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Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, there's drama brewing at the top of the East division. Yay MACtion!
Central Michigan downed rival Western Michigan 27-22 Saturday with the help of Zurlon Tipton and Titus Davis. Both quarterbacks had less than stellar games, but only one team could grab the Victory Cannon at the end.
Akron fought through adversity on the road, battling through several costly early mistakes and exacting revenge on a UMass team that knocked the Zips off at home a season ago. The win gave Akron its best season since 2008.
Dan Enos, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
After dialing up some shaky pass calls and going away from a run-first gameplan that seemed to be working, Enos and the Central Michigan Chippewas (4-6, 3-3) were able to milk away their annual rivalry game at Western Michigan (1-10, 1-6) 27-22 thanks in large part to a shaky performance from the arm of Zach Terrell.
Terrell, who finished the game with with 27 rushing yards including a couple decent scrambles and 147 passing yards, went an abysmal 3-for-14 in the 4th quarter, and at one point threw 8 straight incompletions. His pick-six to Tony Annese ended up being the "game-winner", and the only WMU turnover the whole game.
His counterpart, Cooper Rush, didn't do much better. While throwing for 167 yards and a touchdown (right before the Terrell interception), Rush threw 3 interceptions, and nearly threw another on that touchdown drive. Luckily, Bronco freshman linebacker Austin Lewis dropped the easy throw, and Titus Davis would catch a huge 3rd down catch to keep the Chippewa drive alive.
The Davis Brothers themselves did alright. Titus was huge, going for 122 yards on 9 catches including many 3rd down grabs. Corey only finished with 3 grabs for 40 yards, and was targeted most of the game. However, Terrell often missed him on sub-par throws.
As for the running backs, it was the tale of two halves. In the first half, Zurlon Tipton had his coming out party, going for a pair of scores in the first quarter. He finished with 114 yards on 29 carries, and was a work-horse for CMU, despite fumbling in the 2nd quarter. In the 2nd half, Dareyon Chance put on a show, with some tough runs for big gains. He finished with 93 yards on just 14 carries and had a TD.
In all, CMU was able to escape Kalamazoo with the Victory Cannon and the win. They also play in a winner-take-all for the Michigan MAC Trophy in 2 weeks against EMU. Also, they are still alive for bowl eligibility. For WMU? Well they get 10 days to prepare for NIU, on the road, on senior day. Prepare for next year!
Akron (4-7, 3-4 MAC) did everything in its power to lose this one, but somehow managed to eek out a narrow victory on the road to capture its fourth win on the season, downing UMass (1-9, 1-5 MAC) 14-13.
The Zips started off rocky, fumbling on their first three drives of the game, but were able to pull it together, with Jawon Chisholm redeeming himself on a 17-yard touchdown pass to take the lead midway through the fourth, and hold on to win.
UMass starting quarterback A.J. Doyle left the game in the 3rd quarter and backup Mike Wegzyn entered, going 4-for-4 on his first drive, hooking up with tight end Rob Blancflower in the endzone to give the Minutemen a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter, but it wasn't enough. Wegzyn didn't complete another pass in the game, finishing 4-for-7 with 76 yards a touchdown and a pick.
With Chisholm back in the game, Akron was able to run out the clock, grinding off minutes in the final stretch of the game.. The junior running back finished the day with 72 yards on 10 carries, with three receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown to make up for his two fumbles in the first quarter.
Kyle Pohl played well throughout the game, but wasn't spectacular against a Minutemen defense that proved to be a challenge for the Zips. He finished with 208 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-33 passing. He also added a score on the ground.
I'm not going to pretend like I have any idea as to what is going on in this one. The Zips lead UMass 7-6 at halftime, despite fumbling the ball on their first three possessions.
Jawon Chisholm fumbled twice, ending Akron's first two drives of the game. One of those fumbles led to a Minutemen field goal to give UMass an early 3-0 lead. He hasn't seen the field much since the second fumble. Kyle Pohl fumbled on the third drive, before responding with a 10-yard rushing touchdown to cap off a five play drive.
