This past week in the Mid-American Conference. Conference play began with Buffalo and Eastern Michigan in one of the best games of the young season as the Bulls came away with a victory to make their 3-0 on the season.
Northern Illinois, the pick of many to win the Western Division picked up their first win of the season defeating Northern Illinois in a low scoring defensive battle that kept the Chippewas winless
In non-conference action, Akron picked up the biggest win coming from behind to defeat Northwestern their first ever win over the Big Ten Conference and first over a B1G team since 1894. Western Michigan pitched a shutout for the first time since 2016 while Bowling Green needed a touchdown in the fourth quarter to defeat Eastern Kentucky for their first win of the season.
Toledo game Miami (FLA) all they could handle before the Hurricanes pulled away in the fourth quarter. Kent State felt the full wrath of Penn State. Ohio fell behind Virginia early and could not catch up with the game being played on a neutral site. Ball State and Miami were overwhelmed by the B1G opposition.
Here is a look at the conference after the third week of action:
Last Saturday night, the Zips came from a 21-3 deficit using three defensive touchdowns in beating Northwestern 39-34. It was Akron’s first ever win against the Big Ten Conference (a span of 25 games) and their first over a B1G school since they defeated Ohio State in 1894 12-6. Back then the school was named Buchtel College and John W. Heisman was the head coach.
Akron is 2-0 for the first time since 1993 and just the third time since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1987. In addition, it was their first win over power five school since defeating Pittsburgh in 2014 21-10.
DB Alvin Davis was named MAC East Defensive Player of the week as he had two interceptions for a touchdown. His 97-yarder in the third quarter was the second longest return for a score in school history and added a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter. QB Cato Nelson passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns giving him multiple-TD passes in each of the first two games.
This week, the Zips travel to Iowa State to battle a Cyclones squad which is 0-2 on the campaign losing at in-state rival Iowa and last week at home to nationally ranked Oklahoma.
BOWLING GREEN (1-2):
The Falcons picked up their first win of the season last Saturday as they defeated the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky (FCS-Ohio Valley) 42-35 at Perry Stadium.
It was a game that was still in the balance until QB Jerret Doege connected with WR Quentin Morris for a seven-yard touchdown pass with 6:47 remaining in the contest.
On the afternoon, Doege completed 28-of-39 passes for 258 yards and four scores. Moore had eight receptions for 93 yards and a pair of six-pointers while Andrew Clair had 25 carries for 90 yards and a score. The defense again was led by LB Brandon Harris with nine total tackles.
This Saturday, BGSU ends their three-game homestand as they open MAC play against Miami. The Redhawks are 0-3 after losing last Saturday at Minnesota. When the teams met last season in Oxford, the Falcons collected a 37-29 win as they scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after trailing for the first three quarters.
BUFFALO (3-0, 1-0):
The Bulls opened MAC play Saturday night as the opened a lead on Eastern Michigan but then had to fight for their lives emerging from UB Stadium with a 35-28 victory. The win improved Buffalo’s record to 3-0 for the first time since 1983 and their sixth consecutive triumph dating back to last season.
UB held a 28-21 lead at halftime then got what proved to be the winning score in the fourth quarter when Tyree Jackson found KJ Osborn for a 75-yard catch and run. A game that had 979 yards of total offense. Jackson had another strong game going 21-of-26 for 325 yards and three touchdowns (giving him 12 on the season). Osborn had seven catches for 133 yards and three scores and was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week. The defense was led by LB Khalil Hodge who had 14 total tackles (six solos) and DE Chuck Harris who had eight tackles, a forced fumble, and 2 ½ sacks.
This Saturday UB travels to New Jersey to face the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. The B1G school is 1-2 on the season. RU opened the season with a home win over Texas State followed by road losses at Ohio State & Kansas.
KENT STATE (1-2):
The Golden Flashes traveled to Penn State on Saturday losing to the nationally ranked Nittany Lions 63-10 losing to their second Big Ten Conference opponent in the first three weeks.
