YPSILANTI, Mich. — Protesters gathered near an end zone and marched onto the field after the final play of Eastern Michigan’s 27-24 win over Wyoming on Friday night.
The protest came two days after racial graffiti was found spray-painted on a campus building. The students sat peacefully and talked to EMU President James Smith late in the third quarter. The students moved outside the end zone area in the closing moments before walking onto the field chanting, “No justice! No peace!” A Wyoming player joined protesters for a few moments.
Students also protested Tuesday, with more than 150 marching to the home of Smith.
The university condemned the racial graffiti, discovered early Tuesday, in a statement earlier this week.
“The university strongly condemns such a racist and thoughtless act, which runs completely counter to the values and welcoming environment of our highly diverse Eastern Michigan University community,” Smith said in the statement. “Our Department of Public Safety is undertaking a full and immediate investigation, and the graffiti has been quickly removed.”
As for Friday night’s game, Brogan Roback, last year’s starting quarterback, guided the winning four-play, 47-yard drive in his first action after being suspended for the start of the season. Ian Eriksen, who had 120 yards on 27 carries, scored untouched on a draw play.
Wyoming held the lead most of the game, opening the scoring when Marcus Epps intercepted Todd Porter‘s pass and returned it 66 yards midway through the first quarter. The Cowboys took a 24-20 lead with 12:45 to go when Logan Wilson returned Porter’s interception 27 yards.
After the Cowboys built a 17-3 lead, the Eagles (3-1), off to their best start since going 3-1 in 1995, tied it at 17 by the half. Breck Turner went 50 yards for his first career score, and Porter found John Niupalau for a 7-yard score 18 seconds before intermission.
Jeremiah Harris blocked a Wyoming field goal attempt in the final minute of the third quarter.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.