MAC Football Week One Overview: Match Ups, Game Times, and Where To Watch

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Day & Time (ET) Road
Away Watch It
Thurs, 6 p.m. Liberty 0-0 Kent State 0-0 ESPN3
The first MAC Football game of the season kicks off on a Thursday night, just as it should. Dri Archer gets a stat-padding game to open up his 2013 Heisman Campaign. Though, Liberty could be tougher than expected. The Flames went 6-5 last season in Turner Gill's first year. Not a fan of schools opening up against FCS opponents, but if you like watching Archer and Trayion Durham run over, around, past and through people then this might be your kind of thing.
Thurs, 7 p.m. Tulsa 0-0 Bowling Green 0-0 ESPNU
Easily the best MAC game of the night, the Falcons host a talented Tulsa team coming off an impressive 11-3 season. Dave Clawson and Matt Schilz will have their hands full in this game. But the real match up comes from BGSU's stellar defense and the Golden Hurricane's offense which boasted the nations ninth best rushing attack in 2012. This game will let us know right away if the Falcons will miss Chris Jones production on the front line. Expect a low scoring slug fest.
Thurs, 7 p.m. Illinois St. 0-0 Ball State 0-0 ESPN3
Another MAC-FCS matchup for your viewing pleasure. But Illinois St. is much better than Liberty. Just ask Ron English and EMU. The Redbirds trounced them 31-14 last season in Ypsilanti. Keith Wenning leads arguably the most balanced offense in the MAC, and should have no problem winning this one, but don't expect to see the Cardinals win by 5 scores. Illinois St. will give them a fight.
Thurs, 7 p.m. Akron 0-0 UCF 0-0 ESPN3
Year 2 of the Terry Bowden era kicks off with a rough road game for the Zips. UCF went 10-4 last season, including a 38-17 victory over Ball St. in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. The Knights are without their leading rusher from 2012 but bring back stud-QB Blake Bortles for an encore to his stellar sophomore season. Honestly, losing by anything less than 3 scores in Orlando will be a 'victory' for Akron.
Fri, 8 p.m. Western Michigan 0-0 Michigan St. 0-0 B1G Network
The P.J. Fleck era kicks off in the MAC's only Friday game opening weekend. The Broncos draw a tough opponent in Michigan St.. Tyler van Tubbergen is the clear-cut starter now that Alex Cader is gone. But, anincreadibly rough fall camp that leaves WMU without several key players and a memeber of the coaching staff make this game look a lot tougher than it originally appeared. The Spartans are without their entire offesne from 2012, and my old high school teammate, Le'Veon Bell though, now that he's in the NFL. So it could be an interesting game.
Sat, noon UMass 0-0 No. 23 Wisconsin 0-0 B1G Network
Man, you have to respect UMass for actually scheduling games like this. But expect a brutal game. Rob Blanchflower likely won't play either meaning the Minutemen will be without their best player in this one. Ugh.
Sat, noon Buffalo 0-0 No. 2 Ohio State 0-0 ESPN2
Ugh again. This one won't be pretty either. But, we will get to see Khalil Mack (hopefully) wreck havoc on in the Buckeyes backfield...it just won't be enough to actually make this a game.
Sat, 12:21 p.m. Toledo 0-0 No. 10 Florida 0-0 SEC Network/ESPN3
Last season Bowling Green proved that a MAC team can hang in with a good Florida team. I'm not as high on the Gators as some people are, and I do think Toledo is going to be a real force in the MAC this season. The Rockets' offense is loaded top to bottom. I think this will be the closest game of all the MAC-vs. Top 25 opponent games this week, but can Toledo actually pull off the upset?
Sat, 3:30 p.m. Northern Illinois 0-0 Iowa 0-0 B1G Network
NIU's been waiting for this moment since the clock hit zero on last season's ugly 18-17 loss in Solider Field. This time around the Huskies head to Iowa's house, but they also bring a very confident (and motivated) Jordan Lynch who will be out to exact revenge. This should be a great game for the MAC as any win over a non bottom-feeder (Illinois) B1G team is always good.
Sat, 3:30 p.m. Central Michigan 0-0 No. 17 Michigan 0-0 B1G Network
Oh man...Brady Hoke will go nice on a team from his old stomping ground right? Unlikely. However, this game marks the beginning of the Cody Kater era. OH and we get to see Zurlon Tipton again who can hold his own with any defense.
Sat, 6 p.m. Howard 0-0 Eastern Michigan 0-0 ESPN3
Normally an FCS opponent season opener is a guaranteed victory for the FBS school...unless you're the Eastern Michigan Eagles. EMU was bad last year, and honestly probably worse than their 2-10 record showed. Seriously, there were individual players with more sacks than the entire Eagles defense. I don't think Howard wins this, but I think they'll make it incredibly close further pushing Ron English out the door.
Sat,  7 p.m. Miami 0-0 Marshall 0-0 CBS Sports Network
Dayonne Nunley, one of the best mid-major defensive backs in the nation is going to have his hands full in this one. In 2012 the Thundering Herd had the most prolific passing game in the NCAA. The man responsible for that...Rakeem Cato...is back. Good news for Miami Marshall was one of the poorest defenses in the nation as well.
Sun., 3:30 p.m. Ohio 0-0 No. 9 Louisville 0-0 ESPN
Last season Ohio pulled off its biggest victory in program history at Happy Valley. This season the 'Cats are going to try and start their season with another heavyweight knockout. Except this time the heavyweight isn't mid-2000s Mike Tyson riddled with scandals and a shadow of his former self, it's mid-80s Tyson, and he's hungry. Louisville might not be elite, but they're certainly worthy of that No. 9  next to their name. Ohio's dealing with a new defensive line full of players with very minimal game experience. The 'Cats will scratch and claw, but expect a late-round knockout from Teddy Bridgewater and gang.
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