KSU was only down 28-10 late in the first half before the Blue and Gold felt the mighty power of Penn State as they scored ion four consecutive possessions to take complete control of the game.
QB Woody Barrett was 20-of-38 for 176 yards and a touchdown (a 47-yarder to Mike Carrigan in the first quarter. Antwon Dixon led the receivers with five catches for 59 yards while the Flashes rushing game managed just 41 total yards. The defense was led by Dalton Hicks with 12 total tackles (four solos).
This Saturday, the Flashes complete their non-conference portion of the schedule traveling to Ole Miss to face the Rebels from the SEC. Ole Miss is 2-1 on the season and is coming off a 62-7 loss at home to defending National Champion and top-ranked Alabama.
The Redhawks saw their record fall to 0-3 on the season last Saturday losing in Minneapolis to the Golden Gophers of Minnesota 26-3. MU’s lone score came midway through the second quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Sam Sloman.
Davion Johnson led the rushing attack with 50 yards on nine carries. QB Gus Ragland completed just 11-of-21 passes for 108 yards with James Gardner completing three of them for 27 yards. The defense was led by DB De’Andre Montgomery with 15 total stops (nine solos) along with a sack.
MU opens MAC play this Saturday as they travel to Bowling Green. The Falcons last week picked up their first win of the season defeating Eastern Kentucky 43-35.
After having a week off after defeating Howard in their season opener, the Bobcats faced the Virginia Cavaliers. The game was moved from Charlottesville to Vanderbilt University in Nashville due to weather problems caused by Hurricane Florence.
In the game itself, the Cats fell behind early then made a furious comeback before falling to the team from the ACC 45-31. QB Nathan Rourke completed 16-of-31 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. WR Papi White had six receptions for 131 yards his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game dating back to last season. Maleek Irons led the ground attack with 43 yards on 11 carries. The defense was led by CB Jamal Hudson with 10 total tackles (six solos). P Michael Farjas was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the week as he had six punts for 282 total yards (47 yds. Per kick) including a 59-yarder against the Cavaliers.
This week Ohio travels south and southwest to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats from the American who are 3-0 on the season with wins over UCLA, Miami, and last week 63-7 over Alabama A&M (MEAC) as they had 409 yards rushing and 741 total for the game.
BALL STATE (1-2):
The Cardinals dropped their second consecutive game Saturday as the Indians Hoosiers built a 24-3 halftime lead en route to a 38-10 win in Bloomington.
BSU could manage just 204 yards of total offense. Their lone touchdown came in the third quarter on a 27-yard run by James Gilbert who had 89 yards on the afternoon. QB Riley Neal could only complete 12-of-2 passes for 115 yards. The defense was led by LB Brandon Martin who had nine total tackles.
The Cards this week complete the non-conference portion of their schedule as they face the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky come to Schuneman Stadium. The Conference-USA school is 0-3 on the season after losing last Saturday at Louisville 20-17.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (0-3, 0-1):
The Chippewas opened MAC play last Saturday at Northern Illinois falling to the Huskies 21-16 to go 0-3 for the first time since 1989 and have lost four straight dating back to last season when they fell to Wyoming in the Famous Potato Bowl.
CMU rallied from a 21-3 deficit to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but could not get any closer losing their conference opener for the second consecutive year.
Tony Lazzaro came in at quarterback to Tony Poljan and completed 13-of-22 passes for128 yards and a touchdown. The running game was led by Jonathan Ward with 74 yards on 16 carries. WR Julian Hicks had seven catches for 63 yards. LB Malik Fountain led the defense with 18 total tackles (eight solos) and was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.
This Saturday CMU returns to Kelly Shorts Stadium to face the Maine Black Bears (FCS-Colonial Athletic). UM is 2-0 on the season and have a win over an FBS opponent defeating Western Kentucky 31-28 after trailing 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-1, 0-1):
The Eagles opened conference play last Saturday night with a trip to Western New York as battled the Buffalo Bulls tooth and nail before suffering their first loss of the season 35-28.
