This past week in the Mid-American Conference.
The Buffalo Bulls improved to 9-1 and 6-0 in MAC play the best start in school history as they routed Kent State. Northern Illinois is also 6-0 in conference play picking up their fourth straight win with a road victory at Akron.
Ohio stayed on the heels of UB with their fourth win in the last five games with a win at Western Michigan while Toledo garnered their second straight win defeating Ball State an Central Michigan is still looking for their first MAC win of the season after falling at Eastern Michigan
Here is a look at the teams after the eleventh week of MACTION
AKRON (4-4, 2-3):
The Zips saw their two-game winning streak come to an end on a rainy, foggy Thursday night at InfoCision Stadium at the hands of the Northern Illinois Huskies 36-26.
UA trailed all night. Late in the third quarter they closed the margin to one 27-16 however PK Nick Gasser’s extra point attempt was blocked an returned by NIU for to points which proved to be the biggest play in the game.
Akron gained 361 total yards with 326 coming through the air. QB Cato Nelson completed 18-of-26 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter with a lower-body injury. UA managed only 35 yards on the ground led by Van Edwards who had 38 of them o n12 carries. They had a pair of wide receivers (Andre Williams 8-129 with a touchdown) and Kwadarrius Smith (four for 115 and two scores) go over 100 yards in receiving.
The defense had four players with 10 or more tackles in the game led by DB Alvin Davis with 15 total stops (six solo). Overall they had four sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
The Zips announced on Friday they will play the 12th game this season that will be on Saturday December 1st at South Carolina. Their next action will be on Saturday November 10th against Eastern Michigan
BUFFALO (9-1, 6-0):
The Bulls played their final home game on Tuesday night totally dominating Kent State 48-13 scoring touchdowns on their first seven possessions.
The win was UB’s fourth straight and 12th in the last 13 games dating back to last season. Their 9-1 start is the best in school history and the nine victories was only matched by the 1986 team that was when they were in Division III.
RB Jace Patterson scored on a 64-yard touchdown run on the game’s second play and they never looked back as the offense gained 478 total yards ion which 368 came on the ground with Patterson leading the way with 187 yards on 18 carries on two scores. QB Tyree Jackson only threw 16 times on a blustery evening completing seven fort 111 yards and a touchdown. The defense was spectacular holding the Golden Flashes to 183 total yards along with a pair of sacks and pass breakups. LB Matt Otinlowski making the start for Khalil Hodge led the defense with eight total tackles (four solo)
The Bulls will have a chance to clinch the Eastern Division title next Wednesday as they travel to Ohio to face the Bobcats.
BOWLING GREEN (1-8, 0-5):
BGSU gets back into action on Saturday November 10th as they head to Central Michigan to battle the Chippewas
In their last game on October 30th, The Falcons went toe-to-toe with the Kent State Golden Flashes Tuesday night at Perry Stadium. They held a 14-13 lead at halftime then traded scores tying the game 28-28 with 6:34 remaining. However the Flashes scored with 1:50 remaining to send BGSU to defeat 35-28.
QB Jarret Doege completed 20-of-37 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns. RB Rico Frye led the ground attack with 36 yards on seventeen carries. R Scott Miller had six catches for 75 yards. The defense had four sacks, a pass breakup with a forced fumble and recovery. LB Brandon Harris had 15 total tackles (nine solo).
KENT STATE (2-8, 1-5):
The Golden Flashes played their final road game of the season Tuesday night in Buffalo and were totally manhandled by the Eastern Division-leading Bulls 48-13.
KSU was held to only 183 yards in total offense in their entire game with 119 of them coming on the two touchdown drives engineered by backup QB Dustin Crum who scored on a two-yard run and then connected for an 11-yard score to WR Mike Carrigan. Crum was 8-of-25 for 56 yards and rushed for an additional 66 yards on 10 carries. Starting QB Woody Barrett was only 1-of-13 passing for 27 yards. WR Kavious price had three receptions for 25 yards. The defense was led by Dalton Hicks ho had 10 total tackles.
