The Wyoming Cowboys had a lead in the fourth quarter but they could not hold onto the small four-point lead they had, but ultimately lost, 27-24.
In reality, the game should have never come down to a later fourth quarter comeback for Eastern Michigan.
Wyoming’s secondary had a huge game in which they picked off Eagles quarterback Todd Porter three times just minutes into the second quarter. One of those three was a 66-yard pick-six by Marcus Epps which put Wyoming up 7-0.
The Cowboys turned those three interceptions into 17 points but Eastern Michigan would hang around and get their offense back on track.
The Eagles responded by scoring 14 points to end the half and one of those touchdowns was due to Wyoming wide receiver Tanner Gentry losing the ball near midfield, and he had two fumbles on the day. Gentry dive have a career-high 12 catches and 127 receiving yards.
"I'm going to put the blame on myself for fumbling twice," Gentry said. "That's unacceptable."
Eastern Michigan promptly scored five plays later after that first Gentry fumble when Porter connected with John Niupalau from seven yards out to tie the game at 17 at the break.
The second half saw both offenses come to a complete stale mate. Eastern Michigan was able to manage a chip shot field goal from 29 yards out to take their first lead of the game.
After the teams exchanged punts things got interesting. Wyoming drove down the field as their offense was actually moving for one of the few times in this game. OK, the offense was aided by a pass interference call, but regardless they moved down deep into Eastern Michigan territory.
The Cowboys were stalled at the goal line after an amazing attempt by quarterback Josh Allen who dove and hurdled but came up a yard short of the end zone.
Goodness gracious. Almost an insane hurdle for a TD for Wyoming (ruled down at 1).https://t.co/B4axKa3ncd— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 24, 2016
Wyoming decided to go for it on fourth down and at the one-yard line, but right guard Kaden Jackson moved early which pushed back the Cowboys back to the six-yard line. The Cowboys decided to kick a chip shot field goal from 23 yards out to tie the game at 20, but Eastern Michigan blocked the attempt.
Eastern Michigan’s next drive came up short when they too went for it on fourth down when Kevin Prosser had an 11-yard sack.
The Cowboys would lose the ball again on Gentry’s second fumble of the day, but the defense came back again with another pick-six. This time it was Logan Wilson who scored from 27 yards out, and give Wyoming a 24-20 lead.
"Anytime you have two pick-6s, typically a lot of good things happen," head coach Craig Bohl said.
That second interception for a touchdown had Eastern Michigan switch to Brogan Roback at quarterback. On his second drive led the Eagles to what would be the game-winning score when Ian Eriksen scored from 15 yards out.|
Wyoming had one last chance to get the win but the strong-armed Allen was unable to connect on a deep pass for a potential game-winning hail mary. That ball was under thrown and picked off.
The loss extends Wyoming’s road losing streak to nine games.
While game was close, Wyoming has their issues. They turned the ball over three times of their own, allowed 500 yards of total offense and 5.1 yards per rushing attempt.
The offense for the Cowboys was not great either as they scored only one touchdown when running back Brian Hill scored on a 5-yard rush. Hill was held in check as he had just a long of eight and while he had 82 yards there was no typical big rushing play by Hill. Also, the offense had too many drives stall out as they went only 3 of 13 of third down attempts.
One part of the game that garnered a lot of attention on the broadcast was a peaceful student protest throughout the game.
The protests occurred due to racist graffiti that appeared on campus earlier this week and protests have occurred leading up to and during the game. As the game move on the protesters started by a fence, moved over the fence and eventually near the track.
Students protesting at the EMU game over white supremacist graffiti—cops trying to push them back pic.twitter.com/sCJ2YX7R8J— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 24, 2016
The protesters wanted to walk around the track during the game but security was not going to allow that to happen, and a compromise was met when Eastern Michigan James Smith spoke with the crowd and the two came to an agreement to allow them on the field after the game.
Also, give credit to CBS Sports Network for staying with live coverage of the protest and even interviewing with one of those protesting to gather clarity of why they were doing what they were doing.