UMass has been hanging in with Akron, but has been unable to take full advantage of Akron's mistakes. The Minutemen tacked on another field goal in the second quarter to put the score where it currently sits at halftime.
The teams are about even on the stat sheet, with UMass holding a 187-to-185 total yardage advantage. But the real surprise has been UMass' success on the ground. The team racked up 116 yards on 22 carries in the first half, thanks in large part to a 45-yard run by Shaquille Harris. The Minutemen have nearly double the rushing yards of the Zips, which is unlikely to change if Chisholm doesn't return to the game.
Kyle Pohl, once again, is Akron's entire offense, and is playing fairly better (by just a smidgen) than AJ. Doyle. Pohl is 10-of-19 for 125 yards and no picks compared to Doyle's 12-of-20 for 71yards and a pick.
Akron is a seven-point favorite in this game, but could very well wind up losing to UMass two years in a row if Doyle can find some success moving the ball downfield and the team keeps pounding the ball up the middle.
Zurlon Tip is back everyone.
The Central Michigan running back has 76 yards on 15 carries and both TDs as he is pacing the Chippewas to a 14-6 lead at the half. However, he also had a key fumble that led to a WMU field goal.
CMU QB Cooper Rush has also been solid, going 12-for-17 for 110 yards as well, hitting Titus Davis 6 times for 68 yards.
Meanwhile, the Broncos haven't looked all that bad themselves. They've stopped CMU drives, albeit late, but are still only down by a single possession. Zach Terrell is 8-for-15 for 101 yards and Brian Fields has 23 yards on 8 carries. Titus's brother Corey has 33 yards on 2 catches, and senior running back has the big play in the form of a 38 yard screen after the Tipton fumble. Chance has 45 yards on 2 catches total.
Here are some other stats:
TOTAL YARDS: CMU-184, WMU-129
RUSH YARDS: CMU-74, WMU-28
PASS YARDS: CMU-110, WMU-101
TURNOVERS: CMU-1, WMU-0
PENALTIES: CMU-(1 for 5 yds), WMU-(2 for 20 yards)
WMU will receive the kickoff to start the 2nd half, and we all remember how wild of a 2nd half we had last season in Mount Pleasant.
Lot's of games on deck today cross three different sports. Join us as we have an open chat about all things MAC Sports today.
Today's game features two teams trying to escape the embarrassment of being labeled "Worst in the MAC".
Which team will shoot itself the least number of times and capture the coveted Victory Cannon?
Last year, UMass won just one game and it came on the road against Akron. This year, UMass is looking for win No. 2 in its final home game of the season.
The Huskies and Cardinals were locked in a great battle for three quarters, it wasn't until very late that the Huskies were able to pull away and win 48-27.
The nightmare in Oxford continues as the Miami RedHawks fall to 0-10 in a 24-6 loss to Kent State tonight on ESPNU. The win moves Kent State to 3-7 on the season.
The game was as weird and ugly as one might have expected. The RedHawks couldn't even muster 200 yards of offense for the game, and the Golden Flashes managed to rack up nearly 300 yards of offense in the second half alone. Dri Archer scored the lone touchdown of the second half on a 20-yard rush to put Kent State up 21-6 with 1:27 left in the third quarter. With less than 7 minutes left in the game the Golden flashes tacked on a field goal for the final points of the game.
After finishing the first half with less than 20 yards on the ground Trayion Durham and Dri Archer exploded in the second half. Durham finished with 109 yards on 17 carries and Archer added another 83 yards on 12 carries. Colin Reardon finished the day 13-of-22 for 147 yards.
Miami's offense was abysmal, as usual. Starting quarterback Drew Kummer finished 3-for-9 with 45 yards, and backup Austin Gearing didn't fare any better. He went 2-for-5 with 19 yards and a pick, though he did add 81 yards on 24 carries. The RedHawks' second leading rusher, Dawan Scott, managed just 14 yards o the night.
