It was homecoming for Eastern Michigan, and they were heavily favored to win this game.
This was the second of a four game series between Massachusetts and Eastern Michigan, and the fourth game overall between the two teams, with UMass leading the series all-time.
Eastern Michigan won the opening stanza last year in the new, non-conference series, and Massachusetts looked to avenge that loss on the road.
The Minutemen would start that effort in style. open the scoring on a 49-yard drive that was finished by quarterback Gino Campiotti to go up to a 7-0 lead. The Minutemen would bring that to a 10-0 lead after a 37 yard field goal by Cameron Carson.
Cameron Carson would split the uprights to begin the second half up 13-0. Things were starting to look bleak for the Eagles at that point, and it took engineering a 75-yard drive that was capped off by an eight-yard pass from Austin Smith to Darius Lassiter to get the offense inspired again, bringing the score to 13-7.
Eastern Michigan would strike again to take the lead after a 65-yard drive was capped by a 39-yard pass from Austin Smith to Tanner Knue. Darius Boone would strike to make it 20 to 13. Eastern Michigan would miss the ensuing two-point conversion. The game was sealed after a Mark Lee interception to stop a Massachusetts comeback attempt.
Massachusetts quarterback Gino Campiotti was 8-of-18 for 87 yards with one interception, while also being the team’s leading rusher with 118 yards and a rushing score on 25 carries. The Eagles Austin Smith was 13-for-24 for 122 yards with two interceptions and touchdowns. Eastern Michigan’s Samson Evans would record his second over 100 yard game by gaining 122 yards.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty win but a win is a win. Eastern Michigan will travel to Kalamazoo next weekend to face their intrastate rival, the Broncos.