Hustle Belt, for Mid-American Conference fans
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This is where things get extra juicy! NIU crowned the MAC West champs but it all comes down to a showdown in Buffalo for the champions of the East.
Even by Eastern Michigan's standards, the Eagles played horribly. Three quarterbacks saw the field, but they were only able to complete one pass.
Time is short, as just 14 days remain until bowl pairings are set in stone. Did anything change for the MAC's bowl hopes this week?
The Chippewas took advantage of great field position in the second quarter to defeat UMass
It's still really cold and everybody left. I think there were more people in my high school graduating class than everybody that stayed to watch this one play out in its entirety, and I had 168 people in my graduating class, but I digress.
There was no real play, drive or moment to pick from, the Eastern Michigan Eagles started out playing flat and didn't have any real progression. Bowling Green, on the other hand, didn't slow down until they sent out their second and third-string players.
Collectively, the EMU passing offense completed one pass off of 18 attempts for four yards. Brogan Roback started the game and had the lone completion to Quincy Jones early in the first quarter. He had 11 incompletions and an interception to Ryland Ward. Tyler Benz (0-for-5) and Mark Ianotti (0-for-1) both had some playing time. Matt Johnson for the Falcons completed 13 of his 23 passes for 264 yards and three touchdown passes, all to Ronnie Moore (7 receptions, 161 yards, 3 TD).
BGSU's record improves to 8-3 (7-1 Mid-American Conference) while EMU's falls to 2-9 (1-6).
CMU pitched a shutout for the first time since 2010, defeating UMass 37-0. The Chips prevailed despite gaining only 67 yards rushing.
It was the Cooper Rush to Titus Davis show that put the Chippewas over the top. Rush went 13 for 21 and threw for two touchdowns. Davis caught those two touchdown passes and achieved several career milestones along the way. He eclipsed 1000 yards receiving for the year and his 154 yards receiving gave Davis 11 career 100 yard receiving games.
The difference in the game was the stiff wind that UMass had to face in the second quarter. Tony Annese picked off A.J. Doyle when a pass became windblown and scored a defensive touchdown giving the Chips a 17-0 lead at 10:31 of the second quarter. After that, UMass barely mounted a threat while turning the ball over five times and the Kelly/Shorts Stadium rout was on.
Cooper Rush hooked up with Titus Davis for a 38 yard touchdown to put CMU up 34-0. The score was set up by a UMass turnover caused by a monster hit by Blake Serpa.
UMass has committed five turnovers and sputtered on offense. Surprisingly, CMU has gained almost all of its offensive yards via passing.
It's really cold in Ypsilanti. 28 degrees at kickoff and if Miami University is counting the attendance, there are about 10,000 (but really it's closer to 600 if we round up), fans suffering through the cold weather and sideways snow patterns.
But, hey, that's football weather for you.
The Bowling Green Falcons are on an offensive terror led by Matt Johnson and Ronnie Moore. Johnson is 9-for-16 in the air for 222 yards with three touchdowns and an early interception. Moore was the receiver for all three touchdowns for 74, 22, and 34 yards. He has five receptions for a total of 147 yards.
Travis Greene dropped an easy touchdown pass, but is still having a good day thusfar. Rushing the ball 11 times, he picked up 93 yards, including a 28-yard score.
Conversely, Eastern Michigan's offense is playing very poorly from top to bottom. After going 1-for-9 with a terribly awkward interception lofted into the hands of BG's Ryland Ward, Tyler Benz's number was called to take the field for the first time since their loss to Toledo. Even then, Benz has been unable to complete a pass in his three attempts. Quincy Jones has the team's only reception in the first half, and it was only good for four yards.
The EMU rushing attack has been subpar at best. Between Ryan Brumfield and Bronson Hill, they have a combined 30 rushing yards off of 10 carries.
Despite 34 points scored against, Eastern Michigan's defense is their only real highlight. The bright spots include Sean Kurtz's 10-yard pick six and the four sacks on Johnson by Derric Williams (1.5), Pat O'Connor (1.0), Cy Maughmer (1.0) and Kalonji Kashama (0.5).
A.J. Doyle and the Minutemen found the November winds at Kelly/Shorts Stadium difficult to navigate in the first half. The Witch of November had a hand in two UMass interceptions, one of which was a Pick 6 courtesy of CMU freshman Tony Annese.
