This past week in the Mid-American Conference.
Western Michigan extended their winning streak to five games with a come from behind win at Bowling Green. Northern Illinois became the first MAC team with four conference wins as they also came from behind to beat Ohio.
Buffalo became the first MAC team to become bowl eligible with their win over Akron making the Bulls 7-1 for the first time since 1959. Eastern Michigan ended a four-game losing streak defeating Toledo at home. Miami won consecutive games for the first time this season at home defeating Kent State.
After their loss to Western Michigan, their fourth straight, Bowling Green decided to part ways with Mike Jinks and named Carl Pelini interim head coach.
Here is a look at the teams after the seventh week of play.
AKRON (2-3, 0-2):
The Zips dropped their third consecutive game overall and second in the MAC falling at Buffalo to the Eastern Division-leading Bulls 24-6. Their sixth consecutive loss to the Bulls in Western New York.
All of Akron’s points in the contest came from the foot of PK Nick Gasser who gave the Zips a 3-0 lead with a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter (second longest of his career) and a 44-yarder just before halftime. Other than that UA’s offense gained only 235 total yards their lowest of the season and third straight game under 300 yards. QB Cato Nelson completed 12-of-29 passes for only 115 yards. RB Van Edwards gained only 55 yards on the ground. WR Andre Williams had only three catches for 47 yards. The defense failed to register a sack and had one interception by DB Kyron Brown in the second quarter.
The Zips look to end their losing streak and get back into the East Division fight as they make the short trip to Kent State to face the Golden Flashes in the annual battle for the Wagon Wheel. KSU is 1-6 overall under first-year head coach Sean Lewis and 0-3 in conference play after falling at Miami 31-6
BOWLING GREEN (1-6, 0-3):
The Falcons dropped to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in MAC play last Saturday as they squandered a 21-7 halftime lead losing at home to Western Michigan 42-35 in what proved to be Mike Jinks’ final game as Falcons head coach.
BGSU offense was clicking with 511 yards of total offense and those 35 points. RB Andrew Clair had 80 yards on six carries including a 74-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. QB Jarret Doege completed 21 of 34 passes for 379 yards and three scores. WR Scott Miller had eight receptions for 206 yards (one was a 76-yard catch and run for a score in the second quarter). The defense had two interceptions, a forced fumble, and seven pass breakups. DE Brandon Harris had a career-best 20 total tackles (13 solos). He was one of three defenders with 10 or more stops in the game.
On Sunday, Jinks as relieved of his duties as head coach midway through his third season with a 7-24 record overall when he replaced Dino Babers in 2016. Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini will be the interim head coach. BGSU said they will start a nationwide search for their new head coach immediately.
Pelini’s first game will be this Saturday at Ohio. The Bobcats are 1-1 in the MAC and 3-3 overall following their 24-21 loss at Northern Illinois.
BUFFALO (7-1, 3-0):
The Bulls improved a perfect 3-0 in MAC play and 7-1 overall with a dominating performance over Akron defeating the Zips 24-6 at UB Stadium.
The win made UB bowl eligible for the fourth time in school history and the first MAC team to accomplish the feat in 2018. The offense amassed 442 yards as the ground game was the major factor in the victory with 233 yards led by freshman Jere Patteson who had 91 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. QB Tyree Jackson completed 16 of 30 passes for 212 yards and a 19-yard score in the second quarter that put the home team in front to stay. R KJ Osborn had six receptions for 116 yards The defense held Akron to just 253 yards of total offense along with three sacks, four forced fumbles, five pass breakups, and an interception. LB Khalil Hodge had 12 total tackles (six solos) and was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week.
This week UB travels to Toledo to face a Rockets team that is 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in the MAC after losing at Eastern Michigan 28-26. With n win, the Bulls would match the 1959 team’s 7-1 start to a season
KENT STATE (1-6, 0-3):
The Golden Flashes were held to only 274 yards of total offense their second lowest of the season as they dropped their fifth consecutive game last Saturday at Miami 31-6.
KSU was held scoreless until a four-yard touchdown run by QB Woody Barrett with 36 seconds remaining prevented the shutout. The loss was also the Flashes seventh straight in MAC play dating back to last season. Barrett led the ground attack with 75 yards on 16 carries and was 15-of-29 passing for only 149 yards. Mike Carrigan (51 yards) and Isiah McKoy (31) led the receivers with four catches each. The defense had a sack, a fumble recovery, and four pass breakups with LB KJ Sherald making a career-high 14 tackles (10 solos).
