There’s nothing like midweek #MACtion. For four weeks this season, MAC football graced our television screens on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, allowing all of the college football community to unite and watch classic games unfold. With the conference’s parity at an all-time high, considering 10 teams finished the regular season with between five and eight wins, that made for some great finishes as eight of 14 midweek games were decided by four or fewer points. Overall, #MACtion brought us entertainment, chaos, heartbreak, and joy. Here are the most memorable moments of 2019’s midweek slate:
The cartwheel heard ‘round the world
It’s one of the most bizarre things that’s ever happened on a college football field. Ohio lined up 6’3”, 300-pound offensive guard Hagen Meservy as a wide receiver, and Meservy was tasked with one mission on this play: DO A CARTWHEEL.
And a cartwheel, he did. Meservy perfectly executed the gymnastics the play required, and his decoy paid off. Quarterback Nathan Rourke completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Ryan Luehrman on the play, which means that plays involving offensive lineman cartwheels average 25.0 yards. This is peak #MACtion and Frank Solich should pull this one out of his playbook more.
Timothy Scippio’s hips didn’t lie
Akron’s best game of the season was a near-upset of MAC East champion Miami (OH), falling 20-17 to the RedHawks in Oxford. The Zips’ lone offensive touchdown on the night was a sight to behold — not just the catch, but the celebration.
I’m sorry, ref, but how are you going to flag somebody with spectacular dance moves like this? Timothy Scippio crushed this.
Timothy Scippio caps his TD reception with a celebration dance! And the no fun refs flagged him for it. pic.twitter.com/k9AK4m0UCr— Rustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 21, 2019
Ohio’s Touchdown PS4 Controller
EA may have stopped producing NCAA Football video games, but that’s not going to stop the Ohio Bobcats from picking up the sticks and playing dynasty mode... in the middle of an actual football game. First spotted by the TV cameras in Ohio’s 66-24 win over Bowling Green on November 19, a golden Playstation 4 controller is rewarded to any Bobcat player that scores a touchdown.
And one week after its debut, it made a glorious return. Ohio players deserve all 99 overalls if NCAA Football ever makes a return for this unique touchdown celebration.
Akron’s Turnover Pencil
Akron handed out the giant turnover pencil all season, but it’s a great enough prop that it deserves recognition in this midweek-centric piece. The Zips produced four combined turnovers in their final two midweek games, meaning they were handing out more pencils than test administrators do for AP exams in high school.
Eastern Michigan’s Turnover Wrench
When Chris Creighton arrived at Eastern Michigan in 2015, he rebranded the program using “The Factory” mantra. The infamous cinderblock incident was the opening of The Factory, but now The Factory is back in business with a giant wrench, which is one of the better turnover items in all of college football. Eastern Michigan ranked in the top 40 in intercepting passes and recovering fumbles, so the Eagles’ sideline started looking like a Home Depot checkout line with this colossal tool.
Kent State erases a 21-point fourth quarter deficit
Kent State’s football program was on a mission to end the season. After six consecutive years of finishing 4-8 or worse, the Golden Flashes entered the year with the second-worst FBS winning percentage in the College Football Playoff era. But Sean Lewis brought his Flashes to bowl eligibility by winning three-straight, and the turning point started against Buffalo. Trailing 27-6 in roughly the middle of the fourth quarter on a Thursday night, Kent State rattled off three touchdowns in less than a three minute span (from 7:39 to 4:52 remaining). After the furious comeback, Kent State put the finishing touches on an unlikely victory as First Team All-MAC kicker Matthew Trickett sunk a 44-yarder at the buzzer. That 21-point comeback on November 14 is the largest in the final eight minutes of any game this season.
HOW YA FEELING, KENT STATE!? pic.twitter.com/khRixMMGgO— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 15, 2019
Jaret Patterson and the touchdown record
Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson finished the regular season fifth in the FBS in rushing yards with 1,626. In a late-November Wednesday night win over Toledo, Patterson delivered a performance for the record books. The sophomore rushed for a career-high 192 yards and entered the end zone five times, tying the MAC record for most individual touchdowns scored by a player in a single game. While Buffalo’s next game wasn’t a midweek showdown, Patterson later topped both numbers by rushing for 298 yards and scoring six touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Bowling Green on Black Friday.
Hoodie Marcus Childers
First, there was Hoodie Melo, when Carmelo Anthony became an internet sensation by dominating an open gym wearing his signature hoodie. Now, there is Hoodie Marcus Childers. Checking in for injured quarterback Ross Bowers, Northern Illinois’ quarterback dominated the running game while wearing a black hoodie in the Huskies’ 28-21 upset win over Toledo.
