The Eagles needed a good confidence booster after a shellacking in Columbia, Missouri last week against the Mizzou Tigers and the Charlotte 49ers were more than willing to oblige, as Eastern rolled their way to a 34-19 victory on the road.
Todd Porter paced the Eagles offense with two touchdowns, finishing the day 24-of-31 for 285 yards, as EMU struggled to get anything going on the ground.
Three different running backs had carries, including team leader Breck Turner (five carries for 20 yards), Ian Eriksen (nine carries for 19 yards and a touchdown) and Blake Banham (five carries for 19 yards) as the team totaled 72 yards on the ground.
The receiving numbers were decidedly more positive, as Johnny Niupalau (three receptions for a team-leading 72 yards) and Nigel Kilby (two receptions for 13 yards) each had touchdowns. Antoine Porter (team-leading six receptions for 66 yards), Dan Buschman (three receptions for 40 yards) and Eriksen (two receptions for 38 yards) also contributed.
Linebacker Jaylen Pickett grabbed his second interception of the season and returned it for a touchdown in the third quarter to help boost the score for EMU.
Charlotte had a case of the blahs at quarterback, with starter Kevin Olsen (14-of-28 for 123 yards and two interceptions) eventually riding the pine. Replacement Hasaan Kluge was slightly better, tossing two touchdowns to help salvage the score. Kluge finished 9-of-15 for 66 yards.
Robert Washington carried the 49ers on offense, with a game leading 20 carries for 120 yards, while TL Ford II (four receptions for 51 yards) and Workpeh Kofa (a 10 yard reception) found the endzone for Charlotte. Austin Duke (nine receptions for 86 yards) led the 49ers and the game in receiving numbers.
The teams were about even in total yards, with EMU edging out Charlotte by nine yards, while Charlotte won the first done battle 23-16. EMU edged Charlotte in time of possession as well, holding the ball for 31 minutes and 34 seconds. Early turnovers and bad penalties doomed Charlotte, however, as EMU held a 17-3 lead at the half thanks to various 49er miscues, such as an interception and a missed field goal.
The Eagles will round out the non-conference season and look to go 3-1 before conference play by hosting Wyoming in Ypsilanti next Saturday.