This past week in the Mid-American Conference.
The Buffalo Bulls remain undefeated at 4-0 defeating Rutgers for their first win over a Big Ten School. It as the Bulls seventh consecutive win dating back to last season currently the third longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision and are one of five schools inside the ‘Group of Six” that are still undefeated.
In conference play, Miami put it all together to pick up their first win of the season at Bowling Green. In other non-conference action, Central Michigan collected their first win of 2018. Western Michigan evened their record at 2-2 Toledo bounced back defeating Nevada in a shootout to go 2-1. Akron, Ohio, Ball State, and Eastern Michigan all suffered late losses. Northern Illinois fell at Florida State.
Here is a look at the conference as most of the teams have reached the one-quarter mark of the season (four games):
The Zips suffered its first loss of the 2018 season as they traveled to Iowa State losing to the Cyclones from the Big XII 26-13.
Akron got the game’s first points in the first quarter when QB Cato Nelson connected with WR Andre Williams for a 26-yard touchdown. After the home Cyclones took a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter. PK Zach Gasser’s 45-yard field goal tied the score 10-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, again after the Cyclones regained the lead in the third quarter 17-10, Gasser connected on a second field goal this from 49 yards, a career high, to close the margin to 17-13. In the end, however, ISU kicked three field goals in the final quarter to seal the victory.
Nelson hit only 12-of-28 passes for 153 yards and that touchdown to Williams. The QB also led the Zips in rushing with 56 yards on 15 carries. Nate Stewart led the receivers with four receptions for 52 yards. The defense had to forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a pair of pass breakups. They were led by LB Ulysses Gilberto who had 12 total tackles (six solos). Gasser was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the week with his two long field goals.
UA has this week off before returning to action on Saturday, October 6th when they open MAC play when the Miami Redhawks come to InfoCision Stadium. MU is 1-3 on the season after opening conference play last week with a victory at Bowling Green and face Western Michigan this week at home.
BOWLING GREEN (1-3,0-1):
The Falcons dropped to 1-2 at home on the season falling to Miami 38-23 in the MAC opener for both schools at Perry Stadium.
The visitors from Oxford opened a 31-3 lead early in the third quarter. BGSU made a comeback in the fourth quarter scoring 20 points however the deficit was too much to overcome falling for the sixth time in the last seven games overall dating back to last season and fourth straight in MAC play.
QB Jarret Doege completed 30-of-35 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons running game was held to just 85 yards with Andre Clair gaining only 37. WR RB Marlow led the receivers with seven catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. The defense was led by FS Jerry McBride who had 14 total tackles (10 solos).
This Saturday BGSU travels to Atlanta to complete the non-conference portion of their schedule to do battle with the Yellow Jackets from Georgia Tech from the ACC. GT is 1-3 in 2018 after a 49-21 loss to second-ranked Clemson at home.
BUFFALO (4-0, 1-0):
The Bulls collected their fourth consecutive win and seventh straight dating back to last season as they traveled to Rutgers and defeated the Scarlet Knights 43-13for their first ever win over a Big Ten school and a school record second non-conference road win (winning at Temple in week two).
In addition, the seven-game winning streak is currently the third longest in the FBS (behind UCF, Ohio State, Penn State) and are one of only five schools within the group of six that are still undefeated (UCF, USF, Cincinnati-American and North Texas-Conference USA)
The UB offense had 445 total yards and was led by QB Tyree Jackson who completed 14-of-28 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson has 15 touchdown passes in the season’s first four weeks. RB Jaret Patterson rushed for 104 yards and a pair of scores including a 41-yarder. WR Anthony Johnson led the receivers with 101 yards on just two receptions however he did have a 42-yard catch and run score from Jackson. The defense was led by LB Khalil Hodge who was named MAC East Defensive Player of the week as he had 15 total tackles.
Buffalo this Saturday returns home to face Army West Point and their triple option offense. The Cadets are 2-2 on the season after traveling last week to Oklahoma giving the nationally ranked Sooners all they could handle before losing in overtime 28-21.