Childers completed all three of his passes and rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns at the Glass Bowl. Hoodie Marcus Childers rushed for a 40-yard score in the game, but he saved his best for last by perfectly running the zone read for a game-sealing first down. Long live, Hoodie Marcus Childers.
You thought Hoodie Melo was good? Wait until you watch Hoodie Marcus Childers run the read option. pic.twitter.com/kbDPJZKbyG— Steve Helwick (@s_helwick) November 14, 2019
Evan Davis, our Shooting Sleeve Kicker King
Evan Davis makes a FG from 23 yards to give Toledo a 6-point lead with 35 seconds left. ALL HAIL OUR SHOOTING SLEEVE KICKER pic.twitter.com/1Zrm8G4OVQ— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) September 22, 2019
ALL HAIL OUR SHOOTING SLEEVE KICKER— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) September 28, 2019
Evan Davis gets Toledo on the board first by splitting the uprights on a 45-yarder. Rockets 3, Cougars 0 pic.twitter.com/8JFSxxacey
Look at my dude with the sleeve swaggering out on the sidelines! How could you not love it?
Evan Davis was a key contributor for the Toledo Rockets at kicker in the early part of the season, with huge field goals in the wins against BYU and Colorado State, before he started to struggle a bit in conference play. The conspiracy theory here at HB HQ is that as soon as the cold came around and forced him to wear long sleeves, the misses started coming.
Coincidence? We think not.
Regardless, Davis gets a 10/10 in our book because he knows that shooters shoot.
College football’s 150th anniversary
On November 6, 1869, the Rutgers Queensmen defeated the New Jersey Tigers in the first recognized college football game. On the same day, 150 years later, Ohio and Miami (OH) played their “Battle of the Bricks” rivalry on national television — a celebration of how far the sport has come. In a back-and-forth game which never featured either team scoring consecutive times or holding a two-score lead, Miami prevailed on a 51-yard field goal in the game’s final minutes. The RedHawks’ win on the sport’s benchmark anniversary helped them secure the MAC East for the first time since 2010.
Frank Solich enters the history books
With a 66-24 win over Bowling Green on November 19, Ohio Bobcats head coach Frank Solich became the winningest coach in MAC history with 111 victories. Solich, the Bobcats’ head man since 2005, passed longtime Central Michigan coach Herb Deromedi (1978-93) in the category. The 75-year old was treated with a nice water bath by his players — in nearly freezing November temperatures in Bowling Green, OH.
When you’re the winningest coach in MAC history but it’s 33 degrees and you just got a water bath. pic.twitter.com/4v70pstpbW— Rustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 20, 2019
Akron’s 0-yard punt
Battling a 4th and 17 on the opponent’s 37-yard line is a tough situation. For some programs, it’s field goal range, but for others, it’s prime position to attempt a pooch punt. Akron attempted a punt with its quarterback Kato Nelson, and the punt went for zero yards. And in an extremely rare scenario, the player that punted the ball downed his own kick.
Toledo’s blocking scheme
Buffalo’s quick pass rush isn’t easy to stop, so Toledo experimented with a unique technique that can only be described as pure #MACtion. All five linemen collapsed, which creates a humorous effect, but Carter Bradley actually threw a first down pass on this play.
Anyway, enjoy this humorous moment of an entire offensive line falling in sync:
Last-minute fumble fest in DeKalb
Northern Illinois was already eliminated from bowl eligibility prior to its season-ending matchup against Western Michigan. But on senior night, the Huskies proved once again to be the chaos lords of the conference. Not only did NIU upset Western Michigan and prevent the Broncos from earning a trip to the MAC Championship, it did it in the most bizarre fashion.
Quarterback Marcus Childers crossed the sticks for the game-sealing first down, but he fumbled before his knee was down. Trailing by three, the Broncos recovered with new life. That moment of hope was brief as Western Michigan wide receiver DaShon Bussell caught a pass around midfield on the ensuing play, but he fumbled, and the Huskies countered their costly mistake by forcing and recovering the coughed up pigskin.
OH MY GOD! 1 play after Western Michigan recovered an NIU fumble.... DaShon Bussell fumbles and NIU recovers!!!— Decaf Metcalf ☕ (@FTBeard11) November 27, 2019
WMU has no timeouts, NIU's gonna win!!! #MACtion baby!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/PLk9vhxBCD
Have you always wondered what it would be like to consume #MACtion in the 1940s? Well, Eastern Michigan and Akron presented us with a broadcast which resembled a World War II era fireside chat for a few minutes on November 12.
While the announcers continued to call the game without any picture, the screen displayed a giant Akron logo accompanied by the words “technical difficulties,” which fittingly summarizes the Zips’ 0-12 season.
‘Til next year, midweek #MACtion!