The Flashes look to end their losing streak this Saturday as their arch-rivals the Akron Zips come to Dix Stadium for bragging rights in Northeast Ohio and possession of the Wagon Wheel Trophy. UA comes into the game also on the losing skids the have a three-game skid after a 24-6 loss at Buffalo after starting the season at 2-0.
MIAMI (3-4, 3-1):
The Redhawks won consecutive games for the first time this season as well as their first at Yager Stadium with a dominating 31-6 victory over Kent State leaving them just a half-game behind Buffalo in the Eastern Division.
MU complied 504 yards of total offense with a season-best 295 on the ground. RB Kenny Young was named MAC East Offensive Player of the week with 90 yards rushing he also caught three passes for 47 yards. QB Gus Ragland completed 16-of-24 passes for 209 yards and a score. WR Jack Sorenson had five receptions for 47 yards. The Miami defense held KSU to just 274 yards with five sacks, an interception, and five pass breakups. DL Ben Kimpler led with six total tackles and a sack.
This week, the Hawks complete their non-conference schedule with a trip to West Point to battle Army. The Cadets are 4-2 on the season which included handing Buffalo their only loss of the season so far 42-13 and is coming off a 52-3 win at San Jose State.
OHIO (3-3, 1-1):
The Bobcats built a 21-9 lead going into the fourth quarter, only to see Northern Illinois scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the final 15 minutes to hand the Bobcats their first MAC loss of the season 24-21 in DeKalb.
QB Nathan Rourke completed 15-of-23 passes for 275 yards and to touchdowns one to TE Connor Brown an the other to WR Isiah Cox who had 147 yards receiving on the day on three catches. WR Papi White led the receivers with six catches for 59 yards. The defense had two sacks and eight pass breakups and was led by DB Javon Hagan with 10 total stops (four solos).
This week is homecoming in Athens as the Cats face Bowling Green. The Falcons have lost four straight, are 1-6 overall and winless in MAC play at 0-3. They will face Ohio with a new head coach as after their loss to Bowling Green, Mike Jinks was relieved of his duties and replaced by interim head man Carl Pelini who once worked under Head Coach Frank Solich.
BALL STATE (3-4, 2-1):
The Cardinals won their first MAC road game of the season as they came from a 20-7 halftime deficit to defeat Central Michigan 24-23 as PK Morgan Hagee connected on a 36-yard field goal with 47 seconds remaining ending a six-game road losing streak in conference play.
BSU scored on their final three possessions with the final drive starting on their own 25 and moving to the CMU 19 setting the stage for Hagee’s winning kick that made the Cards 5-1 in their last six games against the Chippewas along with being named MAC West Special Teams Player of the week. QB Riley Neal completed 19-of-26 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. RB Justin Gilbert had 72 yards on 24 carries while WR Riley Miller and RB Malik Dunner each had five receptions with Miler garnering 42 yards and a score while Dunner collected 55. The BSU defense had a pair of sacks and four pass breakups. LB Jaylin Thomas had 10 total tackles (nine solos).
This week, the Cardinals welcome Eastern Michigan to Scheumann Stadium. The Eagles ended a four-game losing streak last week with a 28-26 home win over Toledo.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-6,0-3):
The Chippewas took a 23-21 lead against Ball State with 4:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, only to see the Cardinals take the football move down to the CMU 19 and kick the winning field goal with 47 seconds remaining to hand the Chips their third straight loss 24-23.
CMU used their running game to build a 20-7 halftime lead on BSU thanks to RB Romello Ross who had 111 yards on 14 carries and QB Tony Lazzaro who had 110 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown he also completed 11-of-22 passes for 127 yards and a score. The defense had five sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. LB Malik Fountain had another strong game with 10 total tackles (eight solos).
This week, the Chips face one of the hottest teams in the MAC as Western Michigan comes to Kelly Shorts Stadium. The Broncos have won four straight and are a perfect 3-0 in conference play following their 42-35 win at Bowling Green.
