clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Around the MAC: Week 1 Depth Chart News

New, 2 comments

Toledo names starting QB, star Western Michigan WR listed at CB, and more happenings around the conference.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Western Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With the majority of the FBS kicking off this weekend, depth charts across the country were released in bulk on Monday morning and afternoon. Oftentimes, coaches leave their opening depth charts ambiguous in order to leak as little information as possible prior to Week 1. But the MAC featured plenty of transparency in most of its depth charts, clarifying important information heading into the season.

Western Michigan Broncos

The most noticeable feature on Western Michigan’s depth chart is the absence of senior D’Wayne Eskridge from the wide receiver position. Despite having more career receiving yards than any other active wideout outside of Justin Hall in the MAC, Eskridge will start the opener against Monmouth from the defensive side of the ball. One of the fastest players in the conference, Eskridge will take his talents to the cornerback position, a development which has been ongoing since spring ball.

According to MLive.com, head coach Tim Lester expects Eskridge to play 10-15 snaps on offense per game. He’s the Broncos’ most experienced wide receiver with 1,403 yards and seven touchdowns to his name, so without Eskridge as a starter, the team will turn to a rather inexperienced group of receivers. Junior Tyron Arnett (17 career receptions) and sophomore Jaylen Hall (11 career receptions) will be the seasoned veterans in the starting unit, but Western Michigan recently added Mississippi State transfer Keith Mixon (47 career receptions). However, Mixon is listed as a backup to Arnett.

Also missing from the depth chart is inside linebacker Corvin Moment. Lester stated that Moment has been ruled academically ineligible and can return to the program in December, according the BC Enquirer’s Nick Buckley. Moment recorded 52 tackles, six tackles for loss, and one sack as a redshirt freshman starter a season ago.

There aren’t many more surprises across the rest of the depth chart. Senior Justin Tranquill listed as a second-string free safety behind A.J. Thomas is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, as Tranquill has been one of the Broncos’ best tacklers and veteran leaders since the 2016 Cotton Bowl season.

Toledo Rockets

Toledo didn’t release an official depth chart, but the Jason Candle officially named a starting quarterback for the Saturday noon opener at Kentucky. Senior Mitchell Guadagni won the job over junior Eli Peters. Guadagni started Week 1 last year as Logan Woodside’s successor, but a season-ending shoulder injury in October sidelined him for the second half of the season.

Guadagni threw for 1,053 yards on 120 attempts while Peters threw for 1,837 on 265 in 2018. Guadagni totaled 13 touchdown passes and three interceptions in seven games while Peters managed 18 touchdowns and seven picks in 11 games of action. In the mobility department, Guadagni shined with 428 rushing yards on 77 attempts, while Peters attained just 44 yards on 23 attempts.

Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green’s depth chart contains the clever “OR” at the quarterback position to keep its opponent guessing. The Falcons open against FCS foe Morgan State, but Scot Loeffler elects to keep the starting quarterback secret for the time being.

The options are junior Grant Loy, sophomore Matt McDonald, and grad transfer Darius Wade. Loy appeared in nine games last season primarily in rushing packages. He ran for 160 yards on 29 attempts but only threw 12 times as Jarret Doege’s backup. McDonald transferred from Boston College to reunite with Loeffler, but his status remains in question. McDonald appealed to the NCAA, but the decision on his eligibility is still pending. The other option is fellow Boston College transfer Darius Wade who joined the program in July. Wade played in 22 games in four years at Boston College, throwing for 1,091 yards and five touchdowns.

If Bowling Green manages to blow out its FCS opponent, there is a strong possibility that both Loy and Wade share the field Saturday. With McDonald’s status still not receiving closure, it seems likely the other two quarterbacks will play instead.

Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo has yet to release its depth chart, but the Bulls have named a starting quarterback. Lance Leipold is going with redshirt freshman Matt Myers, according to WIVB.com. Myers beats out redshirt sophomore Kyle Vantrease, who has started one collegiate game and thrown 66 passes for 375 yards. Myers will start under center against FCS opponent Robert Morris, and he will be taking his first career snap on the same day.

One of the candidates from the quarterback battle, Dominic Johnson, lined up at wide receiver to end summer camp according to Buffalo writer Jonah Bronstein.

Johnson completed 1-of-2 passes for four yards last season but saw four games of action on the court as a small forward for the March Madness-qualifying Buffalo basketball team. With Buffalo suffering from a shortage of wide receivers after the graduation of Anthony Johnson and George Rushing, along with the transfers of K.J. Osborn and Charlie Jones, Dominic Johnson’s position switch should add much-needed depth to the position.