Hustle Belt, for Mid-American Conference fans
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It's time to see how the standings play out for the Hustle Belt Awards after Week 7.
The Cardinals are now bowl eligible, Lembo notches 100th career win
It took six games, but UMass finally got their second FBS win and first of the 2013-14 season behind the strong play of its defense.
Some movement at both the top and bottom of the list as drop to just two winless teams on the season.
Turnovers proved costly to the Bobcats as a muffed fair catch on a punt allowed the Chippewas to rally late for the winning TD.
The Broncos held Buffalo to just one score in the first half. When you're average 37 points allowed and a 24-point loss every week in an 0-7 start, that's progress. Unfortunately, the Bulls woke up in the second half, and progress ended.
Bowling Green had something to prove against a big-time opponent after losing by 32 at Indiana. It's safe to say that they showed their mettle tonight, even if a win would have been sweeter.
Bowling Green shut out Mississippi State over the final 30 minutes and gave the Bulldogs plenty of reasons to sweat, but in the end, the MSU held off the Falcon charge for a 21-20 win on Saturday night.
Down 21-10 at the beginning of the second half, Bowling Green took the half's opening kickoff and drove 48 yards in six minutes. On 4th-and-1 from the MSU 27, Falcon head coach Dave Clawson chose to attempt a 45-yard field goal rather than try for the first down. Tate missed the kick, but BGSU held the Bulldogs to a 3-and-out immediately after. Once they got the ball back, the Falcons drove the ball 76 yards in seven plays over the next 3:15 of the game for a touchdown. Johnson ran into the end zone on a two-yard keeper to make the score 21-19. Clawson chose to not chase more points by going for the tie; instead, Tate kicked the extra point to cut the MSU lead to 21-20.
Bowling Green got the ball back early in the fourth quarter after MSU's Devon Bell missed a 44-yard field goal attempt. The Falcons drove to the 40, but Matt Johnson threw incomplete to Travis Greene on 4th-and-2 to stop the drive. It appeared that there might have been pass interference on the play, but it was not called. MSU again drove downfield and reached the BGSU 8-yard line, where they faced a 4th-and-2. Instead of trying a field goal that would have given them a four-point lead (and forced BGSU to score a touchdown to win), Bulldogs' head coach Dan Mullen went for the first down. Quarterback Dak Prescott ran up the middle but managed only two yards, and Bowling Green took over.
On what would be their final drive of the game, BGSU took the ball 40 yards from their own 6 to the 46, but three plays netted -1 yards. On 4th-and-11, Johnson scrambled right and threw to Ryan Burbrink, who could not catch the ball. On this play, replay clearly showed that an MSU defender contacted Burbrink helmet-to-helmet, but nothing was called. The Bulldogs were then able to run the clock down to :03 before turning the ball back over to the Falcons. BGSU was not able to score on the final play.
BGSU was outgained 422-383 and gave up 245 yards on the ground; however, they committed only four penalties and had no turnovers. Greene had a very good game with 15 carries for 99 yards, while Johnson was 20-for-34 with 224 yards. Johnson also had a touchdown and 28 yards on five rushes. Eight different players had catches for BGSU; Jared Cohen led that group with five, while Burbrink led Falcon receivers with 66 yards.
The Falcons fall to 5-2 but are still 3-0 in the MAC. They have no game next weekend, which gives the team two weeks to prepare for their Oct. 26th game at home against arch-rival Toledo.
Mississippi State moved up and down the field at will during the first half, but Bowling Green capitalized on a couple of mistakes (including a first quarter interception) to stay close. The Falcons are moving the ball reasonably well but have made a couple of mistakes of their own. Chief among those is the "targeting" foul by Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates late in the first half. As MSU quarterback Dak Prescott was scrambling and being tackled by another BGSU defender, Gates came in and met Prescott helmet-to-helmet. The foul caused Gates to be ejected.