Flashes are back in action on Thursday November 15th as the Toledo Rockets come to Dix Stadium. UT comes into this week with a two-game winning streak after beating Western Michigan and Ball State.
MIAMI (3-6, 3-3):
The Redhawks return to action as they face arch-rival Ohio in the annual “Battle of the Bricks” at Yager Stadium on Wednesday November 7th..
In their last game at Buffalo, MU engaged in a shootout with the Eastern Division-leading Bulls before falling in the fourth quarter 51-42 for their second straight loss overall and ended a two-game MAC winning streak.
MU held a seven-point lead on three occasions in the first half. After the Bulls went ahead 28-21 just before halftime and built a 42-21 lead, the Hawks battled back and tied the score at 42-42 at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Buffalo scored a touchdown and a field goal for their margin of victory. QB Gus Ragland completed 21-of-35 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 52 yards and three scores (Miami had six rushing touchdowns on the evening). RB Alonzo Smith had 63 yards on 13 carries to lead the rushing attack while another RB Kenny Young had five receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. The defense had two sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. They were led by LB Brad Koenig with 11 total stops (eight solo) with a sack and that forced fumble.
OHIO (6-3, 4-1):
The Bobcats offensive juggernaut rolled into Kalamazoo and all over Western Michigan 59-14 for their sixth win of the season. The victory was their second straight after losing in the fourth quarter at Northern Illinois and fourth in the last five. In addition, the win made Ohio Bowl Eligible for the 10th consecutive season under head coach Frank Solich.
Ohio never trailed opening a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and 45-7 at halftime as they defeated WMU at Waldo Stadium for the first time since 2006. They gained 420 yards offensively (256 coming on the ground). RB AJ Ouelette had 71 yards on just eight carries and a touchdown. QB Nathan Rourke was again accurate in the passing game completing 12-of-14 for 149 yards and three scores as well as gaining 68 yards rushing with two more touchdowns. The Cats defense had a sack, two interceptions, a forced fumble and four recoveries as well as a pass breakup. LB Tyler Gullett led with five total tackles all of them solo.
The Green and White head to Oxford this week to battle arch-rival Miami in the annual ‘Battle of the Bricks.” MU is 3-6 overall and 3-3 in MAC play after losing in the fourth quarter at Buffalo 51-42
BALL STATE (3-7, 2-4):
The Cardinals went into their game at Toledo without starting QB Riley Neal and both starting RB James Gilbert and Caleb Huntley. They fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and could not catch up falling to the Rockets 45-13. It was BSU’s third straight loss and fourth in the last five games.
QR Drew Plitt played admirable connecting on 29-of-47 passes for 340 yards and a touchdown. RB Will Jones led the ground game with 49 yards n 123 carries. WR Jordan Hall had 10 receptions for 82 yards. The BSU defense had five interceptions, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. LB Brendan Martin had 14 total tackles along with an interception.
The Cards are back in action on Tuesday, November 13th when they play their final home game of the season against Western Michigan
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-9, 0-5):
The Chippewas for the second consecutive game put themselves in a chance to win, however Eastern Michigan scored 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 17-7 victory handing CMU their sixth consecutive loss and kept them winless in MAC play.
CMU mustered only 138 yards of total offense with RB Rumello Ross gaining just 37 yards on 17 carries. QB Tony Poljan in his second straight start was 10-of-27 passing for only 39 yards with WR Devin Spaulding grabbing six of those passes for 36 yards.
The defense had the only score as Mike Danna recovered an EMU fumble and raced 68 yards for a touchdown just before halftime. The rest of the defense had three sacks, three forced fumbles, and two recoveries including the return by Danna. LB Malik Fountain had 13 total tackles along with a fumble recovery and an interception.
Saturday, the Chips return home to face another team that is desperately looking for a win that is the Bowling Green Falcons who are also 1-8 on the season an 0-5 in conference play after falling to Kent State at home 35-28.
EASTERN MICHIGAN (5-5, 3-3):
The Eagles rebounded from their loss to Miami and picked up their third win in the last four games defeating Central Michigan on Saturday 17-10 squaring their record to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in MAC play.
