Eastern Michigan rallies to beat Ball State, becomes bowl eligible

Associated Press

Muncie, Ind. — Brogan Roback completed 37 of 71 passes for a career-high 468 yards and three touchdowns and Eastern Michigan overcame a 21-point first-quarter deficit to beat Ball State 48-41 on Tuesday night.

Ball State took a 41-40 lead with 1:35 remaining on Riley Neal’s quarterback sneak. Eastern Michigan answered with an eight-play, 86-yard drive in just over a minute. Roback escaped pressure to find John Niupalau for a 35-yard gain and Ian Eriksen punched it in from the 1 with 32 seconds left. Ball State drove it to midfield, but Neal’s Hail Mary attempt was intercepted by DaQuan Pace.

Eriksen finished with 25 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns for Eastern Michigan (6-4, 3-3 Mid-American), which became bowl eligible for the first time since 1995. Dieuly Aristilde caught six passes for 107 yards and Dan Buschman made two grabs for touchdowns.

Eastern Michigan took its first lead at 33-28 with 4:34 left in the third after Sergio Bailey II broke a tackle and scored a 16-yard touchdown.