The Eastern Michigan Eagles football team will make their MAC season debut on Saturday when they visit the Central Michigan Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
The game (3 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but you can watch it live right here on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that includes multiple MAC football games every week, other college football and live sports, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Eastern Michigan vs Central Michigan live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Eastern Michigan vs Central Michigan Preview
The Eagles are coming off a bye week. Two weeks ago, they improved to 3-1 with a thrilling last-minute victory over the Central Connecticut Blue Devils.
Trailing by one with 18 seconds remaining, senior wide receiver Mathew Sexton blocked an Eastern Michigan punt from midfield, collected the ball on a charitable bounce, and ran it in for a 34-29 victory.
“We’ve been practicing that all week,” Sexton said, according to The Eastern Echo. “They had their guard and their tackle and they were tight. Without the specialist team, there is no way that happens. It’s just taking the ball off the foot. How it bounced up right into my hands, I don’t know, that’s a blessing from God. I’ll take it.”
Before Sexton’s heroics, the Eagles blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead.
“It feels as though they played harder than we did,” head coach Chris Creighton said, per The Eastern Echo. “I know the whole country just chalks it up as time goes by as just another win and you move on and all of that, but I’m just not wired that way. I’m not saying that is right, that is just my issue.”
Against Central Michigan, who are 2-3 overall and have split a pair of MAC contests, Creighton’s defense will be tasked with slowing explosive running back Jonathan Ward.
“From my perspective, I think it’s very important that we neutralize their running back, Jonathan Ward,” EMU junior linebacker Terry Myrick said this week, per The Eastern Echo. “He brings a lot to the table; he has great balance, great vision, soft hands out of the backfield and nice quickness. I think that he’s a great back, so neutralizing him is the first thing for our defense.”
In the Chippewas’ season debut, a 38-21 victory over the Albany Great Danes, Ward carried 22 times for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 3 catches for 53 yards. The senior logged just one carry a week later, in a 61-0 road defeat against the Wisconsin Badgers, before exiting with a shoulder injury.
Ward missed two games before returning to the field in the Chippewas’ 31-15 loss to the Western Michigan Broncos last week. He carried 19 times for 107 yards and caught 2 passes for another 21 yards.
“He ran hard, there’s no doubt about that,” CMU head coach Jim McElwain said, according to Central Michigan Life. “He ran behind his blockers and behind his pads well. He gave us a few nice chunk runs. Proud of him, he could’ve chosen to take another week off, but he came back, and I’ve got a lot of respect for that.”