This week in MAC football, a ranked MAC team goes down in flames, a surprise team takes their place, and another East team flexes its muscle on the MAC’s darlings. Just another week of MAC football.
Where do we start? Let’s start with 25th ranked Toledo Rockets getting throttled by Ball freakin State. Toledo came in 8-1 5-0, losing only in Arizona and beating up Bowling Green, 21st ranked Cincinnati, and six other victims to be ranked 25 in the BCS and 23rd in the AP. But all that went to hell when they watched Jawan Edwards run untouched 15 yards for the game winner with under two minutes left to go up 34-27. Toledo had just stalled on the previous drive, on the Cardinals 15. Instead of going for the 32 yard FG to go on top, they went for it. They handed off to David Fluellen (who had 200 yards on 34 carries) but he got jammed up and buried in red. Ball State left 1:43 on the clock, but the defense held the Rocket offense (526 yards on the day) when they needed to, forcing a turnover on downs.
Edwards had 105 yards on the night. Keith Wenning had three TD passes and 280 yards for the Cards, Connor Ryan had 88 of them. He also threw three picks. Toledo’s Terrance Owens threw for 215 yards and 1 TD. Bernard Reedy had almost 100 yards receiving, with that touchdown. They have little time to lick their wounds, as they face the fresh Northern Illinois Huskies Wednesday night in the game that should decide the West Division champion. In their house. Ball State hosts Miami on Wednesday night as well.
Ohio, another team that knows all about getting bounced from the rankings, hosted Bowling Green Wednesday night, and got smoked. Bobcat critics were saying “Let’s see what they do against real competition” when the Cats were on weekly TV shows, and were basically given the championship. Their gimme schedule ran out, and they have lost to Miami and Bowling Green now. And it doesn’t get any easier as they face Kent State in the season closer.
Not to take anything away from Bowling Green, they’re sitting at 5-1 now and are serious challengers for the East Division. This was their sixth straight win. Their only loss came to Toledo in week 3. Their defense was just too tough. Ranked 9th in Division IA averaging 15.1 ppg, they held the Cats to 244 yards and 14 points. Anthon Samuel had 181 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. He scored one touchdown by carrying half of the Ohio defense five yards. The story of the night (on SportCenter) was Ohio’s special teams. Specifically, their punting. The first punt by Grant Venham was blocked. The second was bobbled and resulted in a turnover on downs. Kicker Matt Weller was brought in, and the snap went through his legs resulting in a safety. And the fourth was blocked. Matt Schilz had 91 yards passing, including a play action 55 yard TD to Chris Gallon. Maybe not sexy numbers, but when your RB is having a career day, and the other team’s punters are giving you great field position, you’ll have that. BG hosts Kent State in what could very well be the East Division championship. Their last game is home against Buffalo. Ohio gets to travel to Ball State on Wednesday, who blew up Toledo and have had four more days rest. Then they travel to Kent. Ouch.
Kent Stat flat out ran over Miami, putting al-most 400 yards on the RedHawks. They scored the game’s first 28 points and never looked back, winning 48-32. Trayion Durham had 172 yards rushing, Dri Archer had 151. Both scored 2 TD’s. Spencer Keith was 10/16 for 147 yards and 1 TD pass. To Dri Archer. For Miami Zac Dysert threw for 455 yards and 4 TDs, h also threw 2 INTs. Wideouts Andy Cruse and Nick Harwell both had 120+ yard days. For the first time in their history, the Flashes are ranked. The AP has them ranked 25th. Thy hop to break the losing streak of MAC teams the week after they are ranked (Ohio and Toledo) at Bowling Green. Their last game is home against Ohio. Miami takes their losing streak to Central Michigan before ending the season at home against Ball State.
Don’t look now, but Buffalo has a winning streak going. After upsetting Miami last week they took it to Western Michigan this week. QB Joe Licata (285 yds 1td) hit Alex Neutz on a 30 yard pass to put the Bulls on top for good in the fourth quarter. Neutz ended up with 140 yards on 9 catches. Devin Campbell had 107 yards rushing and a score. Alex Carder returned to the Broncos and was 19/37 for 275 yards with 3 tds and 4 ints. H also ran for 52 yards. Justin Collins led WMU receivers with 122 yards (20.3 avg). Buffalo travels to UMass next week, WMU wraps up their long disappointing season against EMU.
Central Michigan beat Eastern Michigan 34-31, someone had to win. CMU improves to 2-4, EMU falls to 0-6. CMU’s Ryan Radcliff had 284 yards passing and 2 TD, 9 of those went to Andrew Flory for 118 yards and 2 td. EMU’s Alex Gillett led all rushers with 162 yards and 2 td. The Chippwas host Miami next week, the Eagles travel to WMU.
Then there’s the Akron Zips. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??? I’m disgusted with this team. Stupid penalties, awful clock management, four interceptions (leading to 19 points). They look worse now than they did in the spring game, showing no progression at all. This is a UMass team that was 0-9 since joining Division I-A and the MAC. This is the same tam that throttled Morgan State by 60. They took FIU and Miami and Ohio to the brink. Losing to UMass. They gained 427 yards (100 more than UMass) and still only put up 14 points. They scored more against Tennessee and Kent State. I’m done venting now. The Zips are on a bye week (the fans need a break) before they go to Toledo to play on national TV. UMass hosts Buffalo next week.
Despite calling the BGSU upset, I had my worst week yet, 3-3. That makes m 63-24 on the year.
East Division Standings
Kent State 6-0
Bowling Green 5-1
West Division Standings
Northern Illinois 6-0
Ball State 4-2
Central Michigan 2-4
Western Michigan 2-5
Eastern Michigan 0-6