The day belonged to the EMU defense as they held the Chippewas to only 138 yards of total offense. Three defenders had 10 or more tackles in the contest DB Brody Hoying, LB Kyle Rrachwal, and DL Jeremiah Harris each had 10 total tackles. As a whole they had four sacks, two forced fumbles, a pair of interceptions and five pass breakups. The offense was led by RB Shaq Vann who had 114 yards on 26-carries scoring RMU’s first touchdown in the first quarter. QB Tyler Weigers completed 17-of-25 passes for 150 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown to WR Blake Banham who had 99 yards with seven receptions.
EMU is back in action on Saturday as they face the Akron Zips who are 4-4 on the season and 2-3 in MAC competition after losing on Thursday night to Northern Illinois at home 36-26.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (6-3, 5-0):
The Huskies came up with their biggest offensive game of the season as they needed every yard and every point to hold off the Akron Zips in the Rubber City 36-26.
NIU gained 484 yards of total offense with 296 coming on the ground. RB Tre Harbison had 169 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. QB Marcus Childers completed 21-of-28 passes for 188 yards and a score. RB Marcus Jones led the receivers with four for 21 yards as eight different players caught at lease one pass. The defense had five sacks, two interceptions (returning one for a touchdown) and four pass breakups. LB Kyle Pugh had 10 total tackles with a pass breakup and half a sack
The Big play was made on special teams when leading 27-26 late in the third quarter, when Ben Leroy blocked an extra point that would have tied the game instead Jalen McKie got the ball ran it back for two points securing their fourth straight win for NIU, making them the fourth MAC team to become Bowl Eligible in 2018 (Buffalo, Western Michigan, and Ohio the others)
NIU holds a two-game lead in the Western Division over UT and WMU and will face the Rockets next at Huskie Stadium they will come into the game with two-straight wins 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the MAC after beating Ball State at home 45-13
TOLEDO (5-4, 3-2):
The Rockets won their second straight game as they routed Ball State at the Glass Bowl 45-13 to stay within striking distance of Northern Illinois I the Western Division race.
UT scored touchdowns on their firsts three possessions of the game part of an evening that saw them amass 531 total yards as they defeated BSU for the fifth consecutive time.
QB Eli Peters starting for the injured Mitch Guardagni completed 25-of-34 passes for 327 yards and a pair of touchdowns. RB Art Thompkins led the ground attack ith 84 yards on 133 carries on an evening that saw the Rockets gain 204 yards. QR Cody Thompson had six catches for 75 yards and a score. The defense had four sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, three recoveries and five pass breakups. DB DeNartello Blue and Jordan Fisher each had seven total tackles.
Up next for the Midnight Blue and Gold is a trip to DeKalb and the NIU Huskies who picked up their fourth straight win and remained perfect in MAC play at 5-0 winning at Akron 36-26
WESTERN MICHIGAN (6-4, 4-2):
For the second consecutive game, the Broncos fell to an offensive barrage. This week it came from the Ohio Bobcats as they led 21-0 at the end of te first quarter and 49-7 at halftime en-route to handing WMU their second straight loss 59-14 and send them into a tie for second place in the Western Division with Toledo.
On the rainy evening, WMU was held to only 270 total yards. RB Chase Brown led the ground game with 52 yards on 15 carries while Jamari Bogan, one of the top runners in the MAC was held to just 10 yards and a score. QB Kaleb Eleby starting for the injured Jon Wassink completed only 10-of-19 passes for 132 yards and a score. WR D’Wayne Eskridge led the receivers with three catches for 50 yards. DB Justin Tranquill led the defense with nine total tackles ( seven solo).
The Broncos head on the road for the final time this season as they travel to Ball State to battle the Cardinals who are 3-7 overall and 2-4 in MAC play after losing at Toledo 45-13
There you have it. INSIDE MAC FOOTBALL for week 11.
NIU faces Toledo in a game that could decide the Western Division title, Ohio faces Miami in the annual battle of the bricks while on Saturday Akron heads to Eastern Michigan while Bowling Green and Central Michigan look for their first MAC wins of the season
SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM