After jumping out to a 24-3 lead and knocking starting quarterback Tyler Jones out of the ball game the Spartans appeared to be on cruise control. But Eagles quarterback Andy Schmidt sparked the Ypsilanti, MI. team to a big time run to cut MSU's lead to just seven at half time.
After the Spartans scored on a Matt Trannon 35-yard pass to freshman A. J. Jimmerson on a reverse-pass, the Eagles struck back when Schultz threw behind the line of scrimmage to converted quarterback Dontayo Gage who hit Travis Lewis behind the Spartans defense for a 39 touchdown to pull the Eagles to within 14.
MSU's special teams were not at all ready for a onside kick by Eastern's Jacob Wyatt who recovered the kick. BAck in business, Schultz hit Eric Deslauriers who made an NFL type toe-tap in the back of the endzone to cut MSU lead to just 24-17 at the half.
Javon Ringer fumbled the opening kickoff and Eastern was knocking on the door at the State 23-yard line. But the State defense stiffened and EMU settled for a Wyatt 38-yard field goal to cut the State lead to just four.
"We had a great game plan and things were going the right way and then all of a sudden we get a little bit complacent. We get ahead and then we take our eyes off our man on the double pass and let the guy go by us, I mean come on," lamented coach John L. Smith.
But the Spartans responded, asserting themselves, scoring 28 unanswered points, as Drew Stanton led State on a 79-yard drive, running it in from a yard out to give MSU an 11-point lead.
After a three-and-out by EMU, Stanton led another drive that resulted in paydirt, hitting true freshman T.J. Williams from eight yards out to open up an 18-point lead.
Stanton finished a drive that began in the third quarter by hitting Trannon for 7-yards out to make the score 45-20 while Brian Hoyer hit A.J.Jimmerson from 6-yards out to end the scoring.
MSU wracked up 586 yards in total offense to Eastern Michigan's 272.
MSU now prepares to head on the road for the first time in the 2006 season against undefeated Big East leading Pittsburgh Panthers led by Dave Wannstadt at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh at 12:00 noon EST next Saturday.