Ypsilanti — Brogan Roback threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns as Eastern Michigan beat Ball State, 56-14, on Thursday night to snap a six-game skid and earn its first Mid-American Conference victory of the season.
Eastern Michigan (3-6, 1-4) scored five touchdowns on its first six drives to take a 35-14 lead at halftime. Three of the scoring drives were five plays or less. Roback was 13 of 17 for 207 yards and three touchdowns, including a 74-yarder to Sergio Bailey II for the longest throw and catch of their careers.
Roback went over 8,000 career passing yards in the first half to become the second player in program history to do so. Walter Church (1996-00) holds the school record with 9,142 yards.
Shaq Vann scored his second touchdown of the game on the first possession of the second half to extend EMU’s lead to 42-14. He finished with 55 yards on seven carries, and Ian Eriksen had 114 yards rushing and one touchdown. Paul Fricano tied a program record with eight extra points.
Drew Plitt was 11-of-21 passing for 169 yards and two touchdowns for Ball State (2-7, 0-5), which lost its sixth straight.
Irish transfer Zaire to start at QB for Florida
Florida will start its third quarterback of the season Saturday at Missouri.
Interim coach Randy Shannon announced graduate transfer Malik Zaire will start against the Tigers (3-5, 0-4 Southeastern Conference), a game the Gators (3-4, 3-3) probably need to win to make a bowl.
Zaire replaces redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, who was benched in three of six starts.
“This is his opportunity to get this team where it needs to be and not to be satisfied just because he’s the starter,” Shannon said in a statement. “Today is an opportunity for him to run the offense and understand the expectations that we have for him.
“This is not a time for him to feel comfortable and feel like he’s made it. We want him to keep grinding and understand that competition is very good.”
Zaire has played in two lopsided losses this season, completing 16 of 25 passes for 142 yards. He was sacked five times in the opener against Michigan but looked much more comfortable against Georgia’s backups last Saturday.
Former coach Jim McElwain and embattled offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier added Zaire to Florida’s quarterback room in June, an indication they weren’t completely satisfied with Franks and Luke Del Rio.
No alcohol at Nebraska
Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos, who unsuccessfully tried to start beer sales in the general seating areas at Washington State’s football stadium, says he has no plans for alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium or the school’s other sports venues.
Moos said Thursday that Nebraska doesn’t need to sell alcohol. The athletic department makes money, the football stadium has sold out every home game since 1962.