In a world of constant and often uninvited change, it's nice to know we have the consistency of MAC football to rely on.
It's Sunday afternoon and not much is different than it has ever been. Northern Illinois is the top dog and owns Toledo no matter where they play. Buffalo and Kent State are very average. UMass and Eastern Michigan are still bad at football, and Bowling Green and Western Michigan are scoring a ton of points. Oh, and yes, Dino Babers still loves wearing camo hats. See? Same as it ever was.
The MAC brand is still strong when it comes to the zany ups and downs on the field while playing for a national audience in the midst of a work week. Week 10 was especially crazy and dominated by players on both offense and defense bobbling passes repeatedly before catching them as well as deciding to use just a single hand to score touchdowns with. So let's get started giving out some Helmet Stickers for the week that was, but I must caution Toledo fans to proceed at their own risk.
Kenny Golladay - Northern Illinois
Tuesday started poorly for Golladay, but it sure ended well. Golladay fumbled on the Huskie's first possession, but he made up for in dramatic fashion it by hauling in seven passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, the one you see above. That touchdown, by the way, pulled Northern Illinois within two points late in their showdown with Toledo, which they eventually won.
The only issue you could have with that catch is that it doesn't translate well to the next level, or I guess if you're a fan of Toledo. This was a huge grab in a huge spot. If the momentum was merely tilting the way of NIU at that point, it fully swung to the Huskies for good following this insane grab from Golladay. He also caught a huge pass in the fourth quarter that set up the go ahead score for NIU, a lead they never surrendered.
Gehrig Dieter - BGSU
Dieter wasn't just going to let Golladay have all the fun in the wild catch department.
You've got to hand it to Bowling Green, they are always and forever entertaining. There was little about the scoreline of that game against Ohio that generated anything resembling the slightest bit of interest. 62-24? Nobody wants to watch that. 75 yard bobbled touchdown catches and a quarterback that draws and fires an invisible arrow? Everyone wants to watch that. Well, they should at least.
Ron WIlloughby - Buffalo
We are starting to see more one-handed catches in CFB... and in no way is that depressing. https://t.co/YioM9Cq6su— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 6, 2015
Okay, this is just getting ridiculous at this point. This was probably the prettiest thing to come out of the Kent State and Buffalo football game, and also the best part of WIlloughby's day. The junior from Avon Lake, Ohio, only caught two passes other than the one you see above, but I'm sure the Bulls are quite alright with that, getting the last laugh in Kent.
Corey Davis- WMU
I don't have any video highlights of Davis' performance on Thursday, but trust me it isn't very redeeming film for the Ball State secondary. This was expected though, given the fact that Davis is an above average receiver going against a defense that redefines what it means to be mediocre. The junior wasted no time asserting his dominance over the Cardinals, finding the end zone just 53 seconds into the Broncos' opening drive. He would find the end zone twice more totaling 163 yards, moving him to third all time in WMU history for touchdown receptions. He's in pretty good company, too. The names he's chasing? Jordan White and Greg Jennings.
Jared Murphy- Miami
The Cellar Dweller Game of the Week wasn't actually the ugliest game on the schedule, an honor that belongs to UMass and Akron, and Murphy emerged as one of the stars of the game, sticking with the wide receiver dominated theme of the week. Murphy had a pair of touchdowns, marking the second multi-touchdown game of his career and the first since last season against Buffalo. More importantly, those two touchdowns lifted the RedHawks to victory solidifying their status as "better than Eastern Michigan."
PICK SIX ALERT
The offenses weren't the only units getting their hands on the football this week. The defense decided to join the action, and it was just as zany and unpredictable as their offensive counterparts.
Dernard Turner - BGSU
Turner got us started with the pick six action on Wednesday night, intercepting an Ohio pass and running it back 85 yards. This was the dagger that officially put away any hope Ohio had of winning the game, though hope was pretty slim in the first place. Turner won't apologize, though, with his third interception of the year and first since he had two against Maryland in week two.
Demetrius Monday - Kent State
Kent State cannot offense very good, so they rely on their defense to stay in games, namely Demetrius Monday who has a knack for creating turnovers. Monday made sure that at least one of Joe Licata's passes found the end zone in the first half on Thursday, snagging a tipped ball and returning it 69 yards to the house. Nice.
Boomer Mays - NIU
Gehrig Dieter isn't the only one catching bobbled passes. The difference is Mays had to catch his from the quarterback playing for the other team. Mays didn't score a touchdown on the play, but who cares? The Huskies own the Rockets (still) and we'll have to spend another off season wondering (still) if Toledo is ready to make the leap to the top. Rocket fans, avert your eyes:
We have some huge games coming up next week meaning ample opportunity for big time players to shine on national television. Toledo travels to Central Michigan in hopes to stay in the running for a MAC West title, and Bowling Green travels to Western Michigan in a game that is surely to feature some insane offensive talent. But none of that matters because I know the game we all have circled on our schedules:
UMass at Eastern Michigan. 3 p.m. Rynearson Stadium. Must see TV. Buckle up.