This past week in the Mid-American Conference. Eastern Michigan came up with the biggest win as they won at Purdue with a field goal on the final play of the game marking the 13th consecutive year a MAC opponent has defeated a team from the Big Ten.
Saturday night in Philadelphia, Buffalo needed a touchdown in the final moments for a road win at Temple to also go 2-0 while Ball State gave nationally ranked Notre Dame all they could handle narrowly losing in South Bend.
Akron opened its season with a big win at home while Sean Lewis collected his first win as head coach at Kent State in the Golden Flashes home opener. Five teams though (Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, and Miami) saw their records fall to 0-2
One constant last week was rain as the remnants of Hurricane Gordon came in making a majority of the games in the conference being played with steady precipitation throughout.
Here is a look at the conference after the second week of action:
After having last Saturday’s game at Nebraska canceled by rain, thunderstorms, and lighting. The Zips finally opened their season last Saturday in a steady rain while defeating the Morgan State Bears (FCS-MEAC) 41-7 celebrating the 10th season at InfoCision Stadium.
Akron was dominant on both sides of the ball as they gained 437 yards in total offense and yielded just 192 and held a shutout until the Bears scored a touchdown with just 11 seconds remaining in the game. RB Van Edwards rushed for 109 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. QB Cato Nelson completed just 16-of-26 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. WR Andre Williams & Jonah Morris each had four receptions and each had a touchdown. The defense had two interceptions, a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. They were led by LB John Lako (four solos) & Ulysses Gilbert (five assists) each with six total tackles
This Saturday night, the Zips travel to Northwestern to face the Wildcats from the B1G. The Cats are 1-1 on the season (1-0 in B1G play) losing their home opener last Saturday to Duke 21-7
BOWLING GREEN (0-2):
The Falcons opened their 2018 home schedule last Saturday as the Maryland Terrapins came to Perry Stadium with a 45-14 victory.
It was a close game in the first half with BGSU trailing only 14-10 at halftime. In the second half though, the visitors from College Park scoring 31 unanswered points and outgained the Falcons 325-33. QB Jarret Doege completed 17-of-22 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. EB Andrew Clair had just 44 yards on 16 carries. The defense for the second consecutive game was paced by Brandon Harris who had 11 total tackles (seven solos) and a forced fumble.
The Falcons continue this three-game homestand on Saturday as they face the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky. The Ohio Valley Conference schools are 2-1 on the season defeating Morehead State in the season opener before losing last week at Marshall 32-12.
The Bulls traveled to Philadelphia and came up with a victory over the Temple Owls (American) 36-29 to improve to 2-0 on the season.
QB Tyree Jackson connected with WR Anthony Johnson for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds remaining to cap off a wild fourth quarter scoring barrage as the two teams combined for 29 points in the final 15 minutes, Jackson was named MAC East Offensive Player of the week as he completed 26-of-45 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns giving him nine in the first two weeks. Johnson (6-76) and KJ Osborn (6-58) led the receivers while Kevin Marks gained 138 yards on 35 carries with a pair of scores.
The defense was led by DB Cameron Lewis who was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week who had four total tackles as well as a pair of key interceptions with his second ending a possible scoring drive by the Owls. LB Khail Hodge who had 10 total tackles (five solos) the UB defense overall had two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.
UB opens MAC play this Saturday at home against another 2-0 squad the Eastern Michigan Eagles as they defeated Purdue last Saturday 20-19 on a field goal as time expired.
KENT STATE (1-1):
The Golden Flashes defeated the Howard Bison (FCS-MEAC) Saturday afternoon in a steady rain at Dix Stadium 55-14 to give head coach Sean Lewis his first win with the Blue & Gold.
KSU scored the most points in a game since 2008 at Miami and the most points at home since 1996 (52-51 loss to Central Michigan). The offense pounded out 511 total yards overall with 355 of them coming on the ground. RB Justin Rankin had 12 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown (A 61-yard run) while RB Jo-El Shaw had three scores and 105 yards on the ground. QB Woody Barrett was 13-of-27 for 156 yards and a score a 42-yarder to Isiah McKoy who led the receivers with nine catches for 74 yards. The defense had four sacks, two fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptions. They were led by LB Matt Bahr who had 11 total tackles (eight solos)
This week the Flashes travel to Penn State who is 2-0 on the season after a dominating performance on Saturday night at Pittsburgh defeating the Panthers 51-6
Last Saturday night it was the Battle for “The Bell” at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. When it was all said and done in a driving rain, it was the Bearcats who kept possession of the trophy as they shutout the Redhawks 21-0.
The MU defense did their job as they held UC to only 233 yards of total offense and only seven points through the first three quarters however their offense managed just 198 yards with only 59 gained on the ground. QB Gus Ragland completed 22-of-41 passes for 139 yards. RB Kenny Young managed just 27 yards on nine carries
This week the Hawks travel to the Twin Cities to battle the Golden Gophers of Minnesota who is 2-0 on the season after defeating Fresno State last week 21-14. It begins a stretch of three in the next four games on the road for MU.
The Bobcats had the week off. They opened the season back on September 1st defeating Howard at Peden Stadium 38-32.
In that game against the Bison, the Green and White used a 99-yard kickoff return by DL Knock at the start of the second half to jump-start the team and led them to victory
The offense came in the form of backup Quentin Mitchell who came into the game in the second quarter for the ineffective Nathan Rourke and completed 17-of-25 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. WR Papi White had eight receptions in the contest for 154 yards and a score while the running game was led by A.J. Ouelette who gained 59 yards on 17 carries. S Kylan Nelson led the defense with nine total tackles (seven solos). Knock was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the week for his kickoff return for a score
The Cats this Saturday travel to Virginia to face the Cavaliers from the ACC. UVA is 1-1 on the season after losing a tough one Saturday night on the road at Indiana
BALL STATE (1-1):
The Cardinals traveled to South Bend on Saturday to face Notre Dame and gave the nationally ranked Fighting Irish all they could handle surprising the sellout crowd as well as National Television audience losing by only eight points 24-16.
