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INSIDE MAC FOOTBALL 2018 : WEEK FIVE

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This past week in the Mid-American Conference.

 


The Buffalo Bulls lost their first game of the season falling to the triple-option offense of Army West Point at home.

 

In conference play, Northern Illinois Huskies needed three overtimes but moved to 2-0 in MAC play winning at Eastern Michigan. Western Michigan came from behind to win their conference opener and third victory overall at Miami. Ball State ended their three-game losing streak with an offensive explosion over Kent State.

 

Elsewhere, Ohio ended their two-game losing skid with an offensive barrage against Massachusetts. Toledo lost on the road at Fresno State. Central Michigan and Bowling Green ended their non-conference schedules with losses. Kent State lost their MAC opener, Eastern Michigan fell to 0-2 while Akron had the week off.

 

Here is a look at the twelve teams after week five

 

EAST DIVISION:

 

AKRON (2-1):

The Zips had the week off last Saturday after losing on September 22nd at Iowa State 26-13.

 

Akron opened the season with a cancellation at Nebraska on September 2nd (It was announced that Nebraska would make up that game in December against FCS member Bethune-Cookman at home). In their season and home opener, the Zips defeated Morgan State 41-7 and then used three defensive touchdowns for a come from behind win at Northwesters 39-34 the first win over a Big Ten School since 1894 and were 2-0 for the first time since 1993 before the loss to the Cyclones.

 

UA will open MAC play this Saturday as the Miami Redhawks come to InfoCision Stadium for homecoming. Akron is 10-16 lifetime in conference openers however they have won their last four and against Miami lifetime they have won four of the last five in that series

 

BOWLING GREEN (1-4, 0-1):

The Falcons ended the non-conference portion of their schedule last Saturday in Atlanta as they lost to the Georgia Tech Yello Jackets 63-10.

 

BGSU took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter. After that, it was all Tech as totally dominated on both sides of the football. QB Jarret Doege completed 27-of-44 passes for a career-high 305 yards and a touchdown (a 30-yard catch to WR Daric Phouthavog in the second quarter). WR Scott Miller has a career-high 10 catches for 117 yards. His 31 receptions are seventh in the FBS. The running game managed just 63 yards on the afternoon. The Falcons defense was led by Marcus Milton who had eight total tackles (six solos).

 

BGSU this Saturday makes the short trip north on I-75 to Toledo to meet their arch-rivals the Toledo Rockets. UT comes into the game with a 2-2 record and will be playing their first MAC game of the season. Rockets lost late Saturday night at Fresno State 49-27.

BUFFALO (4-1):

The Bulls fell from the ranks of the undefeated last Saturday as the Cadets from Army West Point scored 21 unanswered points including an 80-yard return to a blocked punt for a touchdown and posted a 42-13 win before 23,871 the fifth largest in UB Stadium history.

 

Buffalo opened a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Tyree Jackson hit WR KJ Osborn for 53-yards and a touchdown. They would not score again until the third quarter on a short touchdown run by RB Kevin Marks. Jackson was only 10-of-12 on the afternoon for 152 yards and the score to Osborn. His 16 touchdowns in the first five games rank fifth in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Osborn led the receivers with four catches for 82 yards. The touchdown was his sixth on the season. Emmanuel Reed led the rushers for 63 yards on 16 carries. LB Khalil Hodge was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week as he had 20 total tackles. The defense as a while only had one sack and an interception.

 

This week UB opens MAC play as they travel to Central Michigan to meet the Chippewas. CMU is 1-4 on the season after losing last week at Michigan State 31-20 and is 0-1 in MAC play falling in their opener at Northern Illinois on September 15th, 24-16.

 

KENT STATE (1-4, 0-1):

The Golden Flashes opened MAC play last Saturday losing at Ball State 52-24 for their third consecutive loss and they’re sixth in conference play dating back to last season.

 

After trailing 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Flashes fought back and got it to 28-17 late in the second period. However, BSU scored a touchdown on their next possession and never looked back.

 

QB Woody Barrett has a career day going 30-of-44 for 314 yards and a touchdown (a 12 yarder to Adam Dulka in the second quarter). The completions and yardage were the most for a KSU quarterback since 2014 (Colin Reardon 30 & 360 against Army). RB Justin Rankin had 75 yards rushing an a pair of scores. WR Isareal McKoy had ten catches for 68 yards and a score. The defense had two sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and three pass breakups. The defensive eleven had three players with 10 or more tackles and were led by LB Matt Bahr with 14 total stops (six solos) and a sack.