EASTERN MICHIGAN (3-4, 1-3):
The Eagles finally ended their four-game losing streak while picking up their first conference win of the season as they defeated Toledo at Rynearson Stadium 28-26.
EMU built a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and 28-3 at halftime only to see the Rockets come back scoring a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining. However, the special teams came up big as they stopped the two-point conversion that would have sent the game into overtime and preserved the victory.
QB Mike Glass, in his first collegiate start, led the ground game with 185 yards on 10 carries and two first-quarter scores., He also went six of eight passes for 83 yards before leaving with an undisclosed injury. WR Arthur Jackson had five catches for 44 yards. The defense had five sacks, five pass breakups, and an interception. LB Kyle Rachwal had 22 total tackles.
This week the Eagles travel to Ball State to face the Cardinals who are 2-1 in MAC play following a 24-23 win at Central Michigan scoring the winning points on a field goal in the final minute.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (4-3, 3-0):
The Huskies came from a 21-9 deficit to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns, along with a two-point conversion, to defeat Ohio 24-21 in the battle of pre-season division favorites. The win was the fourth straight for NIU and third in the MAC giving them a half-game lead over Western Michigan in the Western Division.
QB Marcus Childers had a career-best 169 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. He also completed 17-of-33 passes for 145 yards. WR JaJuan Wesley had six receptions for 61 yards. The NIU defense had three forced fumbles, an interception, and two fumble recoveries. DE Kyle Pugh had nine total tackles (eight solos). LB Sutton Smith was named MAC West Defensive Player of the week. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year had arguably the biggest play of the game when he sacked Bobcat QB Nathan Rourke then stripped the ball in which was recovered and the offense went in for a touchdown.
NIU has the week off before playing two games in a span of five days which begins on Saturday, October 27th as they travel to the Wasatch Mountains of Utah to battle the Cougars of BYU.
TOLEDO (3-3, 1-1):
The Rockets saw their record fall to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in MAC play last Saturday losing at Eastern Michigan 28-26.
UT came back from a 21-0 first-quarter deficit and 28-3 at halftime getting to within two points with 20 seconds remaining on a touchdown run by QB Mitchell Guardagni. Needing the two-point conversion the special teams failed to convert.
Guardagni finished the day with 134 yards rushing on 28 carries along with completing 12-of-27 passes for 147 yards. WR Dionte Johnson had four catches for 44 yards. The Rockets defense had two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a pair of pass breakups. LB Richard Olekwanna had a career-best 15 total tackles.
This week, the Easters Division-leading Buffalo Bulls come to the Glass Bowl with their 7-1 overall record and perfect 3-0 mark in MAC play after defeating Akron at home 24-6.
WESTERN MICHIGAN (5-2, 3-0):
The Broncos once again came from behind as they were behind 21-7 last Saturday at Bowling Green then outscored the Falcons 28-7 the final 23 minutes to win 42-35 for their fifth consecutive victory and remain perfect in MAC play at 3-0.
RB Jamari Bogan had four touchdowns on the afternoon including the game-winning score with 5:06 remaining and was named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week. Fellow RB La’Vante Bellamy ran for 145 yards on 24 carries as WMU gained 282 yards on the ground. QB Jon Wassink completed 22-of-37 passes for 286 yards and a pair of scores. TE Giovanni Ricci had seven receptions for 64 yards. The Broncos defense had two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and a pair of interceptions. Josh Tranquill led the grapplers with nine total tackles (six solos). DB Anton Currie ended the game when the interception.
This Saturday WMU returns to Waldo Stadium to face Ball State who comes into the game 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the MAC following their 24-23 win at Central Michigan.
There you have it. Inside MAC FOOTBALL for week number eight.
The big game of the week is that battle of the Titans in the Glass City as Toledo and their high-powered offense battle Buffalo with their stingy defense.
It is also rivalry week as the Zips and Golden Flashes battle for the Wagon Wheel trophy while CMU and WMU battle for the Victory Cannon with the Broncos looking for their sixth straight win. Miami looks for their third consecutive victory at West Point.
Ball State and Eastern Michigan look to build on their wins last week. Bowling Green plays their first game under Carl Pelini at Ohio as the Bobcats look to rebound while Northern Illinois has the week off.
A reminder this is the final full set of Saturday games as next week the conference begins their night games (better known as MACTION!!!)
SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM