clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Helmet Stickers: Defense wins, BGSU can run, and EMU has attitude

The weather was dull, the MAC football was not

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Do you feel that? I'm not talking about the inviting feeling of nostalgia ushered in by the Autumn air, I'm talking about MAC play being officially here in full force. Aside from Eastern Michigan and UMass playing out of conference and Western Michigan enjoying the bye week, the entire conference was in action internally, and it did not disappoint.

Shockingly enough, defense reigned supreme over the MAC universe on Saturday, including the game between MAC East rivals Ohio and Akron. Only two touchdowns were scored in the game and neither by Akron, and the Zips almost found a way to win, which, would winning with only field goals be the least MAC thing ever? In Kent, the Miami offense showed some late life against the Kent State defense, but couldn't find a way to overcome their quarterback play. UMass won a football game, and Eastern Michigan didn't either, but would you believe me if I told you they were within one score of LSU in the third quarter? Central Michigan beat the MAC West champions once again while Toledo took care of business in Muncie. Oh, and Bowling Green is still good at offense, in case you were worried.

Ohio at Akron

Jamal Marcus -I owe Akron's defense an apology:

In my own defense, the Zips didn't have an answer for Derrius Vick and company to that point, and Akron's offense was less than stellar. Akron's defense answered the call in the second half though and turned the contest into a sloppy punt fest that only the purest of football purists could love. The effort was collective, but dammit somebody on defense has to get a sticker in that game and Jamal Marcus stood out. Late in the game he sacked Vick for the second time setting up Akron with an opportunity to take a lead with some good field position. Marcus was in the backfield a lot on Saturday and made it very difficult for Ohio to get into rhythm on offense.

Quentin Poling - Anchoring a defense

Akron didn't win the game, Ohio did without giving up a touchdown. Poling was a big reason for that, logging 8 tackles and a sack while being in this fun place called "everywhere." This was a great response from Poling after not showing up much on the stat sheet a week ago against Minnesota. While the Bobcat defense is stout regardless, I"m sure Frank Solich and company won't mind having Poling at this level week in and week out.

Miami at Kent State

Demetrius Monday - because interceptions should always come in pairs

Monday was at it again Saturday, solidifying himself as the only Monday that's more fun than Saturday. The Sophomore corner from Douglasville, Georgia has to be wondering why anyone still throws his direction. Miami watches film right? Their quarterback play has been poor, so probably best to avoid throwing anywhere in the vicinity of Monday one would think. I guess that's easier said than done as Miami is not the only team Monday has victimized on his way to solidifying himself as one of the best at the position in the conference. Perhaps he's on the cusp of a pretty historic season:

Antwan Dixon - Mr. Efficiency

I really like Dixon's strategy. Why have 20 to 30 touches when you can do the same damage with just nine? I like this strategy because with players flying all over the field trying to inflict harm on my person I'd be more inclined to strike like lightning, or a flash, than anything else. Dixon was more active in the passing game against Miami than he was in the running game, but managed to add a touchdown and 72 yards on three carries, most of which was done on just a single 75 yard touchdown run. Receiving, Dixon caught six passes for 63 yards, which led the team. Overall Dixon recorded 135 yards and a touchdown on just nine touches.

FIU at UMass

Blake Frohnapfel - Proh Potential

Frohapfel was excellent on Saturday, and UMass needed that out of their quarterback with an NFL arm. Frohnapfel's line ended at 31 of 41 passing for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Add in the fact that Froh threw zero passes to the other team looks pretty good and pays dividends in a game decided by just 10 points. UMass's start has been less than desirable considering a blowout at the hands of Colorado and a wacky loss to the Temple Owls, but this is the Frohnapfel fans have been waiting to see all year. If he can keep it up, I have a feeling he'll land on this list quite a few more times this season.

Tajae Sharpe - Unstoppable

There's a lot you can say about Tajae Sharpe, and none of them are bad. Sharpe caught just under half of Frohnapfel's completed passes on Saturday, and he turned those 14 grabs into big yards. Sharpe ended with 154 yards receiving and even added a touchdown. There's more than a decent chance this quarterback to receiver combo ends up doing this sort of thing on Sundays with some teammates that actually get paid to play football.