 

This Saturday, KSU celebrates homecoming as the Bobcats of Ohio University come to Dix Stadium. The Cats, the preseason favorites to win the Eastern Division, will be playing their first conference game of the season and have a 2-2 record after ending a two-game losing streak last week at home with a 58-42 win over Massachusetts.

 

MIAMI (1-4, 1-1):

The Redhawks led the Western Michigan Broncos from the opening kickoff. However, they could not hold the advantage as WMU came back for a 40-39 victory evening MU’s MAC record at 1-1.

 

Maurice Thomas took the opening kickoff a99-yards for a touchdown the first for a Hawk since 1997 and held the lead until the Broncos grabbed a 34-33 lead early in the fourth quarter. After the teams exchanged touchdowns Miami was trailing by one (40-39) with 2:53 remaining. QB Gus Ragland moved the ball to the WMU 33 yards line. The defense stiffened but PK Sam Sloman missed a 50-yard field goal to win the game with 27 seconds remaining. Ragland completed 22-of-32 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. WR Josh Sorenson had nine catches for 156 yards. The MU defense had a sack, two forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries and eight pass breakups. LB Brad Koenis led the defense with 10 total tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack. Thomas was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week.

 

This Saturday, Miami heads up to Akron to face the Zips in their conference opener. Akron is 2-1 on the season with wins over Morgan State and Northwestern while losing in their last game at Iowa State on September 22nd, 26-13.

 

OHIO (2-2):

The Bobcats ended their two-game losing streak and completed non-conference play with a 58-42 win at home over the Minutemen of Massachusetts (FBS-Independent).

 

Ohio set a school record with 664 offensive yards and their 58 points scored were the most in Peden Stadium history. It was a game that the two teams combined for 100 points and 1115 yards of total offense.

 

QB Nathan Rourke was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week as he completed 23-of-32 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-best 189 yards and a score. WR Papi White led the receivers with six catches for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns. PK Louie Zervos added three field goals and his 43 points through the first four games ranks 10th in the FBS. The defense had three sacks with an interception and a forced fumble and was led by Evan Croutch with nine total tackles ( seven solos)

 

The Green and White open MAC play this Saturday as they travel to Kent State to battle the Golden Flashes who are 1-4 on the season after losing their conference opener at Ball State 52-24.

 

WESTERN DIVISION:

BALL STATE (2-3, 1-0):

The Cardinals ended their three-game losing streak emphatically last Saturday defeating the Kent State Golden Flashes 52-24 at Schuemann Stadium.

 

BSU used the big play on offense and built a 21-0 first quarter lead and a 35-17 lead at intermission. QB Riley Neal completed 30-of-50 passes for a career-best 402 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 61 yards and a score. WR Riley Miller caught 11 of Neal’s passes for 208 yards and a score. On the day the Cards offensively totaled 606 yards. The defense had five sacks, an interception, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a recovery. LB Jacob White had 10 total tackles.

 

This Saturday the Cardinals entertain the Northern Illinois Huskies in Muncie. NIU is 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in MAC play after defeating Eastern Michigan for the eleventh consecutive time last Saturday 26-23 in triple overtime.

 

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-4, 0-1):

The Chippewas ended the non-conference portion of the schedule last Saturday making the short trip to Michigan State falling to the Big Ten Spartans 31-20.

 

CMU held a 3-0 in the first quarter before the Spartans dominated the middle periods building a 31-3 lead. The Chips scored 17 points in the fourth quarter however the margin was too much to overcome. QB Tony Lazarro completed 19-of-34 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown (a 10-yarder to Justin Hicks) On the day CMU managed just 245 yards of total offense. The defense against MSU had only one sack and a pass breakup. LB Malik Fountain had 15 total tackles.

 

This week, the Chippewas return home as the Buffalo Bulls come to Kelly Shorts Stadium. UB is 4-1 on the season and will be playing their MAC opener. Last week, the Bulls fell from the ranks of the undefeated as the Cadets of Army defeated the Bulls 42-13.

 

EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-3,0-2):

After opening the season at 2-0 including a win at Purdue on the final play, the Eagles have now lost three straight. This one last Saturday evening in triple overtime at home to Northern Illinois 26-23. It made it the eleventh consecutive loss to the Huskies.

