Roback, Vann lead Eastern Michigan past Wyoming, 48-29
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) Informed by his players that Eastern Michigan had gone 27 years without a non-conference road win against an upper-tier team, Eagles coach Craig Creighton got inspired. And so did his team, which jumped to a 38-7 first-half lead at Wyoming on Saturday and rolled to a 48-29 victory.
Brogan Roback passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns and Shaq Vann rushed for 129 yards and two scores for Eastern Michigan (1-1).
''This morning, I was just excited,'' Creighton said. ''We've got a chance to do something for the first time, in this century, right? I mean, that's a big word.''
After punting on its first possession, Eastern Michigan scored on six consecutive drives to go up by 31 points. In last week's opener, the Eagles took a 24-10 lead over Old Dominion but couldn't hold on. Vann said the squad focused on not letting up this time.
''We kind of had to bring ourselves back down and we realized we had to finish this thing, like we didn't do that last week,'' he said. ''That was our plan all week was to finish.''
Roback, who was 17-of-24 passing with no interceptions, started in place of Reginald Bell, who suffered a jaw injury in the opener.
''The O-line played out of their mind,'' Roback said. ''The pass (protection) was awesome.''
Wyoming coach Craig Bohl saw his team turn in a second straight disappointing performance, although the offense improved significantly from last week, piling up 430 yards on the ground.
''I think that can be a sign of the times,'' he said. ''There are some positive things in there - not a ton of positive things - but I appreciate the effort by a lot of young guys there in the second half.''
Brian Hill had touchdown runs of 65 and five yards for Wyoming (0-2). He finished with 242 yards on 21 carries, the fourth most rushing yards in school history. His 281 yards last season against Fresno State was second-best all-time.
Hill credited his offensive line with creating holes, but he knows the offense needs to get going earlier.
''We've been slapped in the mouth two times so far. We just have to find a way to win games,'' he said. ''We have the talent, but we just have to find a way to put it together for a whole game.''
Vann scored on runs of 15 and 74 yards and Darius Jackson had a 17-yard touchdown reception and a 2-yard scoring run for the Eagles. Sam Browning caught a 3-yard TD pass while Dylan Mulder's 39-yard field goal gave Eastern Michigan a 38-7 lead with 3:46 left in the first half.
Roback threw a 64-yard strike to Eddie Daugherty to make it 45-22 early in the third quarter, while Mulder added a 41-yard field goal late in the game.
Wyoming was forced to go with its No. 3 quarterback, Nick Smith, after Josh Allen exited with an apparent shoulder injury midway through the first quarter. Allen started in place of Cameron Coffman, who suffered a knee injury in last week's opener.
Smith rushed for 65 yards on 10 carries but struggled through the air, completing 3 of 13 for zero net yards. Allen had been effective both passing and running, completing 3 of 4 passes for 32 yards and picking up 40 yards on three carries. He engineered an 84-yard drive to start the game, capped by Justice Murphy's 5-yard TD run.
However, Allen was hurt on the Cowboys' next possession after opting not to slide following a 24-yard run and colliding with Eastern Michigan's Jason Beck. Allen is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks.
The Eagles recovered an onside kick late in the first quarter to set up Jackson's scoring catch. He broke two tackles on his way to the end zone and put Eastern Michigan ahead 21-7.
The teams combined 968 total yards, including 506 by Eastern Michigan.
Great Ibe led the Eagles' defense with 10 tackles, while Clay Dawson had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Andrew Wingard had 12 tackles while Lucas Wacha added 10 for the Cowboys.
Wyoming's Shaun Wick ran for 82 yards to move into eighth place on the school's career rushing list with 2,179 yards.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org