Mount Pleasant, Mich. — Shane Morris threw three touchdown passes in the first half, Sean Bunting had two of Central Michigan’s five interceptions, and the Chippewas held off Eastern Michigan 42-30 on Wednesday night.
Central Michigan was ahead 28-10 late in the second quarter, but the Chippewas’ only first down of the second half came with 6:27 remaining in the game.
EMU scored on back-to-back drives in the fourth to pull to 35-30. The Eagles punted on their next two possessions, but got the ball back at their 26 with 1:03 left. Two plays later, Amari Coleman sealed it with his eighth career interception, returning it for a 32-yard TD.
Jonathan Ward rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 79-yarder, for Central Michigan (6-4, 4-2 Mid-American Conference), which is bowl eligible for the 10th time in 12 years. Morris was 9-of-12 passing for 141 yards before halftime and finished with 155 yards on 11 completions.
Tyler Conklin made a 4-yard catch to set a CMU record for tight ends with 11 TDs, topping David Blackburn (2008-11). Corey Willis had back-to-back touchdown catches, of 12 and 4 yards, to make it 28-10. Willis has six touchdowns this season — all in the last three games.
Brogan Roback was 23 of 39 for 204 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions for Eastern Michigan (3-7, 1-5).
Roback’s second fourth-quarter touchdown pass set the program record with 54 passing TDs, topping former Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch. Roback found Mathew Sexton over the middle from 18 yards out to pull to 35-30 and set the mark with 7:24 remaining.
(At) Western Michigan 48, Kent State 20: Darius Phillips had one of Western Michigan’s three defensive touchdowns to extend his FBC record, and Jarvion Franklin ran for 191 yards and a touchdown. Phillips made it 31-14 late in the first half with a 43-yard interception return, his FBC-record 12th touchdown on runbacks. He has scored on five kickoff returns, five interceptions, a punt return and a fumble return. Allen Rossum (Notre Dame, 1994-97) and Adoree’ Jackson (USC, 2014-16) are second with nine each.
Phillips had a 100-yard kickoff return called back in the first quarter.
Four rushers combined for 292 yards for Western Michigan (6-4, 4-2 Mid-American Conference), which is bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.
WMU went on a 12-play, 92-yard scoring drive to open the game. On Kent State’s first possession, Robert Spillane returned an interception 35 yards for a 14-point lead. Kent State punted on its next possession, but Erik Simpson forced a fumble and recovered it, and the Golden Flashes got on the board with Justin Rankin’s 21-yard touchdown run on a reverse.
Franklin gave Western Michigan a 21-14 lead on a career-long, 72-yard run up the middle. He had 149 yards rushing in the first quarter.
Rankin rushed for 67 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries for Kent State (2-8, 1-5). He took a direct snap and stretched out at the goal line for a 3-yard touchdown to tie it at 14.