For all of the #MACtion going on in DeKalb, Illinois there's an ugly one happening in Kent, Ohio.
The Golden Flashes lead 14-6, but has let Miami hang around, despite completing less than 50 percent of its passes. This game is so strange that the Flashes rushing attack isn't succeeding on the backs of Trayion Durham or Dri Archer, but on junior Austin Meray who has 64 yards on 4 carries. In fact Archer and Durham have 28 combined yards on 10 carries.
Miami struck first on a 33-yard field goal early in the first, before Kent State fired back with 14 unanswered points.on a 2-yard TD by Durham, and a 1-yard rush by Colin Reardon. Miami fired bakc with a 28-yard field goal near the end of the first half to bring the game within 8.
For the RedHawks, Drew Kumer got the start again, and has struggled through the air and is 3-for-7 with 45 yards. Backup qb Austin Gearing has 59 rushing yards on 13 carries for Miami.
There's a Duel in DeKalb tonight, join us as we take it all in.
Believe it or not there's actually two MAC Football games tonight, though one of them certainly looks forgettable. Miami and Kent State face off tonight on ESPNU. Here's how to watch it.
The Falcons made an emphatic statement in the cold last night at Doyt Perry Stadium and set up what should be an incredible winner-take-all game for the MAC East title against Buffalo in two weeks.
After the Rockets scored another TD to open up a 38-0 lead, the Bulls went on to outscore Toledo 41-13. Joe Licata would connect with Alex Neutz for 2 TDs and Jimmy Gordon for 1, and Anthone Taylor would run in one with under a minute to revive this game. For Toledo, the injury bug bit hard, with Damion Jones-Moore being benched after suffering a concussion, and Kareem Hunt seeing the sideline for unknown reason. The difference for the Rockets was a 44 yard touchdown run by walk-on Junior and All-Name Team candidate Ricky Pringle, and a failed 2-point conversion after the Taylor TD.
Toledo and Buffalo now with matching 7-3 overall records and 5-1 in conference. Buffalo and BG are now tied at the top of the East (with a season-ending date to settle the title on 11/29). Toledo keeps pace in the West, but need Northern Illinois to beat Ball State tomorrow to have a shot at a trip to Detroit.
I think you can say with authority that another Ohio Bobcats late-season collapse is complete. Ohio was officially eliminated from contention for the MAC Championship Game and may have ended their hopes for a bowl bid with an embarrassing 49-0 shutout loss to Bowling Green.
Ohio managed just 172 yards in the game and of those, 66 were earned in the third quarter and 56 more in the fourth, all in what amounted to garbage time. Bowling Green ran for 207 yards and racked up 460 yards of total offense during the game.
Travis Greene ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns, while Matt Johnson threw for 229 yards and two scoring passes in just 17 attempts. Heath Jackson's five catches, 74 yards and one touchdown led all receivers. For Ohio, Beau Blankenship ran for 28 yards while Tyler Tettleton passed for just 93. Grant Venham was perhaps Ohio's most successful player, and he had nine punts for a 38.1 average.
BGSU is now 7-3 overall and 5-1 in MAC play. With Buffalo's loss, the Falcons will pull back into a first place tie in the MAC East. Ohio falls to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in MAC play.
Complete recap will be available by early tomorrow morning.
David Fluellen was thought to be a go for Toledo today, only to be benched at the last minute. Kareem Hunt has once again filled in admirably, already racking up 148 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Damion Jones-Moore broke off a 53 yard touchdown run, but hasn't seen the field since, having suffered a concussion. Marc Remy (wearing Fluellen's number, oddly enough) will get some carries in his stead. Through the air, Terrance Owens is 7-14 for 145 yards, with a 59 yard touchdown pass to Bernard Reedy back in the first. TO also ran in a TD on a QB draw.