The Chips had success going with the wind in the second quarter. Titus Davis caught a 33 yard touchdown pass. The catch put Davis over the 1000 yard mark for the season. The Chips added two 33 yard field goals off the strong foot of kicker Joe Coluzzi.
The big story has been the inability of UMass to generate any offense due to the typically nasty November weather at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. A long run by UMass was wasted in the final seconds of the half as the Minutemen were held to a four and out at the CMU 35 as time then ran out.
UMass gets the wind in the third quarter and a chance to make a game of it.
Zurlon Tipton scored on a three yard run on the Chips' first possession. UMass suffered a pick on its best drive deep in CMU territory.The weather is a factor as it is blustery and very cold at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Bowling Green continues to jockey for a bowl bid while Eastern Michigan is playing just for pride. Which team will show up with more motivation, and can this be a competitive game?
Frank Lauterbur left his legacy as one of the greatest football coaches of his era, not only with Toledo, but also with the Iowa Hawkeyes and during his time in the NFL. On Wednesday night, he passed away in a Toledo area nursing facility at the age of 88.
For the second consecutive year, UMass and Central Michigan meet late in the regular season. But will the result be the same?
The Falcons have bigger fish to fry, and it would be rather easy to overlook this game. Meanwhile, the Eagles have only pride (and a potential two-game winning streak) to play for. Who shows up more motivated in Ypsilanti on Saturday?
For the fourth straight season, Northern Illinois has won the MAC West and is going to Detroit. The Huskies flipped a switch in the second half, elevating their play and outpacing Toledo across the board en route to a 35-17 win on the road.
The second half was all about Jordan Lynch, who once again stepped up and took over. The dual-threat Heisman-hopeful rushed for three touchdowns in the second half, willing NIU to the win. HE was nothing short of spectacular, finishing with 363 yards of total offense and those three second half scores. Oh, and he did it all without his top two receivers, Da'Ron Brown and TommyLee Lewis, both of whom missed the game with injuries.
If anyone had any doubts about just how good Lynch is, they were wiped away on a 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Starting from his own 1-inch line, Lynch drove the Huskies down the field, overpowering the defense with his sheer power and tenacity. He bowled his way into the endzone on a 1-yard run 15 plays later, putting the Huskies up two scores with under 10 left to play.
For the second straight week NIU's defense stepped up in the second half. After Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens outplayed Lynch in the first half, defenders Jimmie Ward, Paris Logan, and others, shut him down in the second half. Owens was flustered and forced to make questionable decisions. Logan picked him off at the end of the game to seal the win for NIU.
Owens finished the day with 235 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 17 of 29 passing.
A huge part to NIU's success tonight though was the defense's ability to shut down the Rockets' rushing attack. David Fluellen averaged more than 130 yards per game by himself coming into this game, but was held to just 54 yards on 15 carries in his first game back after missing two games with an ankle injury. NIU held Toledo to 184 total rushing yards, while putting up 364 yards of its own.
The victory gives the Huskies 24-straight conference wins, and 16-straight road victories, including seven this season.
No turnovers. No missed field goals. The 3rd quarter was what we expected this game to be all along.
Jordan Lynch kicked into gear for the Huskies, with two touchdown runs: the first from 12 yards out, the second a 31 yard scamper. Toledo answered with a scoring drive of their own, capped off by Terrance Owens hitting Bernard Reedy for a score.
The Rockets final drive of the quarter stalled out at the Huskies 35, with the Huskies defense stiffening against David Fluellen and Kareem Hunt, both who look increasingly worn out. Damion Jones-Moore is also done for the game with an undisclosed injury. (RICKY PRINGLE WATCH!)
Northern starts the 4th quarter on their own 1 yard line.
A 3rd turnover for Toledo, 3 missed field goals for Northern Illinois, and #MACtion has a whole new definition as Toledo holds a 10-7 lead over Northern Illinois at the break.
Toledo first drive of the second quarter made it down to the Huskies 2 yard line, but on 3rd and Goal, Kareem Hunt tried to do the Tebow jump pass, only to throw it directly in the hands of Boomer Mays. The Huskies took that possession to the Toledo 23, but Mathew Sims pulled yet another field goal from 40 yards out.