KENT STATE (1-2):
The Golden Flashes came back from that 63-10 loss the previous week at nationally ranked Penn State traveling to Ole Miss and giving the hosts from the SEC a game until the might and power of the Rebels pulled away late in the third quarter for a 38-17 victory handing KSU their second consecutive loss.
QB Woody Barrett completed 24-of-46 passes for 224 yards along with being the Flashes leading rusher with 53 yards and a score. KSU’s first touchdown was a bit of trickery as WR Kavious Price found RB Jo-EL Shaw in the end zone. The defense did have two sacks, an interception, and three pass breakups. They were led by LB Matt Bahr (eight solos) and S Jamal Parker (five solos) with 12 total stops.
KSU completes this three-game road trip in Muncie opening MAC plays against the Ball State Cardinals. BSU is also 1-3 on the season and has lost three straight games after losing a fourth-quarter lead at home to Western Kentucky 28-20.
After starting the season at 0-3 (two of which were games they had a chance to win) the Redhawks put it all together at Bowling Green defeating the Falcons 38-23 in the MAC opener for both schools.
MU’s offense tallied 408 yards with 289 coming on the ground. They were led by RB Alonzo Smith who had 164 yards on the afternoon on 19 carries. During the game, he went over the 2000-yard rushing plateau and was named MAC East Player of the Week. RB Marcus Thomas had a 30-yard touchdown run to open the scoring and sent the Hawks on their way opening a 31-3 early in the third quarter. QB Gus Ragland completed 10-of-15 passes for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Miami’s defense had five sacks and recovered a fumble. They were led by LB Junior Mc Mullen and LB Brad Koenig each with 10 total tackles (four solos).
Miami returns home this Saturday to face the Western Michigan Broncos who are 2-2 on the season after winning last week at Georgia State 34-15.
Last Saturday in Cincinnati, the Bobcats opened a 24-7 halftime lead on the UC Bearcats. However, the home team from the American Athletic Conference came all the way back for a 34-30 win to remain undefeated at 4-0 and hand Ohio its second consecutive loss.
QB Nathan Rourke completed 12-of-27 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown (a 12-yarder to RB Maleek Irons in the first quarter). In addition, Rourke ran for 96 yards and another score. WR Cameron Odom led the receiver with five catches for 114 yards. The defense was led by SS Javion Hagan with 11 total tackles. PK Louie Zervos kicked three field goals including a 47-yarder.
This week, Ohio completes its non-conference schedule as the Minutemen of Massachusetts come to Peden Stadium. UMass, one-time football-only member of the MAC are 2-3 on the season after defeating the 49ers of Charlotte (Conference-USA) at home 49-31
BALL STATE (1-3):
The Cardinals last Saturday held a 17-7 lead on Western Kentucky deep into the third quarter. As the fourth quarter began, the Hilltoppers from Conference USA scored three touchdowns to take control of the contest and hand BSU its third consecutive loss 28-20.
QB Riley Neal led a BSU offense had totaled 405 yards on the afternoon as he completed 27-of-45 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown. RB Caleb Hundley led the ground attack with 59 yards on only 10 carries. WR Riley Miller had eight receptions for 112 yards. The defense was led by LB Jacob White (seven solos) and S Brett Anderson (two) each with nine total tackles from a defense that had a sack and two forced fumbles.
This Saturday, the Cards open MAC play as they host the Kent State Golden Flashes who are 1-3 on the season suffering their second straight loss last week at Ole Miss 38-17.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-3):
The Chippewas used their defense to pick up their first win of the season defeating the Black Bears of Maine 17-5 at Kelly Shorts Stadium.
The CMU defense held Maine (FCS-Colonial Athletic) to 265 total yards while picking up a pair of interceptions and a goal line stand. LB Malik Fountain had 12 total tackles in the game (seven solos) including a fumble recovery and an interception. DL Mike Danna added seven solo tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. The offense managed only 177 yards but it was enough as QB Tommy Lazzaro in his first start completed seven-of-16 passes for only 82 yards and a touchdown he also had 14 carries for additional 44 yards and a score.
This Saturday, the Chips complete their non-conference schedule with a short trip to Michigan State. The Spartans from the B1G are 2-1 on the season winning last week at Indiana in their conference opener 35-21.
EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-2, 0-1):
Last Saturday at San Diego State, the Eagles came back from a 17-3 deficit to take a 20-17 lead with just three minutes remaining in regulation. However the Aztecs from the Mountain West hit a 50-yard field goal with 1;16 left to send the game into overtime, then got an interception on EMU’s first extra period possession leading to the game-winning kick.
Mike Glass along with Tyler Weigans was at quarterback for the Eagles with Glass completing 9-of-16 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. RB Shaq Vann led the ground game with 76 yards on 21 carries while Matthew Sexton had four catches for 64 yards. The defense had four sacks, an interception, and five pass breakups. They were led by LB Kyle Rachel and DL Maxx Crosby (2 ½ sacks) each with eight total tackles. Crosby was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.
This Saturday the Eagles return home to “The Factory” to face the Northern Illinois Huskies. The preseason favorites in the Western Division are 1-3 on the season following a 37-19 loss at Florida State.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (1-3):
The Huskies traveled to Florida State last Saturday and fell to the Seminoles 37-19. FSU opened a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and had little resistance the rest of the afternoon as NIU fell to 1-3 on the season.
The Huskies offense managed just 221 yards of total offense with QB Marcus Childress completing 20-of-41 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for an 11-yard score. WR DJ Brown led the receivers with seven catches for 117 yards which included a 66-yard catch and run in the third quarter. The NIU defense had two sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. They were led by LB Lance Deveraux Jr with ten total tackles (seven solos).
The Huskies are on the road for the second consecutive week as they travel to Eastern Michigan to face an Eagles team who started the season at 2-0 and are now 2-2 after losing last week at San Diego State in overtime 23-20.
The Rockets rebounded from their loss to nationally ranked Miami last Saturday as they defeated the Wolfpack of Nevada (Mountain West) at the Glass Bowl 63-44.
It was a game that was a back-and-fourth affair until the home team pulled away in the fourth quarter). A game that saw 107 points scored and 1042 yards of total offense (460 were amassed by UT). QB Mitchell Guadgani completed 15-of-24 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 131 yards and a pair of scores and was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week. WR Dionte Johnson had four receptions for 67 yards and WR Cody Thompson had three catches for 57 yards each and a score. Dionte Johnson also had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The defense had a fumble recovery and an interception. They were led by Khalil Johnson who had 11 total tackles (nine solos). The special teams came up with their second blocked punt of the season (this from Desmond Phillips) all in an afternoon that saw UT scored over 60 points in a game for the second time in the same season.
This week, Toledo travels to Central California to face their second Mountain West opponent this in the Fresno State Bulldogs who are 2-1 on the season having the week off after upsetting UCLA on the 15th in Pasadena 38-14.
WESTERN MICHIGAN (2-2):
The Broncos traveled to Atlanta last Saturday and in the heat and humidity defeated the Georgia State Panthers from the Sun Belt Conference 34-15 to even their record at 2-2.
On the day the WMU offense gained 528 total yards and had two running backs gain over 100 yards in LaVante Bellamy who had 121 yards and Jamari Bogan who had 126 including a 71-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away. QB Jon Wassink completed 20-of-25 passes for 23 yards and three touchdowns with having seven receptions for 101 yards and a 40-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The defense had four sacks, four forced fumbles, a pair of interceptions and fumble recoveries. They were led by LB Marcus Spears with nine total tackles (seven solos). PK Gavin Peddie was named MAC West Special teams player of the week as he connected on a pair of field goals and all four of his extra points.
WMU opens MAC play on Saturday as they travel to Oxford to face Miami who picked up their first win of the season last Saturday winning at Bowling Green 38-23.
There you have it. INSIDE MAC FOOTBALL for week five…This Saturday Buffalo looks to extend their winning streak as they face Army.
In conference play, NIU looks to go 2-0 while Eastern Michigan looks to end a two-game losing streak. Ball State and Kent State both open MAC play each looking to return to the winners list while Western Michigan opens conference play traveling to Miami as the Redhawks look for their second straight victory
Ohio looks to end a two-game losing streak at home, Toledo, Central Michigan, and Bowling Green head on the road against Power Five competition.
Akron has the week off after suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of Iowa State.
SEE YOU AT THE STADIUM