Northern Illinois at Central Michigan

Tim Hamilton - Source of pain for Huskies

Northern Illinois didn't have a bad day on the ground, but it wasn't what they needed it to be to win. Particularly in their red zone trips they were forced to settle for a field goal and even turned it over on downs. In those two series Tim Hamilton stood out for the Chippewas. Number 43 was easily the best defensive player for a unit that largely neutralized the Huskies, recording 11 tackles and intercepting a Drew Hare pass. Hamilton was all over the place and seemed to have something to say on every play from scrimmage, a big reason why the sloppy play from the first half carried on into the second for NIU and not the Chippewas.

Bowling Green at Buffalo

Are you all ready for the weekly Bowling Green offense section?

Roger Lewis - Is he serious?

No, really. Are you serious Roger Lewis? Lewis ended with 201 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches. That's 20.1 yards per catch. I have no idea how Roger Lewis is doing all of this, but what's even more mind boggling is the fact that he did most of this damage in just a single half:

Jeebus indeed.

Travis Greene - The Falcons can officially run the ball

Greene has been great for the Bowling Green offense so far this year. Against Buffalo the senior from Florida rushed for 117 yards on just 19 carries. Averaging around four and a half yards is pretty good for a running back, but Greene averaged seven on Saturday. No wonder Buffalo couldn't get the ball back after their final touchdown. The grim truth for non Bowling Green fans is that you'd better make the Falcons play from behind, or you're going to lose. Greene will make sure the clock keeps moving.

Matt Johnson - Because, obviously

This write up is short for Johnson, because you know what this guy is capable of by now. If not, then all you need to know is that by seasons end the statement, "Jordan Lynch was the last MAC finalist for the Heisman Trophy," might well be false. Johnson didn't throw the ball much on Saturday, but only threw six incomplete passes. Six. He's going to need to make room for all these helmet stickers.

Joe Licata - Is his arm okay?

Licata was tasked with trying to out duel Johnson this weekend, and though he failed I'm sure every quarterback in the country would as well. However, Licata was called upon to throw the ball 59 times - over double the load required of Johnson - and did well in the end to give the Bulls a fighting chance, including an absolute dime to Ron Willoughby in the corner of the end zone to pull Buffalo within a touchdown. Licata ended with 348 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Toledo at Ball State

Terry Swanson - Kareem who?

Toledo is now 4-0. Toledo has not played a game with its best player. Toledo doesn't care, because they have Terry Swanson. Swanson didn't find the end zone Saturday, but he was easily the Rocket's best option on the ground, running hard 24 times for 139 yards. Something tells me the Rockets are going to be just fine regardless of Kareem Hunt's timeline for return.

Eastern Michigan at LSU

I really wasn't joking about the EMU and LSU score. The final ended up being 44-22 and believe me when I tell you there's no way I expected anything remotely that close. Neither did Vegas. But the Eagles hung in there, but it was still tough to select any, single performance from the young men in white and grey uniforms, even after watching the game and scouring the box score. But there was one player who stood out on both my living room television and on paper:

Sam Browning - Technically, the best LSU has seen

Browning caught six passes for 87 yards, and not in garbage time either. Browning was picking up chunk plays and key first downs as the Eagles moved the ball on the LSU Tigers on the road. For now, Browning is actually the highest performing overall receiver the Tigers have faced this season, and he's a tight end. Not bad if you're building a football resume, and with LSU's defense there's a real chance Browning ends up the top performer receiving against the Tigers all year.



A video posted by Alex Alvarado (@aralvarado13) on

That, ladies and gentlemen, was one of the coolest plays for a two point conversion I've ever seen. That's a hell of a play call to pull a football team within one score in a game they are favored to lose - badly. Everyone involved in this play gets a sticker. Every single one of you 11 and heck, the coaches probably don't have helmets, but Chris Creighton and company should get some love too. Maybe place the stickers on their headsets?

Now Eastern, stop trolling the conference schedule and get back to the rust belt where you belong. Believe it or not, there could be some people waiting to watch what you can do this season.