As for Buffalo, Brandon Oliver hasn't been able to accomplish much: 12 carries for 24 yards. Joe Licata is connecting with his receivers, they're just not getting that far: Licata is 12-22 for 119 yards, but the always reliable Alex Neutz only has 2 catches for 24 yards. To sum up Buffalo's night so far: their final play of the half was a double hook-and-lateral that fell out of a runner's hands, to which Toledo recovered on Buffalo's 3 yard line, giving them a free shot at a field goal before going into the break.
For the #MACtion fans, just pretend Bowling Green and Toledo are playing again. Hey Falcons, you're winning!
If you can find something positive to say about the Ohio Bobcats and their first half performance tonight, you're much smarter than me. They did intercept a pass...but outside of that, there is not a single positive thing to look at. OU was outgained 333-50, had just two first downs, and went 0-for-6 on third down. They had a terrible fourth down gamble deep in their own territory early in the first quarter, and they ran just 23 plays. The Bobcats held the ball for just 8:57 of the 30 minutes.
Bowling Green scored on five of their first six possessions. The lone exception was the Matt Johnson interception, and Ohio gave that away with a fumble just two plays later. BGSU's last drive saw the Falcons run out the first half clock. The Falcons will get possession on the second half's opening kickoff.
Travis Greene has 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns. William Houston has two yards rushing and two touchdowns. Houston now has ten rushing touchdowns this season. Heath Jackson, finally healthy and productive, has four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
More coming later...
Multiple reports from the Twittersphere confirm:
How much he goes, however, depends on the health of his ankle. If he can't play all that much, Kareem Hunt and Damion Jones-Moore have shown they have the jets in the past two games. But those past two games haven't had the linebacker corps that Buffalo has.
It's frosty at the Glass Bowl, kickoff is 1:15 away.
UPDATE: Abooooooout face.
Dave Fluellen now says he'll not be playing tonite..— Dan Cummins (@DanCummins11) November 12, 2013
There's a whole lot of #MACtion on deck tonight. Join in as we discuss it all.
Tuesday night's Buffalo vs. Toledo match-up will be just the tenth time the two schools have met. However, this game actually matters for both teams this season.
With a full line-up of good MACtion going on this week, we decided to roll-out our own drinking game rules for each game of the powerful week. As always, please play responsibly.
Bowling Green and Ohio are playing catch-up to Buffalo in the MAC's Eastern Division and are unsure if a bowl opportunity will present itself at the end of the season. In other words, neither team can afford to lose this game. Tonight's tilt at the Doyt should be chock full of win-at-all-costs #MACtion.
With one less voter this week we find ourselves with an awkward tie at the top as NIU and Fresno State split votes this week.
Ohio and Bowling Green square off Tuesday night on ESPN3 in a MAC East showdown. The 'Cats will need a lot of things to go right in order to claw their way back into the divisional title hunt.
Tuesday night's Buffalo vs. Toledo match-up will serve as an appetizer to the main dish of Ball State vs. Northern Illinois on Wednesday night.
What you've come to expect. Eight consecutive winning weeks for Hustle Belt against the spread.
The Huskies are one step closer to a return trip to a BCS bowl after jumping into the Top 16 of the BCS rankings this week.
Just four weeks remain in college football's regular season, but Week 12 in particular could be huge for the MAC's bowl picture. The mid-week games will be huge for determining the ultimate pecking order, and this week could also see big movement toward final determination of what bowls will be available.
Sometimes, things just don't make sense, like how NIU gets voted on in the major college football polls.
The Falcons put together a hype video for their Tuesday night matchup against Ohio. It's, uhm, interesting.
As we sprint to the finish line in the MAC regular season, the top gets a little bit thiner, but denser at the same time. Luckily the No. 1 and No. 2 teams and No. 3 and No. 4 teams face off this week to hopefully clear up the image a bit more.
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