MAC Week 5 Summary: Clusters Forming In The West

Looks like Owls still only come out at night, or against ACC/Big East opponents. (photo via owlsports.com)

Looking at each of the games (or those that we feel like ignoring):

TOLEDO 36, TEMPLE 13 — Tough happenings for a team who took down Maryland by 31 points, only to turn around and get worked by the strongest 1-3 team in football. Even without Adonis Thomas, UT turned out to be the dominant running team, reaching deep into the chart and having Morgan Williams rush for 121 yards. To supplant that, David Fluellen gave 'em 108 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown each by running and catching.

UT's run defense was able to hold Bernard Pierce to an unPiercemanlike 3.13 yards per carry. They picked off two Chester Stewart passes and also snapped up two fumbles, including one on special teams.

Only great thing I can say about Temple is that Evan Rodriguez looked NFL ready on their lone touchdown of the game. He was able to outrun safeties as he sprinted down the sideline.

I won't pile on too much more after this, but here's what hurts the most: Temple looked strong in the first four games, but this was likely the result of overconfidence. The Owls have had a spotty identity of occasionally phoning in games, especially in the MAC, that they should win and win big. They might have the most pro talent on the roster, and I wouldn't have been floored if Toledo won, but to curl up and lose at home by 23 points? Youch.

WESTERN MICHIGAN 38, CONNECTICUT 31 — Gentlemen, we have not only our third win over an AQ conference team this year, but it was in stunning fashion.

OHIO 17, KENT STATE 10 — This had "low scoring uggo day" written all over it, and there you are.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 48, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 41 — The jury is out after five weeks: the Huskies defense is awful. Through five games they have given up 198 points. That's exactly how many they allowed in their first ten games last season. This cannot bode well for Dave Doeren. But hats off to CMU for shuffling the bad voodoo from the first four games and really pour it on. 41 points to Chandler Harnish and company is probably about right, but even for the patchwork NIU defense, Ryan Radcliff and his offensive line had a wonderful game: 13.8 yards per pass play, 5.5 yards per rush, and one sack allowed. Go back and watch this one if you love points: there were 1,150 total yards of offense.

EASTERN MICHIGAN 31, AKRON 23 —So if CMU was the worst team in the MAC West, and they beat Northern Illinois, then the onus falls back to EMU to shed that label. Winning by 8 points to Akron, in all honesty, doesn't cut it for me. They had one the strangest plays I saw when I peeked into this game: Alex Gillett took the snap, thought they successfully drew Akron offsides, then took a knee. This was on third down, inside their own 10-yard line. I have never seen that before. It didn't appear to be his best game, but fortunately he had Dominque White lining up aside him on most plays, and his 163 yards and three touchdowns helped put away a win they should have had all along.

Akron's offense is getting there. They even had a balls out play with Jawon Chisholm throwing a touchdown to Clayton Moore in a role-reversal play — on 4th and 1.

#2 OKLAHOMA 62, BALL STATE 6 — No chance in this one, despite the close early score. Ball State was kicking field goals and we all knew that wasn't going to be enough. The Sooner seemingly kept scoring at will in the third quarter. Was it running up the score or were they trying to get warmed up for their big rivalry game next week? Whatever the reason, the starters just shut down the offense, picking Keith Wenning off thrice (his first interceptions of the year) and held 'em to 214 yards. Less said about this, the better.

TENNESSEE 41, BUFFALO 10 — And this one too. Save for a breakaway touchdown by Chazz Anderson ther wasn't much happy about this one.

CINCINNATI 27, MIAMI 0 — The halftime score looked promising. Not for the offense, but it was a mere 6-0 advantage for UC in the Victory Bell game. But the RedHawks were sacked five times and rushed for a total of -3 yards (including sackness). The vise is starting to grip on Miami's offensive coordinator John Klacik, who many are starting to doubt — although that question was always there when he was hired after going 5-60 as head coach of Division II Lock Haven University.

#22 WEST VIRGINIA 55, BOWLING GREEN 10 — I don't want to talk about it, this is my blog, and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME.

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