With :51 on the clock, Northern managed to move the ball into Toledo territory, thanks to Jordan Lynch hitting Juwan Brescacin on a 28 yard pass. But with 5 seconds on the clock, and Sims confidence already shot, the 47 yard fieldd goal attempt would again said wide.
Northern Illinois gets two turnovers, but only hold a five point lead over Toledo, 7 to 3 the score after the first quarter.
Toledo's Terrance Owens fumbled the ball on a sack on the first play from scrimmage, giving Jordan Lynch and the Huskies a 21 yard field. James Spencer would get a shovel pass and run it in from 12 yards out give Northern 7.
Toledo would turn the ball over again in the quarter, with Owens being picked off on a beautiful tip by Jimmie Ward. Northern would take that drive down to the Toledo 6, but Mathew Sims would hook the 23 yard field goal.
The Rockets would finally put points on the board on the next drive, going 61 yards before stalling out, Jeremiah Detmer would kick the 36 yard field goal to make the score 7-3.
David Fluellen did play for Toledo in their first couple of series, but Kareem Hunt got the carries in the scoring drive. Considering all the back-and-forth about #22's status before the game, maybe he still isn't 100%.
UPDATE #2 7:55 p.m.: It appears there was some mass confusion earlier and David Fluellen is dressed now and on the field per Paul Helgren, Toledo's Associate Athletic Director of Communications:
Could this have been a mind game? Will he actually play? Tune in to find out.
UPDATE 7:13 p.m.: Contrary to initial reports it appears Toledo running back David Fluellen is NOT expected to play tonight vs. No. 16 Northern Illinois.
Fluellen appears out for this one. Wearing a hat and regular pants on the sideline.— Ryan Autullo (@AutulloBlade) November 21, 2013
Fluellen is NOT dressed.— I. Collegian Sports (@IC_Sports) November 21, 2013
This will mark the third straight game the Rocekts' leading rusher has missed with a nagging ankle injury.
Toledo's leading rusher, David Fluellen, is expected to play tonight vs. No. 16 Northern Illinois per reports by WTOL Sports Director Dan Cummins.
Ready for UT NIU game.. Matt Campbell says tb David Fluellen looked good in practice all week and should play..— Dan Cummins (@DanCummins11) November 20, 2013
The senior running back hasn't played since Oct. 26 in the Rockets 28-25 win over rival Bowling Green when he left the game after three carries with an ankle injury. Fluellen was expected to play last week against Buffalo, but was ruled out at the last minute.
He currently has 1,067 yards on the season and is 7th in the nation with an average of 133 yards per game. He has 10 touchdowns and is averaging 7 yards per carry.
Wednesday night #MACtion ladies and gentlemen. We'll be chatting it up right here all night long.
No. 16 Northern Illinois heads into Toledo tonight with the MAC West title on the line. The Rockets may be the home team, but are considered the underdogs in this one, so to get an understanding of how Toledo is prepping for this big matchup, we asked Not Matt Campbell, the hilarious parody version of Toledo's head coach Matt Campbell, some questions. Enjoy.
Please drink responsibly. We are not responsible for your actions.
The Golden Flashes and Dri Archer manhandled a dejected and whimpering Bobcats' squad, handing Ohio its third straight embarrassing loss.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October, but somehow the Rockets apparently did not get that memo. Those who watch tonight's game will suffer the consequences.
If Tuesday night's game was a trap, the Bulls turned the tables on the RedHawks. Khalil Mack and his mates were the hunters, while Austin Gearing and the Miami offense was the prey. And now, with their latest victim dispatched, Buffalo can turn its full attention to a winner-take-all MAC East showdown.
In preparation for tonight's showdown in the Glass Bowl, here's an examination of the history of the series between the Toledo Rockets and the Northern Illinois Huskies.
The Toledo Rockets will host the 16th ranked Northern Illinois Huskies with MAC Championship implications on the line!
It took Buffalo a full quarter and some Khalil Mack heroics to get going tonight, but once they did, Miami did not stand a chance.
The Bulls posted four touchdowns in the second quarter to begin the runaway, then added three field goals in the second half before closing their scoring with a Tony Daniel-to-Devon Hughes touchdown connection. The RedHawks earned their touchdown in garbage time, as Drew Kummer scored on a two-yard run with 3:04 remaining in the game.
