College Football: Buffalo stampedes Eagles in a “terrible day” for EMU

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-5, 1-4) lost to the Buffalo Bulls (5-4, 3-2) on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti. EMU got up 7-0 before allowing 43 consecutive points and losing 43-14. The Bulls earned 20 more first downs and 250 more total yards compared to the Eagles. Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson had a game-high 160 rushing yards.

“That was a terrible day. When you talk about Eastern Michigan football, we are how we play on gameday. But at the same time a lot of people work hard and care deeply, and that’s not a representation of who we are. We’re embarrassed and disappointed,” said EMU head coach Chris Creighton. “We got beat up in a lot of ways.”

Despite how the game turned out, the Eagles got off to a quick start. Mike Glass III connected with Matthew Sexton deep downfield and Sexton found the end zone for the third touchdown of the game, giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead. The drive went 94 yards and took four plays. Chad Ryland tacked on the extra point, putting EMU up 7-0 in the first quarter.

“We had Matt on a vertical. We were looking underneath at first. But I think Mike ended up scrambling and go out of the pocket and saw him and got it to him. It was a good play for us,” said Creighton. “They did a good job with their pass rush. When you’re not able to complete short passes and run the ball effectively early, you put yourself in tough spots.”

From that point on, it was all Buffalo. The Bulls got their first point on a safety with 1:01 left in the first quarter. Chibueze Onwuka tackled Glass in the end zone, bringing the score to 7-2 in favor of EMU. Glass was injured on the play and would later leave the game. Buffalo would go onto score four touchdowns in the second quarter alone.

Kevin Marks gave the Bulls a 9-7 lead with a nine-yard touchdown rush with 10:41 remaining in the second quarter. Kyle Vantrease ran for two touchdowns on Buffalo’s next two possessions. The first one was a 16-yard run by the quarterback and the second was a one-yard score. Antonio Nunn capped off the half with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Vantrease.

Buffalo would add two more touchdowns, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter. They were both one-yard runs from Patterson. The first drive took 5:47, 11 plays, and 81 yards. The second drive took more than seven minutes off the clock and put the Bulls up 43-7 with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Preston Hutchinson, who replaced Glass after he was injured, scored Eastern Michigan’s second touchdown with a one-yard TD run in the final minutes of the game. Hutchinson finished the game with 90 passing yards, -11 rushing yards, one touchdown run, and one interception.

“We put our defense in terrible situations. Both offensively and special teams. We wanted to give them long fields. That was the goal,” said Creighton. “The defense was going to keep them in front of us, which they did but we didn’t hold them out at all. We couldn’t hold on third down and obviously we had a few special teams blunders.”

The Eagles will return to the field on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Akron.