. The Falcons moved the ball down to the EMU 15 before the defense held its ground, forcing a 32-yard field goal, giving the Falcons the lead back 10-7 with 7:10 remaining in the third period.
As with the first time Bowling Green put up points, the Eagles had the immediate answer, this time on three quick strike plays. After a short two yard pass, the Eagles reached into their bag of tricks.
On a screen to Holder, he turned around and completed a 64-yard pass to Kilby, setting up EMU at the BG eight. On the very next play, Holder was rewarded for his pass, this time catching the touchdown strike from Roback. Holder's first career TD catch gave Eastern its first lead of the game, 14-10 with 6:10 remaining in the third.
With its first lead of the game, the Eagle defense continued its stout play, forcing a quick three-and-out. That gave Eastern Michigan the ball back with an opportunity to extend the lead. The Eagle offense was up to the task, scoring its second consecutive touchdown on the next drive.
This time EMU grinded out a 10-play scoring drive, taking 3:50 off the clock. The first seven plays of the drive saw Eastern ground and pound its way down to the BGSU 33 with runs from Eriksen and Turner. After a 15-yard penalty set Eastern up at the 17, a pass interference call put the ball at the eight. Two plays later, Roback found Kilby over the middle for the score, extending the lead to 21-10 with 1:23 left in the third period.
Facing their biggest deficit, the Falcons got a much-needed score early in the fourth quarter on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that cut the Eagle lead to 21-17 with just under 13 minutes to play.
Eastern Michigan responded quickly. Beginning the drive with back-to-back strikes to Bailey II, followed by a 14-yard pass to A. Porter, EMU drove into Falcon territory. Three plays later on third and five, Roback rolled out and found Bailey II just in front of the end zone, where he leaped and snagged a would-be interception away from the defender, and rolled in for the score. The 40-yard touchdown strike put Eastern's lead at 28-17 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Needing to keep up with the Eagles' offensive attack, BGSU went on another efficient scoring drive, this time using 14 plays for 82 yards for the touchdown. A two-point conversion made the Falcons deficit at just three points, 28-25, with 5:22 left in the contest.
Looking to melt the clock down, EMU began to pound the rock on the ensuing possession. Eriksen and Turner split the duties, running for five consecutive first downs to bleed the ticker down to under a minute. With BGSU out of timeouts, Eastern was able to kneel out the clock, sealing the three-point, 28-25, win.
The Eagles return home next week for their MAC home opener and for the 96th Homecoming against the University of Toledo. Kickoff against the Rockets is set for 3 p.m. Bowling Green is at Ohio (2 p.m. ET).