What an exciting week of college football. We even got two multi-overtime games in the MAC, though I’m sure most of us were asleep for the second one. It’ll be hard to top what happened this week over the course of the season, and there were a ton of helmet sticker worthy performances to sift through. Before we get to the season’s first set of stickers, a few observations:
Miami and Eastern Michigan probably aren’t that bad. Buffalo might be. Akron can throw the ball now, and Toledo can still throw it. NIU losing isn’t that big a deal (yet) but Ball State winning is. WMU’s win at Northwestern is huge for both program and conference, while Ohio’s loss is a step backward in both. Bowling Green and Kent State both failed to score offensive touchdowns, and both scored on defense, but the former’s offense will be fine while the latter’s could be as good as “meh” by season’s end. The Eastern and Central directional Michigan’s clobbered their FCS opponents, but only the Eagles have a quarterback with a touchdown to interception ratio greater than one.
Let’s start with the quarterbacks
Logan Woodside - Toledo
MAC West beware, Toledo hasn’t missed a beat throwing the ball. They destroyed the Arkansas State Red Wolves again, and Woodside led the way completing 74 percent of his passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns.
Thomas Woodson - Akron
Akron needed a big fourth quarter to quell the nerves of a fan base, but the performance from Woodson on Saturday makes it pretty easy to get excited about Zips football. Woodson was 23 of 32 passing for over 400 yards and six (six!) touchdowns.
Big weekend for running backs
Jahray Hayes - Central Michigan
Red zone time is Jahray Hayes time for the Chippewas. Devon Spalding carried most of the load on the ground between the 20’s, but when John Bonamego’s squad needed the end zone, Hayes found it - three times on nine carries as a matter of fact.
Shaq Vann - Eastern Michigan
Shaq Vann vehicle puns are one of my favorite parts of college football. This is by far my favorite:
Shaq-150 (credit: @ARAlvarado13)— Brandon Fitz (@broncofitz) September 3, 2016
This is great both as a truck pun and a reference to Vann’s total yards (156), achieved with just 20 total carries. He even threw two touchdowns in the mix, which Eagles fans thought was very nice of him.
James Gilbert - Ball State
Gilbert may be second on the depth chart, but he emerged this weekend as Ball State’s number one rushing option behind 160 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns. Gilbert was a workhorse, but showed ability to break big plays with runs of 23, 23 and 43 yards in the game.
James Gilbert bringing back the cabbage patch dance like it's the 80's for @BallStateFB. @MACSports pic.twitter.com/YccxjN6W9x— American Sports Net (@LiveOnASN) September 3, 2016
I’d dance like that too if I had a day like Gilbert. And, you know, if I could dance.
Big play receivers
Kenny Golladay - NIU
Pretty awful night for the Huskies as a whole what with leaving Wyoming at 0-1, but Golladay was a bright spot. He led the team in both receiving and rushing, with 226 all purpose yards and three touchdowns.
Papi White - Ohio
Here’s the situation. Texas State just took the lead with 51 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and Ohio was on its way to an embarrassing loss. Okay, so they lost anyway, but don’t let that take away from what Papi White did before that:
Ohio's Papi White runs 75yd yards to make it 38-35, 0:38 4Q #MACtion x #FunBelt #TXSTvsOhio pic.twitter.com/ALrlQ6AAPq— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 3, 2016
A pick-six and forced fumble fun
Brandon Harris - BGSU (Pick Six 63 yerds)
Harris is listed as an athlete on the Bowling Green football website, but he spends a lot of time at linebacker. Linebackers don’t normally get pick sixes. They certainly don’t return interceptions for 63 yards. That’s what Harris did, and it opened the scoring against Ohio State.
Of course, it went downhill fast for the Falcons at that point, but at least Harris has a really cool memory in Ohio Stadium.
Terrence Waugh - Kent State
The best offense is a good defense. At least that’s how it works at Kent State, where the defense was pretty much the only offense on Saturday. The Flashes recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in the middle of the second quarter against Penn State, a fumble forced by defensive end Terrence Waugh. He even had seven total tackles and a sack for the day.
Robert Spillane - Western Michigan
Spillane got off to an atrocious start in Western’s season opener. The linebacker was missing tackles left and right, but maybe it can just be attributed to rust, because the later stages of the game are where Spillane shined brightest. With just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter and Northwestern driving for what could have been the game winning touchdown, Spillane ripped the ball from Clayton Thorson, where it eventually landed out of bounds for a touchback and a WMU victory.
A look ahead
That’s all for this week. As for who to expect to see on here next week, Corey Davis should get open all night versus North Carolina Central. Rokeem Williams had a good week for Miami at Iowa, and should be even better against Eastern Illinois. Kent State’s defense should eat up North Carolina A&T, so maybe Demetrius Monday will see the list for the first time this year. Toledo hosting Maine means Kareem Hunt/Terry Swanson watch is in full effect.