EMU trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles scored 21 points in the second term with Shaq Vann’s touchdown just before halftime closing the margin to 28-21. The game remained close until the home team scored the winning points midway through the final period.
Mike Glass came in at QB for an ineffective Tyler Weigers and played well completing 17-of-27 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns as well as being the leading ground gainer with 68 yards on 14 carries and a score. WR Blake Banham again led the receiving corps with nine catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. The defense as led by DB Vince Calhoun who had 12 total tackles (five solos). P Jake Julian was named MAC West Special Teams Player of the Week with five punts against Buffalo for a 49-yard average.
EMU travels to the west coast this week for a Saturday night game with the Aztecs of San Diego State. The Mountain West Conference school is 2-1 on the season following their upset of nationally ranked Arizona State.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (2-1):
The Huskies picked up their first victory of the 2018 season as they defeated Central Michigan in the MAC opener for both schools 24-16 on Saturday in DeKalb.
NIU built a 21-3 lead in the third quarter only to see the Chippewas scored twice in the fourth quarter their second score coming early in the period. However, the visitors would not get any further. It was their first win over CMU since 2015.
The Huskies offense only managed 284 yards with TB Tre Harbison gaining a career-high 124 yards. QB Marcus Childers was just 11-of-18 passing for 109 yards while WR DJ Brown had four receptions for 69 yards. The defensive 11 was led by LB Antonio Davis-Jones who had 16 total tackles (10 solos). Sutton Smith, the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the year collected his first blocked punt of his career.
This Saturday the Huskies travel to Florida State. The Seminoles under first-year head coach Willie Taggart re 1-2 overall and 0-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play following their 30-7 loss at Syracuse. It is just the second meeting between the two schools the other was the 2016 Orange Bowl with FSU winning 24-10.
Last Saturday before a sellout crowd at the Glass Bowl, the Rockets gave the nationally ranked Miami Hurricanes all they could handle for three quarter trailing by only four points. In the end, however, the Hurricanes pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 49-24 win.
QB Mitchell Guadagni completed 13-of-21 passes for 222 yards and was also the Rockets leading ball carrier with 47 yards. WR Dionte Johnson had six catches for 119 yards and to scores. The defense was led by Reggie Johnson who had eight total tackles (three solos).
The week UT completes its non-conference schedule and three-game homestand to start the season as the Wolfpack of Nevada (Mountain West) comes to the Glass City. The pack is 2-1 on the season following a narrow home loss to Oregon State 37-35
WESTERN MICHIGAN (1-2):
After losing decisively in their first two games (to Syracuse & Michigan) the Broncos took out all their frustration on the Hornets of Delaware State (FCS-MEAC) with a 68-0 shutout.
WMU collected their largest margin of victory in school history as they scored touchdowns in four of their first five possessions. In all seven different players score a touchdown as the offense amassed 527 yards. The defense held DSU to only 127 yards in total offense.
QB Jon Wassink completed 23-of-30 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. RB La’Vante Bellamy led the grounds game with 83 yards on seven carries and a score while WR Drake Harris had seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. LB Drake Spears led the defense with seven total tackles (five solos)
WMU completes its non-conference schedule as they travel to Atlanta to battle Georgia State (Sunbelt) who lost last week at Memphis 59-22. The game will be played at GSU Stadium which is the old Turner Field the signature stadium for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games then was transformed for baseball and was the longtime home of the Atlanta Braves
There you have it. INSIDE MAC FOOTBALL for week four. Miami and Bowling Green open their conference accounts this Saturday with the Redhawks looking for their first win of the season.
In non-conference action, Buffalo looks to go 4-0 for the first time since 1980 in their game with Rutgers while Akron looks to go 3-0 for the first time since 1983 as they battle Iowa State.
Eastern Michigan, Ohio, and Toledo look to rebound after tough losses while Kent State, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Ball State look to even their marks and Central Michigan looks for that elusive first win of 2018.
SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM