First quarter

Eastern Michigan wins the toss, defers to second half, after a touch back Ball Stare starts with ball as the rain begins to pick up in Ypsilanti.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Plitt starts the game for Ball State, making the Cardinals the first team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to start four different quarterbacks this season. Freshman running back Caleb Huntley recovers a bad snap to Plitt on the first play and Ball State goes three-and-out.

Team facts entering game

Ball State

Record: 2-6, 0-4 MAC

Last 5: 0-5

Eastern Michigan

Record: 2-6, 0-4 MAC

Last 5: 0-5

Series details

Ball State leads 34-22-2

Last meeting: Nov. 8, 2017 (EMU won 48-41)

Eastern Michigan begins at Ball State’s 31-yard line and senior quarterback Brogan Roback capitalizes on two passes, scoring on an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Antoine Porter.

Huntley and sophomore running back Malik Dunner split a couple of running first downs, leading to a 25-yard touchdown pass from Plitt to a freshman wide receiver Kahlil Newton for Ball State, bringing the game to 7-7.   

On the next drive, Roback had the ball knocked out of his hand, recovered by redshirt sophomore linebacker Jacob White at Eastern Michigan’s 26-yard line. After a three-and-out, however, Ball State punts, pinning Eastern Michigan back at their own six-yard line.

Junior running back Ian Eriksen’s first three rushes go for 31 yards as Eastern Michigan marches downfield.  After being rushed on third down, Roback rolls right, finding senior wide receiver Johnnie Niupalau on a 20-yard touchdown pass, putting Eastern Michigan up 14-7 late in the first.

On second down, Plitt is sacked for a 5-yard loss, bringing up 3rd and 13 for Ball State when it begins the second quarter.

Second quarter

Ball State is forced to punt as Eastern Michigan begins its next drive from its own 46-yard line. 

On 3rd-and-10, Roback rolls out to find junior wide receiver Eddie Daugherty for an 18-yard sideline catch. Eastern Michigan capitalized on a pass interference call with a three-yard touchdown rush from Eriksen, putting the Eagles up 21-7.

Ball State starts at its own 17-yard line and is forced to punt after another three-and-out. 

On the second play of the drive, Roback finds senior wide receiver Sergio Bailey for a 74-yard touchdown pass, putting Eastern Michigan up 28-7.

Dunner’s kickoff return puts Ball State at the 29-yard line, followed by a 29-yard pass completion from Plitt to freshman wide receiver Justin Hall. Plitt connects on third and long to junior wide receiver Brennan Gillis for a 16-yard sideline catch followed by a four-yard touchdown pass from Plitt to redshirt freshman tight end Nolan Givan, bringing Ball State within 14.

After starting at its own 27-yard line, Eastern Michigan completes a pair of 15-plus yard catches, followed by junior running back Shaq Vann breaking free for a 21-yard touchdown run.

Plitt comes out firing on the next drive, finding Hall on a 30-yard reception, bringing Ball State into Eastern Michigan territory. The drive comes to an end after junior kicker Morgan Hagee misses the 41-yard field goal attempt wide right. 

Ball State utilized its final timeout with seven seconds remaining in the half, but Eastern Michigan’s punt ran down the remaining time. Eastern Michigan retains a 35-14 lead heading into halftime.

Third quarter

Eastern Michigan starts the second half at the 35-yard line after the opening kickoff goes out of bounds. After a couple third down conversions, Vann finds the end zone on his second 21-yard rushing touchdown of the night.

A couple of Plitt runs gave Ball State a pair of first downs, but Ball State was forced to punt, pinning Eastern Michigan back at its own three-yard line with 7:23 remaining in the third quarter. 

Third downs continue to haunt Ball State, as Roback and redshirt senior Blake Banham converts on rushing conversions along with a 36-yard shovel pass to Bailey. Banham capitalizes the drive with a three-yard touchdown rush, giving Eastern Michigan the 49-14 lead.

Ball State converts on one of its few third-down conversions with an 11-yard completion from Plitt to Hall. Quarter comes to an end as Eastern Michigan leads 49-14.

Fourth quarter

Plitt opens the final quarter of play with a 31-yard pass to Newton, followed by Ball State’s final timeout of the game. Plitt was hit from behind on second down, losing possession of the ball as Eastern Michigan recovers the fumble at Ball State’s 45-yard line.

Ball State stops Eastern Michigan on third down for one of the few times on the night. After a fair catch call, the Cardinals begin their next drive at their own 10-yard line.

Plitt drives down the Cardinals down field, converting on a rushing first down as well as a 19-yard completion to Newton. Freshman running back Markice Hurt Jr. converted for a pair of running first downs as well, but Ball State was forced to attempt a 44-yard field goal, missing after the ball hit the goal post. 

Eastern Michigan plays backup freshman quarterback Isaac Stiebeling on the next drive and Ball State forced a three-and-out, getting the ball back with 4:05 left on the clock. On the ensuing drive, Plitt threw his first interception of the night, which was returned by freshman cornerback Jeff Hubbard for 54 yards. 

Ball State started to drive down field, but time expired as Eastern Michigan went on to win 56-14.