Mississippi State had nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first half, including over 100 rushing yards alone by Prescott. Bowling Green had 188 yards in the first half, including 127 in the second quarter.
We'll have more after the game.
Northern Illinois had a different picture in their minds as to how homecoming would go...but the Huskies survived a close game with Akron, 27-20. NIU's victory marks the 23rd straight win at home and the 18th straight conference win for the Huskies (both the longest in the nation), while it marks the 30th consecutive road loss for Akron (also the longest streak in the NCAA). Akron played the Huskies close all game, never trailing by more than 10. It came down to a fourth and ten with 47 seconds remaining right around midfield. Kyle Pohl's pass to L.T. Smith sailed long and just out of reach, preserving the victory for NIU.
Akron's defense held the explosive Huskie offense to just 397 yards, a season low, while the Zips offense netted 389 yards against the porous NIU defense. Akron could have pulled off the upset but penalties plagued them all night, having 12 flags for 102 yards. Pohl finished 24-57 with 262 yards with a TD and a pick. Running back Jawon Chisholm had 21 carries for 72 yards and two TDs. Akron's special teams also had two blocked field goals to keep it close.
The NIU offense was shut down today, as Jordan Lynch went a mere 16-35 for 220 yards, with 85 rushing yards on 14 carries. Cameron Stingily added 78 yards on 21 rushes. And the Huskie defense added 3 more sacks and another pick by Jimmie Ward - his fifth this season.
Everyone in DeKalb can now take a sigh of relieve after surviving this game...but up next for the Huskies is Central Michigan...the last MAC school to beat NIU.
All the scoring took place in the first 15 minutes of play, but has Northern Illinois leading 17-14. Akron has looked much better than they have in their last two games. The Zips took an early 7-0 lead on their first drive, but 17 unanswered points by the Huskies, including a 20-yard TD run and a 25-yard pass from Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch, gave NIU the lead. Akron countered with Jawon Chisholm's second touchdown with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
The second quarter was a cat and mouse game of field possession, with both teams moving the ball but unable to find any points. It looked like NIU was going to break the scoreless streak midway through the second quarter, but Akron found a way to block a 45-yard field goal attempt.
The usually effective and efficient Huskie offense has look marginal at best through 30 minutes of play. Lynch is just 11-27 passing for 142 yards. With his 56 first half rushing yards, Lynch ran into the record books becoming only the 10th player in NCAA history to pass for 4000 and rush for 3000 yards in a career.Cameron Stingily also added 50 yards on the ground.
Ball State stopped a Kent State drive at midfield to escape with a 27-24 victory Saturday in Muncie.
In an uncharacteristically sloppy game for Ball State, the Cardinals overcame three turnovers and four penalties for 50 yards. A week ago at Virginia Ball State committed zero turnovers and were penalized just once.
Keith Wenning led Ball State on a fourth quarter 5 play 57 yard drive capped by a Willie Snead touchdown on fourth down with just 1:29 remaining. For the game Wenning completed 23 of 46 passes for 305 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Snead led all receivers with 152 yards on 10 catches and two touchdowns. Leading rusher Jahwan Edwards carried the ball 11 times for 73 yards.
Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon threw for 166 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception in the loss. Reardon was injured on the final drive of the game for the Golden Flashes and was replaced by senior David Fisher. Trayion Durham led all KSU rushers with 77 yards on 23 carries, and Chris Humphrey caught 9 passes for 106 yards.
The game marks the seventh time in seven games this season Wenning has topped 300 yards passing. Last week Wenning became Ball State's all time leading passer. Ball State cornerback Jeffery Garrett picked off a pass for the second consecutive week.
The Cardinals are back in action next week when they travel to Western Michigan. Kent State is on the road again for a game against the South Alabama Jaguars.
The UMass Minutemen have joined the majority of college football teams by winning their first game of 2013-14, holding on for a 17-10 win over the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. UMass improves to 1-5 (1-1 in MAC) on the season, while Miami falls to 0-6 (0-2).
