A good week for the MAC
Chicago’s new Big Ten team is basically Western Michigan after their thumping of Illinois on the road, and Toledo and Central Michigan still remain undefeated. The Rockets are quietly handling their schedule nicely, while the Chips pulled away from UNLV in the second half to a comfortable victory. Even Kent State got a win this time around, and avoided heading into Alabama week without a victory. Eastern Michigan returned to their winning ways (do they have winning ways though, really?) with a comfortable victory over Charlotte that included the wildest play you’ll ever see:
Yup. That there is an onside kick from the opposing 20 yard line. This is why we watch MAC football, ladies and gentlemen, for moments like this one. The Eagles didn’t get the kick, so, onside kicks are just as difficult no matter where you kick them from.
I’ve switched up the format this week, awarding multiple stickers to top performers. I’ll be giving out one, two and three stickers to some of the MAC’s best in week three.
RB Manny Morgan, Akron - 18 rushes for 130 yards vs Marshall
LB Quentin Poling, Ohio - 14 tackles against Tennessee
Logan Woodside, Toledo QB - 15/26 for 239 yards, 4 TD vs Fresno State
The year off behind Phillip Ely seems to be paying off for Woodside, who currently holds a QB rating of 200.2 following Toledo’s pummeling of Fresno State. His 11 touchdowns are currently tied with Cooper Rush for the MAC lead, and is currently averaging over 11 yards per passing attempt.
DE Terence Waugh, Kent State - eight tackles, two sacks vs Monmouth
WR James Gardner, Miami - 5 catches 136 yards, TD vs Western Kentucky
Miami? With big play ability? You don’t say? Thanks to Gardner’s concentration on a Billy Bahl deep ball (patent pending) that was the case on Saturday. The 70 yard touchdown pass came late in the fourth quarter and put the RedHawks within a touchdown of Western Kentucky.
James Gardner pulls in a tipped pass to score Miami's second touchdown of the night. @SportsCenter @SC_Espn #SCtop10 https://t.co/tsIQWmbIEO— Miami Athletics (@MiamiRedHawks) September 17, 2016
WR Corey Willis, Central Michigan - 6 catches 108 yards and 2 TD vs UNLV
LB Bobby Jones IV, Northern Illinois - 15 tackles, one sack vs San Diego State
LB Robert Spillane, Western Michigan - 11 tackles and one interception vs Illinois
Thankfully for the Broncos, their star linebacker wasn’t suspended by the MAC for the game against Illinois. Spillane recorded 11 total tackles and a late interception that put the game away for good for WMU. All of this was good enough to earn him MAC West defensive player of the week honors.
QB Thomas Woodson, Akron - 21/32 for 379 yards, four TD vs Marshall
RB Josh Cleveland, Bowling Green - 18 rushes for 153 yards, TD vs Middle Tennessee
Akron defense/special teams - Three INT’s (one for TD), fumble return for TD, blocked punt for TD vs Marshall
How dominant were the Zips on Saturday? Well, the defense and special teams were responsible for three touchdowns in a 65-38 rout of Marshall. How about that? Daumantas Venckus got it started in the second quarter by returning a fumble forced by Deon’Tae Moore 35 yards to the house, and was followed up by Ulysees Gilbert punt return for a touchdown. And just to add insult to injury, DeMarcus Lloyd took an interception back 31 yards for a score in the fourth quarter, further burying the Thundering Herd. Kyron Brown added an interception as well. Special shout out to Zach Guiser who blocked that returned punt and had an interception on the day. Respect.
RB Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan - 24 rushes for 189 yards, two TD vs Illinois
LB Khalil Hodge, Buffalo - 17 tackles vs Nevada
S Nate Holley, Kent State - 17 tackles vs Monmouth
LB Jaylen Pickett, Eastern Michigan - 6 tackles, two INT vs Charlotte
More like Jaylen Pick-it amiright?
That’s all I’ve got.
Cooper Rush, Central Michigan QB - 20/33 for 352 yards, 6 TD
WR JoJo Natson, Akron - seven catches for 134 yards, TD vs Marshall
With Daniel Braverman gone, Natson is the new little guy nobody wants to mess with in the MAC. Natson is the weapon to compliment Jerome Lane that Zips fans have been waiting for, and it’s already paying dividends. A below average offense from a year before can now do things like this:
Jojo NAtson #HUMBLERELIGION pic.twitter.com/zqQ6Z4xMOC— HUMBLE RELIGION (@humblereligion_) September 17, 2016