The Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-6, 3-5) fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes (6-6, 5-3), 34-26, in the final game of the regular season on Friday, Nov. 29 at Rynearson Stadium. Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass III threw for a career-high 386 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.
“It’s an emotional day, you know, with our seniors. We do a lot of things in the program this weekend to honor them. It’s a special group,” said EMU head coach Chris Creighton. “It’s hard thinking about them not being with the program anymore. Very, very, very disappointed. But we lost to a good football team that was playing for bowl eligibility so hats off to them.”
EMU got on the board first as Shaq Vann gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead following a 30-yard touchdown run with 12:19 left in the first quarter. Kent State answered back with two consecutive touchdowns by Xavier Williams and Dustin Crum to take a 14-7 lead heading to the second quarter.
Glass connected with Quian Williams for an 18-yard touchdown to even the score at 14 apiece, but the Golden Flashes responded immediately again. Matthew Trickett knocked through a 45-yard field goal and Crum scored his second touchdown of the game to put Kent State up 24-14 at the half.
The Golden Flashes headed into the second half looking for an opportunity to extend the lead and they did just that. On the opening kickoff, Jamari Parker returned the ball 96 yards for another touchdown. With 14:48 left in the third quarter, Kent State led 31-14.
The Eagles would continue to fight, though, as they have done all season long. Glass hit Line Latu for a 30-yard touchdown about two minutes later and then found Bryson Cannon for a six-yard TD early in the fourth quarter. EMU head coach Chris Creighton decided to go for the two-point conversion and failed.
The Eagles trailed 31-26 with 7:58 left.
Trickett added three more points to Kent State’s lead with a 24-yard field goal with 1:27 remaining. The Eagles had one more chance to drive down the field and tie the game but they were unable to do so. Glass was picked off by Keith Sherald Jr. at the Kent State seven-yard line. The Golden Flashes took a knee and ran out the rest of the clock.
Creighton discussed Glass’ interception that ended the game: “I think he just underthrew the ball a little bit. You know, it’s a play that he’s hit thousands of times. The kid made a good play on the catch but it just didn’t go where he wanted it to go. We just knew we were going to be able to score and go for two so it probably hasn’t hit everybody yet. So it’s a tough day.
Despite the loss, the Eagles are bowl eligible for the third time in four years. They will await their postseason destination, which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 8. The Action Network projects the Eagles will be in the Boca Raton Bowl versus Tulane on Saturday, Dec. 21.
There are 79 bowl eligible teams and 78 bowl slots so one team, possibly EMU, will be excluded.
“We treated this game as we win and we’re in. If we don’t, then we’d be on the outside looking in. I also told them there’s a small chance which is completely out of our control,” said Creighton. “It’s going to depend on what happens this weekend around the country. We didn’t give ourselves an out going into it.
Quotes courtesy of EMU Athletics.