What a very odd week for Direction Michigan teams, a lot of extremes to take note of. The question coming into the weekend was how many of these three teams would walk away with victories.
Well, one team that won was not surprised one bit, neither was the team that lost, and the team that pulled off the shocker got a little help from an incorrect ruling from an officiating crew but hey, Central Michigan ain’t complaining! And they shouldn’t.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 30, (22) OKLAHOMA STATE 27
Even if the correct ruling was made, huge credit to the Chippewas for playing a tightly-contested game with a ranked Cowboys team on the road in hostile territory. They trailed 10-0 after the first quarter and found themselves only down a field goal heading into the 4th. They took their first lead with a little under ten minutes to go, 24-20, before Oklahoma State went down and re-claimed the lead four minutes later.
As we know, the game was wrongly extended by one free play for the Chips after OSU intentionally grounded the football on a 4th down with no time left on the clock. Why there is a MAC officiating crew working a game between a non-conference foes, one of which is a MAC program, is beyond me, but that is a rant for another day.
Anyway, on to the notable performances. Quarterback Cooper Rush was prolific all afternoon, going 30/42 and throwing for 361 yards and four touchdowns. One of the four scores was given to junior wide receiver Corey Willis who received the lateral from senior wideout Jesse Kroll after Kroll hauled in the Hail Mary bomb on the 9-yard line. And junior TE Tyler Conklin was the recipient of two Rush TD passes and led the team with 96 receiving yards.
The running game was pretty quiet for Central, just 57 total yards on the ground from five different players.
Central will gladly take its 2-0 record back home this coming Saturday for a date with UNLV (1-1).
MISSOURI 61, EASTERN MICHIGAN 21
Not so surprisingly, the Eagles got waxed in SEC country. Quite frankly, the fact they were able to put up 21 points on an SEC club on the road is impressive in its own merit.
Junior QB Todd Porter was just 23/45 for 287 yards, one score and two picks. The touchdown pass went to junior WR Sergio Bailey II from five yards out early in the 3rd quarter. Bailey had a team-high seven receptions on the evening and totaled 57 yards receiving.
The other two touchdowns for the Eagles came on the ground. Sophomore tailback Ian Eriksen punched one in from one yard out early in the 2nd quarter to make it a 14-7 game in favor of Missouri at the time. He finished with 90 yards on the ground on 23 carries. And the quarterback Porter ran one in himself from four yards out late in the 3rd.
Missouri though absolutely torched the Eagles all game long. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock threw for 450 yards and five touchdowns, and the Tigers used an eight-man crew to add 170 yards on the ground.
Eastern is back on the road next Saturday, they travel down to Charlotte (1-1) and take on the 49ers.
WESTERN MICHIGAN 70, UNC CENTRAL 21
The Broncos took a de facto week off after their impressive Week 1 victory on the road at Northwestern and decided to open up the playbook and drop 70 on the Eagles from N.C. Central.
Senior Qb Zach Terrell completed just 15 passes on 22 attempts for 255 yards and four scores. Three of those touchdowns went to standout superstar senior receiver Corey Davis, who finished with seven catches and 150 yards. The other Terrell TD pass went to fellow senior Carrington Thompson who finished with 44 yards.
The bulk of the Bronco offense came on the ground with nearly 360 yards rushing. Sophomores Jamuari Bogan and LeVante Bellamy and junior Jarvion Franklin finished with a combined 343 yards rushing and each scored one of the team’s five rushing touchdowns. The others came from freshman tailback Davon Tucker and the quarterback Terrell.
The Bronco defense allowed 315 yards worth of offense to the Eagles, but forced their punter to boot it away 11 times in the game for a total of 422 yards. WMU also added a punt return for a touchdown in the contest, courtesy of junior cornerback Darius Phillips from 66 yards out. He returned six punts on the day for a total of 113 yards.
The Broncos hit the road again and back into Big Ten country next Saturday when the travel to Champaign and play Illinois (1-1).