Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Eastern Michigan had never beaten a team from the Big Ten. Since then? Unbeaten, baby.
On the strength of a 24-yard Chad Ryland field goal as time expired, EMU upset Purdue 20-19 in West Lafayette Saturday afternoon. It was a back-and-forth game throughout as the lead changed hands on six different occasions, including three times in the fourth quarter alone.
The Boilermakers took a two-point lead with just under seven minutes remaining on D.J. Knox‘s 45-yard touchdown run. They had the chance to extend the lead to five less than two minutes later but, after picking off a Tyler Wiegers pass at the EMU 20-yard line, Spencer Evans missed a 38-yard field goal try.
On the ensuing possession, Wiegers was sacked on a third and eight… but a personal foul gave the Eagles a first down at the Boilermakers’ 48-yard line. Nearly a dozen plays later, the stage was set for Ryland’s late-game heroics.
The win marked the second straight season EMU has beaten a team from the Big Ten as they knocked off Rutgers last season. Prior to that, they had never beaten a team from that conference in 39 tries.
This game marked Purdue’s first loss to a MAC school since Bowling Green dropped them in 2015.