MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Marion Lukes ran for a go-ahead 24-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter and Central Michigan held off Eastern Michigan 26-23 on Saturday in a Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.
Eastern Michigan went on a 14-play drive to get into field-goal range, but Jesus Gomez missed a 46-yarder with 51 seconds left.
Gomez also had an extra-point attempted blocked and returned the other way by Dakota Cochran to give CMU two points for a tie at 16-all.
Jase Bauer was 19 of 26 for 218 yards with a touchdown and interception for Central Michigan (3-2). Myles Bailey rushed for 92 yards and Bauer had a touchdown on the ground.
The Chippewas fell to the Eagles, 38-19, a year ago.
Austin Smith also had a passing and rushing touchdown for Eastern Michigan (2-3). Smith was 20 of 26 for 186 yards and he carried it 19 times for 91 yards. Tanner Knue caught seven passes for 68 yards and a score. EMU has missed two of its last four extra-point attempts after making 107 in a row.
Central Michigan announced a crowd of 28,323, the largest at Kelly/Shorts Stadium since 2016.