Even in victory there were causes for concern for UMass as they missed out on several opportunities to put points on the board. That being said, UMass was able to score enough to win and the defense showed signs of life in the second half which bucked the trend that had been following them through the first five games.
A.J. Doyle was effective after throwing an interception on the game's first drive, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns and adding 22 yards on the ground. Jamal Wilson wrestled back control of the running back position, running for 82 yards on 23 carries and got the call on the last drive of the game. Rob Blanchflower was a huge part of the passing game, catching five balls for 98 yards and a touchdown, but three others players also hauled in four catches apiece showing the balance that this team has struck through the air.
Austin Boucher wasn't all that bad and although he certainly didn't lose them the game, he really didn't help. Boucher threw three interceptions, including one with 6:40 left in the game that gave UMass an opportunity to run a ton of clock and set up a game-sealing field goal (which it missed). He was able to make some plays with his feet, but going 14-for-34 with three interceptions (including one in the end zone) isn't going to get it done.
At the end of the day, UMass did its best to give the game back to Miami but Miami just didn't seem to want it. The Minutemen have joined the rest of the country with their first win of the season and that's all that really matters.
Last season, Ohio's season began to fall apart with a three-point loss to a big conference underdog in an October match-up.
Could the same thing be happening to Ohio in 2013? Maybe or maybe not, but their 26-23 loss at home to Central Michigan will make their quest to win the Eastern Division title much harder. In fact, it could be said now that Ohio won't win the division unless they win both at Buffalo and then at Bowling Green in successive weeks next month. Certainly, if they don't, they'll need help.
Several turnovers derailed Ohio scoring opportunities in the first half. Couple that with the points that Central Michigan left on the field, and you come to the indisputable conclusion that Ohio could have (and maybe should have) won this game.
But credit Cooper Rush and the Chippewas for their resiliency. They allowed Ohio to take a 17-13 lead after building their own 13-3 lead early in the third quarter. That lead for CMU could have been larger, but two missed field goals kept Ohio within ten points. Late in the third, Tyler Tettleton hit Troy Hill with a five-yard touchdown pass to bring the Bobcats to within 13-10. On their first play of the fourth quarter, the Bobcats took the lead when Chase Cochran took in a Tettleton pass and raced for a 69-yard score.
The two teams traded touchdown blows from that point. Rush led CMU on a 75-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard completion to Saylor Lavallii for a score. After the missed extra point kept CMU's lead at 19-17, Ohio scored on a 78-yard drive, which was capped by a one-yard run from Ryan Boykin.
With a 23-19 lead, Ohio forced the Chips into a 4th-and-13 after four plays. CMU coach Dan Enos chose to punt, and incredibly, Ohio fumbled away the return at their own 39. Rush took the ball and drove those 39 yards and pitched another scoring pass, this time to Courtney Williams, for the winning 26-23 margin.
OU could not navigate into field goal range in the final 22 seconds.
Central Michigan is now 3-4 overall and 2-1 in MAC play, while Ohio drops to 4-2 (1-1). Central takes their two-game winning streak back to Mount Pleasant for a game next Saturday against Northern Illinois. Ohio plays at Eastern Michigan next week. Will Ron English be there to greet them?
You have to give Western Michigan some credit. Today at home against Buffalo, they allowed only one score until the third quarter. When you're 0-7 and having one of the worst seasons in program history, anything positive is some level of progress.
Unfortunately, once Buffalo finally found the WMU end zone, the touchdowns didn't stop. In all, the Bulls scored 27 second-half points en route to a 33-0 smack down of the Broncos.
Western Michigan managed just 202 yards of total offense and had only two drives of longer than 35 yards. One of those ended in an interception; the other concluded with a missed field goal. WMU never threatened to score in the second half, with three of their drives in that half ending with turnovers. The other three ended in punts.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Buffalo rolled to more than 400 yards of offense and took advantage of WMU's complete futility on offense in the third and fourth quarters. The Bulls scored on five of their six second-half possessions, and the only exception was when they ran out the clock at the end of the game.
The second half started when Buffalo intercepted backup Bronco quarterback Zach Terrell. The Bulls couldn't move the ball but did kick a field goal for a 9-0 lead. After securing a fumble recovery on the next drive, Buffalo scored the first of three consecutive touchdowns when Joe Licata threw a two-yard scoring pass to Mason Schreck. Licata later threw touchdown passes to Fred Lee and Alex Neutz to put the game out of reach at 30-0.
Licata completed just 11 of 21 passes for 124 yards but his three touchdowns came with zero interceptions. Branden Oliver rushed for 128 yards on 19 carries, while James Potts added 91 yards on 16 carries. For WMU, Terrell threw for just 164 yards and two interceptions. He also lost 34 yards total on 10 rushes. Dareyon Chance led the Broncos with 54 yards rushing.
Buffalo now occupies sole possession of second place in the MAC East with a 2-0 league record. WMU is now 0-7 overall and 0-3 in MAC play.
Miami got its lone second-half score from Kaleb Patterson, who drilled a 45-yard field goal early in the quarter.
Headed towards the fourth quarter, it is clear that its going to be a fluke play or a matter of who has the ball last to decide this game. Truly, the game of the week.
Rob Blanchflower is the gift that keeps on giving. Trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, the senior tight end caught a ball that was deflected in the air and almost picked off by two separate Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.
Through two quarters of football, the UMass Minutemen and Miami (Ohio) RedHawks are tied, 7-7, with neither team really distinguishing themselves as the better team. Austin Boucher and Steve Marck hooked up for a 13-yard touchdown pass at the 13:20 mark of the quarter and both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the half.
Miami started moving the ball as the first quarter came to a close and closed the yardage gap between the two teams to 248-159 at the half. The touchdown to Marck was one of the nicer throws by Boucher on the day, rolling to his right and throwing against his momentum to float the ball to Marck, who bulldozed his way into the end zone.
Miami had another opportunity to score, but Boucher was intercepted in the end zone by Khary Bailey-Smith, who had just replaced Antoine Tharpe at safety after the safety was ejected for a hit to the head. UMass also had a red-zone possession to finish the half, but A.J. Doyle's throw bounced off the hands of Bernard Davis and was picked off by Miami at the two-yard line.
In total, the two teams have turned the ball over three times in the red zone today.
The second half will begin the same way as the first half did: with a tied score and anyone's guess as to who will win the game. UMass has been the slightly more impressive team, but the fact that they haven't been able to capitalize on opportunities has kept Miami in the game.
The Cardinals and Golden Flashes played to a halftime tie in Muncie.
Ball State's normally potent and error free offense has been bitten by the turnover bug. On one drive in the first half quarterback Keith Wenning threw an interception into the endzone, and on the following drive wide receiver Jordan Williams fumbled into the endzone, resulting in a touchback.
Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon has completed 9 of his 10 throws for 56 yards and added another 68 yards on 5 carries. Anthony Meray scored Kent State's touchdown in the first quarter rumbling in from 10 yards out. The score capped a 9 play 80 yard drive elapsing 4:45.
Following a Kent State missed field goal, Ball State needed just 5 plays and 1:43 to drive 68 yards and tie the game. Wenning hooked up with Willie Snead from 39 yards out for the score. Snead has tallied 73 yards on 5 catches to pace the Cardinals.
Western Michigan is still searching for its first win on the season, and despite trailing at half to Buffalo, is very much still in this game.
The Bulls, coming off back-to-back 40+ point performances, are struggling to put anything substantial together against the Broncos defense.
Brandon Oliver is having some success on the ground—he has 116 yards on 18 carries—but has been kept out of the endzone. Buffalo's lone touchdown came on a 1-yard run from Oliver's backup Devin Campbell early in the first quarter. WMU was able to block the extra point, and neither team has lit up the scoreboard since.