Buffalo out-gained Miami 517-200 and had 27 first downs to Miami's 9. The Bulls converted on 11 of 17 third-down attempts and held the RedHawks to just one conversion in ten chances. While Buffalo was rushing for 311 yards, Miami's quarterbacks combined to complete only 25% of their passes -- just five of 20 -- for 65 yards.
Joe Licata threw for 172 yards and had one touchdown and an interception, as he completed 20 of 32 attempts. Branden Oliver had just five carries in the second half (as if Buffalo needed more) and finished the night with 26 carries, 150 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Taylor added 154 yards on 17 carries, gathered mostly in the second half. Ten different receivers caught a pass for the Bulls.
Miami's Austin Gearing accounted for all of his team's pass completions, earning five in 19 attempts. Kummer missed on his only pass attempt. Gearing carried the ball 21 times for 40 yards, and that included one 25-yard run. Robert Williams III had a 47-yard run and ended the night with 3 carries and 48 yards. David Frazier was the recipient of three of Miami's five completions, and those went for 52 yards.
Buffalo improves to 8-3 (6-1 MAC) with the win and now awaits a visit from Bowling Green at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Friday, Nov. 29th. The winner of that game will capture the MAC East championship and play in the MAC Championship Game.
Miami (0-11, 0-7 MAC) will have one final chance to win a game in 2013 when they travel to Muncie, Ind. on Friday, Nov. 29th for a game with the Ball State Cardinals.
Dri Archer's final touch of his career couldn't have been more appropriate. With the Golden Flashes up 24 late in the fourth, Archer sprinted into the endzone on a 29-yard touchdown run, his third of the game, to give Kent State a 44-14 win. The senior finished his impressive career with a monster day, racking up 191 yards n 20 touchdowns and those three touchdowns, including one to lead off the second half.
With Archer doing his thing, and the Kent State' offense rolling to the tune of more than 300 yards in the second half, Ohio unraveled quickly. Things hit an all-time low for the 'Cats, which had struggled near the end of the first half, midway through the third quarter when Kent State faked a punt, snapping it to Nate Terhune (as the internet os lovingly pointed out, a fat guy) who sprinted up the sideline, hurdling over an Ohio defender, and taking it to the house for a 61-yard score, putting the Golden Flashes up 31-13.
A visibly frustrated Tyler Tettleton continued to struggle in the second half as his frustration boiled over and resulted in several head-scratching moments. Such as two separate "sacks" in which he just sat down to avoid being hit. An awful pass ending in an interception only made matters worse for the 'Cats as the fans filed out and a hush came over Peden Stadium with more than 20 minutes of game time left.
The utter incompetence of Ohio continued as multiple times throughout the third quarter the 'Cats committed costly turnovers. Like a pass interference call that overturned an interception in the endzone. It was about as ugly as ugly could get.
Kent State tacked on a pair of field goals and that final Archer touchdown to seal the 32-point win.
Tettleton finished with 132 yards, a touchdown and a pick on 11 of 24 passing to complete his third-straight forgettable game. Conversely Kent state's redshirt freshman QB Colin Reardon had a impressive night, finishing with 213 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-29 passing. The Golden Flashes outgained Ohio 537 to 204, and all but sealed Ohio's season as an utter failure as it's unlikely the 'Cats can make a bowl game with just 7 wins.
The victory helped Kent State finish its rocky first season under Paul Haynes on a two-game winning streak, and with a 4-8 (3-5) record overall.
This game has been interesting to say the least. With multiple lead changes, and several Top Play caliber plays, it's far from a snooze fest.
Right before halftime Kent State freshman quarterback connected with tight end Casey Pierce on a jump ball in the end zone to give the Golden Flashes a 17-13 lead. Ohio took over with 31 seconds left on the clock and midway through the drive quarterback Tyler Tettleton took a hard hit and went to the ground where he laid for a few moments before walking off the field and backup Derrius Vick took over.
Tettleton wasn't the only player to suffer a nasty hit in the first half. Reardon took a vicious hit to the head from Ohio linebacker Ben Russell. Reardon took a little while to get up and was replaced by David Fishcer momentarily.
Ohio jumped on the board early, tacking on a field goal in the first three minutes of play. Kent state tied things up three minutes later on a 47-yard field goal. Josiah Yazdani responded by knocking through a 49-yard field goal with just under a minute left in the first quarter.
