OXFORD, Ohio – Junior wide receiver Jeff Glover’s trick-play touchdown pass to junior Deno Montgomery late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Eastern Kentucky University football team stunned FBS member Miami (Ohio), 17-10, on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium.
With the game tied, 10-10, and both offenses sputtering in the fourth quarter, EKU (2-0) turned to trickery for the historic win. Glover took the second handoff on a backfield reverse and connected with a wide-open Montgomery downfield for a 43-yard touchdown that gave the Colonels the lead with 4:43 to play.
Junior Stanley Absanon – who had the equalizing pick six in the third quarter – sealed the victory by intercepting Miami (0-2) quarterback Andrew Hendrix on the RedHawks’ ensuing drive.
It is EKU’s first win over an FBS program since 1985 when the Colonels defeated Louisville, 45-21.
The EKU defense stifled Miami to only 60 yards rushing. Although the RedHawks threw for 359 yards, the Colonels picked off Hendrix three times and boasted a +4 turnover margin on the day.
Miami drew first blood in the game, as Hendrix connected with Jared Murphy on a 40-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the day.
The EKU defense settled down after the early score and forced two straight Miami punts.
Colonel special teams then got in on the action as senior Chris Owens recovered a muffed punt at the Miami 15-yard line. Senior Andrew Lloyd converted a 37-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 2:05 remaining in the first quarter.
Miami threatened midway through the second quarter, driving the ball 73 yards to the EKU four-yard line. However, sophomore Devin Borders blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt by the RedHawks.
Keyed by a 43-yard catch by senior Channing Fugate, Eastern responded with a 52-yard drive of its own to the Miami 20. But, a pass by senior Jared McClain was intercepted in the end zone and returned for a touchback.
The Colonels had another chance to score with just under three minutes to play in the first half, as junior Trey Thomas sacked Hendrix and forced a fumble at the Miami 24. Junior Marquise Piton scooped up the fumble with daylight in front of him, but was hit from behind and lost a fumble at the Miami 20.
The RedHawks took the ball to the EKU 35-yard line on their ensuing drive, but senior Brandon Stanley picked off a pass by Hendrix with a minute on the clock.
The Colonels then took the ball 47 yards in less than a minute to the Miami 23, but a holding penalty with 12 seconds on the clock knocked EKU out of field goal range.
Miami chewed up clock on its opening drive of the second half, going 68 yards in just over six minutes and thirty seconds. The drive looked to culminate with a five-yard touchdown pass from Hendrix to Alex Welch, but a jarring hit by Absanon knocked the catch loose and Miami had to settle for a chip shot field goal to take a 10-3 lead.
Absanon was not done. After a three-and-out by EKU, Miami drove the ball to its own 46-yard line before Absanon jumped an out route and took the ball 55 yards up the sideline for a game-tying touchdown with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter.
–Glover’s game-winning touchdown pass was the second touchdown pass of his career … he connected with Ike Ariguzo on a similar play last year against Tennessee Tech.
–With the win, Eastern improves to 2-0 for the first time since 2000.
–Devin Borders has two blocked kicks in the first two games of the year. He led all of FCS last year with five blocked kicks.
–The six turnovers forced were the most by the Colonels since forcing six against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 15, 2011.