QB Riley Neal’s touchdown pass to Nathan Green along with a late field goal made it a one-possession game. The Cards tried the on-side kick and failed but gave a great accounting of themselves. Neal completed 23-of-50 passes for 180 yards. James Gilbert had another strong day rushing the football as he gained 72 yards on 19 carries.
A major key to the game was the Cards defense. Yes, they gave up a touchdown on the opening possession of the game overall they held ND to only 117 yards rushing with four sacks, a forced fumble, and three interceptions.
BSU ends their non-conference portion of the schedule this Saturday remaining in the Hoosier State as they head to Bloomington to face the Indians Hoosiers who are 2-0 o the season after defeating Virginia last Saturday night
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (0-2):
The Chippewas opened their 2018 home schedule last Saturday falling o the Kansas Jayhawks of the Big 12 31-7
CMU was held to only 280 total yards offensively with their score coming in late in the third quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass by Tony Polian who completed just 18 of 21 passes for 177 yards with his touchdown. He also gained 43 yards rushing but threw four interceptions. The defense was led by LB Malik Fountain who had 13 total tackles (eight solos)
This week CMU opens conference play traveling to Northern Illinois to face the Huskies who themselves are 0-2 to begin the season after losing a tough defensive game at home to Utah last Saturday 16-7
EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-0):
The Eagles pulled off the biggest surprise of the weekend as they defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 20-19 with a field goal on the final play of the game to go 2-0 on the season.
PK Chad Hyland kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired to give EMU their second consecutive win over Big Ten opposition. Last season the Eagles picked up a victory at Rutgers.
Hyland was named MAC West Special Teams Player of the week. Offensively, QB Tyler Weigers won the award as the graduate transfer from Iowa completed 20 of 28 passes for 312 yards. WR Blake Banham led the receivers with six catches for 99 yards. The defense saw the return of DL Maxx Crosby who had three tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble while LB Ike Calderon had seven total stops also with a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
This Saturday, EMU opens MAC play as they travel to Western New York to face the Buffalo Bulls who are also 2-0 after their thrilling win last week at Temple 36-29.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (0-2):
The Huskies played their home opener last Saturday night as the Utah Utes came to Huskie Stadium and came away with a 17-7 victory sending the pre-season favorites in the Western Division to 0-2
It was a defensive game throughout with the visitors from the PAC-12 holding a 7-6 lead after three quarters. In the fourth, Utah scored a touchdown early in the period then put the game away with a field goal. QB Marcus Childers completed 18-of-33 passes for only 111 yards. Jajuan Wesley ad eight catches for 73 yards. Tre Harrison led the ground game with 63 yards on 13 carries.
The defense was led by Sutton Smith. The reigning MAC Player of the Year had eight total tackles with two sacks and 4 ½ tackles for losses and was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.
This Saturday, NIU opens conference play as they travel to Central Michigan to face a Chippewas squad also looking for their first win on the campaign after losing their home opener last Saturday to Kansas 31-7
The Rockets had the week after opening the season on September 1st defeating VMI 66-3 at the Glass Bowl.
UT began defense of their 2017 MAC Championship by leading the Keydets 42-3 at halftime and never trailed in the contest. It was the largest margin of victory by the Rockets since 1951.
The offense had 603 yards on total offense and was led by QB Mitchell Guardagni in his first collegiate start completed 11-of-16 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. 11 different receivers who caught at least one pass and they were led by WR Desmond Phillips who had four receptions for 49 yards. RB Seymour Shakif had two touchdowns. The defense held the Keydets (FCS-Big South) to just 227 yards of total offense while registering four sacks, two interceptions as well as 10 three-and-outs. The defensive eleven were led by Jamal Hines with seven total tackles. Cody Thompson won MAC West Special Teams player of the week as he had a blocked punt and recovered the ball for a touchdown
The Rockets this Saturday welcome the Miami Hurricanes to the Glass City for a nationally televised affair. UM is nationally ranked in both polls and are 1-1 on the season after pitching a 77-0 shutout last Saturday in their home opener against Savannah State. The two teams met last season in South Florida with the Hurricanes picking up a 52-20 victory.
WESTERN MICHIGAN (0-2):
After their shootout loss to Virginia in their opener, the Broncos took the trek east in Interstate 94 to Ann Arbor and were totally dominated by the Michigan Wolverines losing 49-3.
The only bright spots for WMU on this day were RB Levante Bellamy as he gained 65 yards on eleven carries. Defensively, LB Alex Groce and CB Juwan Dowels each had six tackles with Groce collecting a sack and three tackles for a loss.
This week the Broncos return to Waldo Stadium to face the Hornets from Delaware State (MEAC) who are 0-2 on the season following a loss last Saturday to Saint Francis (PA) from the Northeast Conference 45-14.
There you have it. INSIDE MAC FOOTBALL for Week One. This Saturday conference play begins with a battle of 2-0 teams as Eastern Michigan travels to Buffalo while Northern Illinois and Central Michigan look for their first win s of the season.
Kent State travels to nationally ranked Penn State while Akron heads to Northwestern looking for a 2-0 start as does Ohio as they travel to Virginia. Bowling Green and Miami look for their first victories in 2018.
SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM