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2022 MAC Football Week 1 Game Recap: Eastern Michigan 42, Eastern Kentucky 34

Eastern Michigan downs Eastern Kentucky in a familiar one-score fashion in the Battle of Eastern Directional Schools.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Eastern Michigan opened their 53rd season at Rynearson Stadium with a victory against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels by a score of 42-34, officially marking the opening of the college football season.

The Eastern Michigan passing attack was led by Taylor Powell, who was 21-of-30 for 271 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked three times in the first half though. Tanner Knue brought two of that touchdown passes, with Hassan Beydoun got the other one. Dylan Drummond was the leader in receiving yards with 68, while Beydoun got 48 yards and Knue got 43 yards. Taylor Powell also ran in for a touchdown.

The Eastern Michigan rushing attack got off to a sluggish start with only eight yards in the first half, but rushing leader Samson Evans was able to get into a groove eventually, ending the night with 89 yards and two touchdowns. Lamar transfer Jaylon Jackson was able to run for 24 yards as well in his EMU debut, bringing the Eagles rushing total over 100 yards.

For the Colonels, Parker McKinney was 35-of-51 for 351 yards. He threw three touchdowns, one interception and was sacked once. His main target was Dakota Allen, who caught for 118 yards. The Colonels rushing attack was splint over three players who got almost 40 yards each.

The Colonels stuck first with a field goal in the second quarter. The Eagles were able to make it 14-3 shortly after that and never looked back— though EKU did end up bridging the gap throughout the game whenever EMU got too far away, making EMU earn their win at the end of the game by converting a first down on the ground in the last minute. Each team recovered one fumble and nabbed an interception.

This was no slouch of a win for the Eagles. The Colonels were picked to place second in their division in the rough-and-tumble Atlantic Sun Conference. But still, it’s too early to make any predictions.

Next week, Eastern Michigan travels down to Lafayette, Louisiana, where they will face the Ragin’ Cajuns. The game starts at 7 p.m. Eastern time.