Saturday MAC Review: Everything Is Fun

(Photo: Scott Olmstead/emueagles.com)

If you thought last week was the football equivalent of a frowny face, then yesterday was a total chaotic whirlwind followed by a dimple-ridden smile. TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT. Two games were won on the final play; a third was decided in the final minute on a 70-yard play. Six of seven games were interesting at halftime,  there come-from-behind wins of 21 and 14, and a slew of manly quarterback performances. Also, Akron played.



 

Whoa. What an exciting game all the way through. Michael Reghi might've helped that along, but nevertheless the only televised conference game turned out to be a gem. It started out with Miami's horrendous Polecat play, but great defense and some gutsy throws/runs never put this game out of reach. Then there was, of course, the Zac Dysert to Andrew Cruse connection on the final play:

It looks like the CMU defensive backs bit on the mobile Dysert breaking out of the pocket ... but with 30 seconds left in the game, and needing to get probably 45 yards for a decent field goal attempt? Looks like the secondary just lost track of Cruse at the wrong time, because nobody was near the guy.

The Chippewas are now playing for pride, because at 2-5 and 1-3, that division is out of reach. But the RedHawks are suddenly 3-0 and atop the MAC East as the team to beat. However, if you saw the Polecat video, you know that Trevor Cook hugged his knee after the play. MU beat writer Pete Conrad mentioned that Cook might have an MCL injury, and if the senior misses next week's game against OHIO ... uh-oh.

 



 

And the worry for Temple continues. Yes, they did win the game — but how on earth did they leave BGSU a chance in this game? The Owls faithful probably loved every one of those 28 points, notably because Al Golden fully used his abnormally large stage hook after Chester Stewart threw a pick-six on this third pass. Welcome to MAC football, Mike Gerardi. On his third play from scrimmage, he hurled an 80-yard touchdown to Rod Streater.

And that should've been the big story of the day: Gerardi's coming out on homecoming. Instead, it was almost a Falcons upset. First it was Matt Schilz hurling a desperate 4th and 18 jump ball to Kamar Jorden resulting in a first and goal with less than :20 left in the game. Then it was a touchdown strike to Calvin Wiley. And to top it off, Dave Clawson went for two points and the road win. But the slant to Wiley was tapped away by Marquise Liverpool. He's got blisters on his fingers.

So, yes, it was a solid tough win. But after last week, TU needed this game to be a cakewalk.

 


Final - 10.16.2010 1 2 3 4 Total
Akron Zips 0 3 0 7 10
Ohio Bobcats 17 7 7 7 38

Complete Coverage >



This was the one that you didn't have to watch ... you just need to watch the highlights video. (The one that says highlights video, natch.) If you just need to see one play, fast-forward to 2:50 and watch punter Paul Hershey leap over a defender. But you could also watch the whole thing and watch Phil Bates run, Boo Jackson run, Bates pass to Boo, Boo pass to Terrence McCrae, something called "Riley Dunlop" passing to McCrae, and a thrilling field goal, which somehow made it out of the cutting room.



 

And coach Ron English gets his first win on the 19th try! Post-game celebration footage:

Here's a fun stat for you: In that 19 18-loss streak, EMU hadn't scored more than 27 points. And here they put up 41. You can finally take that Charlie Batch poster down and update it with one of Alex Gillett totaling over 400 yards of offense. That includes 35 carries and 10 completions. This was also the team who was down 28-7 at one point, but some enervating drives (including a 19-play, 93-yard, 9:59-long series in the fourth quarter) wore down the thin Ball State defense.

You could just sense the EMU team playing much harder as the game continued; they felt a win was humanly possible. But while this is huge for them ... hoo, boy, Stan Parrish. Might want to update that resume, and leave this season out of it.

 



 

At least the first half was enjoyable! Interestingly enough, WMU ran their variation of the Polecat formation twice — neither time did they cause their kicker to sprain, bruise, or hyperextend anything. But gadgets have little effect against The Echoes, who are unimpressed by trick plays and helmets with logos painted on them. Nevertheless, we're all looking forward to Notre Dame's next MAC game, scheduled for 2099.

 




The interest also waned on this one once the band's halftime show finished up. The Huskies first half was actually quite atrocious — three missed field goals, two turnovers — but then turned on the homecoming afterburners and posted the last 24 points of the game. However, the most important stat? 21,230 — almost seven grand more fans saw this one than parked their tuchuses into seats for last week's big game against Temple. Hey, let's keep up that attendance, shall we?

 



 

I'd have loved to watch this game on BCSN, Northwest Ohio's regional network, but they insist on airing these games on tape-delay only. (They air Bowling Green's home games live.) So I'll just have to take the box score's word that Austin and Adonis were on the same Page. I'm not really sure how Kent State managed to pack 21 points into the same half. But I guess we can say goodnight to my MAC sleeper pick.

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