 

It was a back and forth defensive affair that the Eagles sent into overtime on a field goal by PK Chad Ryland with three seconds remaining. RB Shaq Vann scored on the Eagles first possession of overtime. He would lead the Green with 68 yards on 18 carries. After NIU tied the score with a touchdown on their possession and a scoreless second possession, EMU used a second field goal by Hyland to take a 23-20 lead but NIU scored a touchdown on their possession. QB Tyler Weigers completed only 17-of-40 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. WR Arthur Jackson had five receptions for 58 yards. The defense has five players with 10 or more tackles with five pass breakups, a forced fumble and recovery, and two interceptions. LB Kyle Rachwal had 16 total tackles a career high with a sack and an interception.

 

This Saturday the Eagles make the trip west on Interstate 94 to Kalamazoo to battle the Western Michigan Broncos who are 3-2 on the season riding a three-game winning streak after coming from behind to win at Miami 40-39

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (2-3,2-0):

The Huskies improved to 2-0 in MAC play last Saturday as they defeated Eastern Michigan for the eleventh consecutive time 26-23 in triple overtime in Ypsilanti.

 

RB Tre Harbison’s one-yard touchdown run on the Huskies possession proved to be the margin of victory. Harbison led the running game with 32 carries for 136 yards and that game-winning score. QB Marcus Childress was only 20-of-35 for 121 yards and a touchdown. WR Jujuan Wesley had eight catches for 76 yards. The NIU defense had three sacks, a fumble recovery, and four pass breakups. LB Antonio James-Davis was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week 13 total tackles and two pass breakups.

 

NIU completes this three-game road trip on Saturday with a trip to Muncie to face the Ball State Cardinals. BSU ended a three-game losing streak emphatically last Saturday at home in their MAC opener with a 52-24 victory over Kent State.

 

TOLEDO (2-2):

The Rockets completed their non-conference schedule last Saturday facing their second straight Mountain West Conference opponent traveling to Fresno State only to lose to the Bulldogs 49-27.

 

UT held a 13-7 lead in the second quarter. That is until the home team scored touchdowns on their next three possessions to take control of the contest. QB Mitchell Guadagni was injured in late in the first half and did not return. He led the Rockets with 55 yards rushing on eight carries and was six-of-ten passes for 59 yards. Backup Eli Peters completed the game going 10-of-21 through the air for 179 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns both caught by WR Jon’Vea Johnson who had six receptions for 112 yards. The defense had a sack and an interception on the evening and was led by LB Khalil Robinson who had 11 total tackles.

 

This Saturday the Rockets return home to the Glass Bowl to meet their arch-rival the Bowling Green Falcons as they battle for the I-75 Trophy. BGSU comes into the game with a 1-4 overall record (0-1 in MAC) after losing last week at Georgia Tech 63-10

 

WESTERN MICHIGAN (2-2,1-0):

The Broncos opened MAC play on Saturday as they traveled to Miami and defeated the Redhawks in a come from behind fashion for their third straight win 40-39.

 

WMU trailed right from the opening kickoff when MU returned it 99-yards for a touchdown. The Broncos worked their way to taking their first lead early in the fourth quarter. After Miami tied the score, QB Jon Wassink led the offense to the winning touchdown with 2:53 remaining. The team held its breath as MU missed a game-winning field goal in the final seconds. Wassink was 27-of-42 passing for 439 yards and five touchdowns a well as running for 38 yards and a score. Wassink’s 1,423 yards so far this season is 11th in the FBS. WR Jaylen Reed was named MAC West Offensive player of the week as he had seven catches for 137 yards and four touchdowns. D’Wayne Eskridge also had seven receptions for 141 yards. RB La’Vante Bellamy led the ground game with 66 yards. Broncos had 562 yards of total offense the fourth time in the last five games dating back to last season they have reached that mark. The defense had a sack and to forced fumbles in the contest. They were led by Alex Green who had eight total tackles.

 

This Saturday the Broncos return to Waldo Stadium to face the Eagles of Eastern Michigan. After starting the season at 2-0 EMU has lost their last two games both in overtime. The last being against Northern Illinois 26-23 in triple overtime.

 

There you have it. Inside MAC FOOTBALL for week number six.

 

Northern Illinois looks to 3-0 in league play this Saturday at Ball State. Western Michigan, Miami, and BSU look for their second conference victories with the Broncos aiming for their fourth consecutive victory overall.

 

Kent State, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan will be looking for their first MAC wins in 2018.

 

Buffalo looks to rebound from their first loss of the season as they open their conference account as does Akron (who had the week off) and Ohio (after their offensive explosion against UMass)

SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM

 

E.

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