The second half opened with a bang as Dri Archer sprinted 24-yards for a score less than 2 minutes into the quarter. The score gives him for rushing touchdowns on the season. He had 16 in 2012.
Tyler Tettleton put the 'Cats back up on top shortly after that hooking up with Mario Dovell to cap off a 9-play 50-yard drive. Tettleton already has more passing yards in this game then he did all of last week vs. Bowling Green, but after starting off redhot, has simmered to a shaky 9-for-20 with 120 yards.
After marching down the field on an impressive drive that included a catch worthy of a spot on the SportsCenter Top 10 late in the second quarter, the drive stalled, and Kent state turned to kicker Anthony Melchiori to knot things up at 13-13. The only problem is Melchiori shanked the field goal wide right to give Ohio the ball back with under four minutes to go in the half. Oh, and we've had a pair of botched punts in this game too.
Archer has 38 yards on six touches, and Trayion Durham has just 14 on five carries, yet Kent Sate has built a lot of momentum down the stretch, and is out gaining Ohio 205-170.
Welcome to the Khalil Mack show, otherwise known as #MACKtion.
Mack has three forced fumbles which first set and then extended a new NCAA record. The last was returned for the final touchdown in a half that Buffalo dominated. The Bulls enter the halftime break up 28-0.
They've outgained Miami 234-77 overall, including 115-53 in the air and 119-24 on the ground. Miami has just four first downs, and most of those were gifts from Buffalo thanks to Bulls' penalties. The RedHawks are also 0-for-5 on third down.
Joe Licata has 115 yards passing and a touchdown throw to Alex Dennison. Branden Oliver has already carried 21 times for 120 yards, and he has two touchdowns of his own.
Austin Gearing is 3-for-7 with 53 passing yards. He's also Miami's leading rusher with 8 yards on 13 carries.
I wouldn't expect things to get better in the second half for the home squad.
Looks like they're near capacity tonight for the Buffalo at Miami game.
Or maybe not. You be the judge.
"Welcome to DP Dough Field at Peden Stadium." You could be hearing that over the PA system at Ohio University's iconic football stadium very soon. It was announced Tuesday that Ohio has reached a deal with Philadelphia-based Front Row Marketing Services to sell the naming rights to Peden and the Convocation Center. The deal means Front Row will start reaching out to potential sponsors, which entails a certain a mount of up-selling. Such as this gem of statement, "The 24,000 capacity stadium and 13,080 capacity arena are state-of-the-art facilities housing Ohio University’s prestigious Division 1 Football and Basketball programs." For those of you unaware, Peden Stadium is in its 85th season, while The Convo is in its 45th. The phrase "State of the Art" hasn't been uttered in reference to Ohio's athletic facilities since Ronald Reagan was in office, so it's nice to see the company isn't afraid of fudging some facts to get perspective buyers in.
It's Tuesday, which means your likely watching some #MACtion, so why not join us for an open chat?
The game Wednesday night will once again determine who from the West will go to the MAC Championship game. Can the Rockets upset the visiting Huskies?
The Buffalo Bulls lost to Toledo last Tuesday, keeping the Curse of No. 6 alive and well.
Want to catch Kent State when they play Ohio in some Tuesday night #MACtion? Here is how you can get your stuff.
The Buffalo Bulls are a far better team than Miami, and should blow them out. But, if they look through the lowly RedHawks Tuesday night, things could get interesting quickly.
Ohio is faltering down the stretch, just like a year ago. Kent State has struggled for the better part of the 2013 season. The Golden Flashes took down the Bobcats last year and hope that Dri Archer's recent play continues in some Tuesday night #MACtion
Welcome back to the internet's leading Mid-American Conference prediction series. Beating Vegas against the spread since late September 2013.
Sometimes, winning isn't everything. Such is the case for NIU this week as the Huskies find themselves slipping a spot in the latest BCS rankings despite an impressive win on national TV.
Apparently coaches and AP voters were busy watching a Duck Dynasty marathon on A&E Wednesday, because they certainly weren't watching the NIU Huskies.
Last week, the MAC's bowl picture looked grim for several of the league's potentially bowl-eligible teams. How did the craziness that ensued this weekend across college football affect the MAC's post-season hopes?
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