So far there have been 12 total penalties called, explaining in some way why the game is so sloppy looking.
WMU freshman quarterback Zach Terrell is performing adequately in his first start: he's 12-of-22 for 125 yards, but has thrown an interception.
Surprisingly, the Broncos' secondary has been able to keep the ball out of Bulls' wideout Alex Nuetz's hands all game.
Well the first quarter of our Hustle Belt Game of the Week is in the book and the UMass Minutemen lead the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks 7-0. A.J. Doyle hit Elgin Long for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 5:51 to play in the opening quarter to open the scoring.
UMass has been very good on offense, moving the ball and getting good production out of both the running and passing games. Doyle has been sharp with the ball in the air - save an interception in the end zone on the first drive - and Jamal Wilson and Stacey Bedell have both been good running the ball.
UMass out-gained Miami 137-60 in the first quarter and if not for a missed field goal and called-back punt return, could be leading this one 17-0.
Missed opportunities, poor execution at times, and some offensive futility. It really has been everything we could have hoped for.
Frank Solich is 1-4 all-time against Central Michigan, and despite Ohio looking like the far superior team heading into today's game, it looks like he could very well be 1-5 by the end of it.
The Chippewas are having their way with an Ohio d-line that ravaged Akron a week ago. Through two quarters Saylor Lavallii has 131 yards on 15 carries, and quarterback Cooper Rush has played smart (so far) and is 5-of-8 with 51 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
Ohio's biggest problem, other than Lavallii averaging 10 yards-per-carry on its defense, has been turnovers. The 'Cats have handed CMU the ball three times. Tyler Tettleton has thrown two picks on the day, giving him five on the year (he had four in all of 2012). Ohio also fumbled the ball on a key drive, when the receiver dropped the ball after getting popped.
The Chips' defense hasn't been spectacular, as Ohio's moved the ball fairly well—the Bobcats have 14 first downs at halftime—but it's forcing the 'Cats to make mistakes, which is killing all of their offensive momentum.
What the hell EMU? Apparently the Eagles decided to take a nap in the second half today, because they were destroyed by Army after entering halftime down by only four.
The Eagles allowed Army to rattle off 21 unanswered points in the third quarter, all on the ground. The Eagles held the Black Knights offense in check (relatively) in the first half, but were helpless in the final two quarters.
After Tyler Benz hooked up with Dustin Creel on a 28-yard touchdown early in the fourth, Army fired back scoring its sixth, and final, rushing touchdown of the night to give Army win over EMU, 50-25.
Bronson Hill had a big first half, but finished the game with just 143 yards for the game.
EMU's defense gave up 513 rushing yards, as the Eagles slip to 1-5 on the season.
This guy came out to play today. Check out the branding on that spatula. That's true fandom.
Though, as our friend Jeremy Guy pointed out, there's something fishy about that meat.
Well, seeing as this game is taking place on a mythical channel, it's impossible to tell if this is real or not, but based on box scores, is appears EMU is trailing Army 22-18 at halftime. EMU actually tacked on a field goal at the end of the half to cut the Black Knights' lead to just four.
The Eagles actually are having some offensive success and have managed 12 first downs in the half. Tyler Benz put EMU on the board first with 17-yard touchdown to Bronson Hill early in the first quarter, but the two teams have traded blows back and forth since. Army finally took the lead five minutes into the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Trenton Turrentine.
Benz is 8-of-13 with a TD and a pick, and Hill has rushed for 114 yards on 15 carries, and added a rushing touchdown to his stat line late in the first quarter.
Again, this could all be some elaborate hoax by the people who brought you big foot. Seeing is believing afterall, and no one can see it.
Bad news out of Kalamazoo, Mich.. It appears that Western Michigan (0-6, 0-2 MAC) starting quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen is a no go for today's game against Buffalo (3-2, 1-0 MAC).
