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MAC Football Week 1 And What We Learned

The face of Ball State's victory would like to know what you're doing here.
The face of Ball State's victory would like to know what you're doing here.

THERE IS A RELIGION STARTING IN MUNCIE CALLED LEMBOISM. It's methodical, it involves a process, and it's not going to bowl you over with flashy plays and eye-popping offensive numbers. He's patient and preaches patience. The hire didn't wow me, and probably not you either, but he helped Ball State take Indiana down 27-20 and that's the MAC's first huge win this year.

Can Ball State be a competitor in the MAC West? After this win they cannot be ruled out. It's just one game and Indiana is near the bottom of the Big Ten pecking order, but this feat was done by a solid quarterback (Keith Wenning), some great running by non-Eric Williamses (Wenning and Jahwan Edwards) and some excellent run defense. Good on them for winning the battle of Indiana, but next week is a tad harder with a trip to South Florida, who just took down Notre Dame.

MIAMI'S LINEBACKERS CAN RUN. So well, in fact, that they convert them to running back. Erik Finklea had some nice hard runs in the 17-6 loss to Miami, finishing with 19 runs for 71 yards and their only points. The job by Zac Dysert can be described as accurate but unfortunate. He completed two-thirds of his 39 attempts and was able to move the chains well enough (they had more first downs than Missouri) but with just six points, you're not going to beat anybody, even those which are left in the Big XII.

KENT STATE DEFENSE STILL GAVE YOU SOME FANTASY POINTS. The 48-spot on the Alabama side of the board looks a little puzzling when one says the defense played well, but the numbers are all there. Kent State picked up five turnovers and sacked the QB twice (yes, Roosevelt Nix had one), and yet they still lost by 41 points with a +4 turnover ratio. The defense will play better when Alabama isn't on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

PITTSBURGH IS FRIGHTENED BY AZURE CATTLE. Buffalo has a ways to recover to return to their 2008 ways. Putting a scare into a Big East team in an NFL stadium is one way to do that. Crawling to within five points against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the fourth quarter, only to lose by 19, is now giving us optimism with yet another MAC East team. An awful offense last year marked by rotating personnel seemed to be content with Chazz Anderson under center and Branden Oliver running it (35 carries!) and that just might prevent them from being another doormat. It's no easy game next week either as they have to play nearby Stony Brook, who nearly upset UTEP.

A FEW PEOPLE SAW THE BIRTH OF A NEAT OFFENSE IN NEW MEXICO. The identity of OHIO football has never been marked by a great quarterback — at least in the last 40 years — and Tyler Tettleton has a ways to go to become a great quarterback. But it's a great start when you win 44-24. The son of Mickey accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two running) and his offensive line let him do that, who didn't allow a single sack but gave their backfield plenty of room to move around (5.1 yards per rush). Even Phil Bates came in and gave 'em a 50+ yard pass play, which is so not like him. Also, Beau Blankenship is actually a 1950s sitcom character. I'm sure of this.

KANGAROO MASCOTS ARE NOT NEARLY AS MILITANT AS BOBCATS. The least that Roo could've done was hop up to Brutus and attempt to box him. Instead the team leaves with a 42-0 defeat, thereby scoring less than the soccer team.

THE ARMED FORCES WILL MODEL THEIR NEWEST DRONE AFTER CHANDLER HARNISH. And we will defeat our enemies overseas using the HARNISH X3000 model. Six total touchdowns for one of the country's top QBs seems like an afterthought from Saturday's events, because jeez, we already know what he can do. Week 1 is about seeing how the new five coaches perform; it's about seeing our first glimpses of Moore and Tettleton and all these other new faces. But Harnish is still here and he singlehandedly owned a respectable FBS team. Also, Jasmin Hopkins is no Chad Spann but his numbers resemble a seamless transition in the backfield.

IT RAINS IN WASHTENAW COUNTY SOMETIMES. Not only was the WMU-Michigan game aborted in the third quarter for safety reasons, but EMU-Howard started as a football game and ended as a band performance in the convocation center. They'll play Sunday at noon, and admission is free! We should all go, because we all love nachos.