Tyler Van Tubbergen in street clothes as #WMUFootball stretches. Terrell will start at QB today.— David Drew (@Drew_on_WMU) October 12, 2013
This is a huge blow for the Broncos, who are still searching for their first win on the season. Redshirt freshman Zach Terrell is getting the start. So far this year, in limited action, Terrell has thrown for a pair of scores and 325 yards, while also tossing three interceptions
Van Tubbergen has struggled this season—he's completed 45 percent of his passes, for 906 yards, four touchdowns and 10 interceptions—so a change at quarterback might not be the worst thing for this WMU offense, but with how Buffalo has been playing lately, the Broncos can use every break they can get today.
Were you planning on attending today's matchup between the woeful 0-5 Miami RedHawks and the awful 0-5 UMass Minutemen? No, didn't think so.
Check out all the bands here at Gillette as part of Band Day for the UMass vs Miami football game at 3 PM pic.twitter.com/gGJBo4JhMZ— UMassAthletics (@UMassAthletics) October 12, 2013
What's that you say @UMassAthletics? It's band day at Gillette? So we get to actually watch something that won't make our eyes bleed?
Well, I guess there's a new reason to go out to the game, other than having some weird punishment fetish.
Week 7 is upon us, join in as we discuss it in all of its glory.
All of the news and notes from around the UMass world ahead of what has to be considered a must-win game for the Minutemen against Miami.
BGSU travels to SEC-land for their final non-conference game of the regular season. Will we see a repeat of the team's mistake-filled blowout loss at Indiana, or can the Falcons become the third MAC school to beat a BCS team in the last three weeks?
The Mid-American Conference had some exciting news Friday, formally announcing that one lucky MAC team will get a vacation to sunny Boca Raton, Florida starting next December.
Pakmode Media & team equipment manager Jay Sofen got together and designed these helmets. As you can see, they've added a lot of detail into these. Many, many details.
Every week, the blogs of the MAC get together to discuss the state of the conference. We're back after a union mandated week off to answer some questions from fellow SB Nation blog Bull Run.
Kent State heads to Muncie to do battle with the Cardinals
The last time these two teams met up, the Eagles won 48-38 in a freaking shootout. Really? Army? Shootout?
Well, it's finally here. The two worst teams in the MAC this season matchup on Marching Band Day at Gillette Stadium with both teams looking for its first win. The real winner, however, is everyone.
This week, the Buffalo Bulls head to Kalamazoo to take on the Western Michigan Broncos. We asked fellow SB Nation Blog Bull Run a few questions about the game this week. See what they had to say
The Ohio Bobcats have plenty of weapons to combat upset minded Chippewas this Saturday.
October is the month when every athlete on the planet finds a way to adorn themselves with something pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The UMass football team will be doing their part by wearing these trendy black and pink helmets for their matchup against Miami (OH) on Saturday.
The No. 23 Huskies look to extend their consecutive home-winning streak to 23 as the Zips travel to DeKalb for Northern Illinois homecoming this Saturday.
The MAC is a very top heavy conference this year, and for every great team, there is one that baffles you at how bad they are, but who is truly the worst of the worst?
NIU's Cameron Stingily has had an exiting few days that included a career-high performance Saturday, getting arrested Sunday, and winning an award Monday.
Hustle Belt is officially in the black. You're welcome.
Announcing the only college football ranking that really matters: The Mid-Major College Football Top 10 Poll
The 255-pound freshman from Pennsylvania was moved to help combat depth issues along the defensive line, continuing what has been a strange, strange season in Amherst.
Week 7 is upon us, and this week we have a slate full of interesting story lines. Can Ohio finally find some success against a reeling CMU team? Will Bufflo's high scoring ways keep up or will WMU's ship finally start to float? Is Miami-UMass possibly the worst FBS matchup, ever? Watch and find out.
Oh Twitter...what would we do without you?
Charley Molnar wants no part of a quarterback controversy or competition, so we'll just go ahead and call what's going on in Amherst a quarterback conundrum.
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