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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 73: Kent State and NIU fight for it all in Detroit!

Zach and Steve do a deep dive on this weekends’ MAC Championship game, and Zach and Vannzee take a look at the current state of MAC hoops

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Happy Friday folks! It’s hard to believe that the calendar has turned to December. The football regular season is all but over, but do not worry: we still have a lot of pigskin ahead of us.

To open up this weeks’ pod, Zach and Steve take a look back at the last week of the regular season in the MAC. Steve was especially impressed by the Kent State secondary stepping up and making big plays when they needed to, and thus sending the Golden Flashes to Detroit. Zach was blown away by the performance of Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore, who went for 12 catches, 206 yards, and 4 touchdown’s in the Broncos win over NIU. On the flip side, Steve was a bit disappointed by Buffalo, who dropped their fourth straight game in a 20-3 loss to Ball State. After a 4-4 start to the season, the Broncos finish 4-8 and will miss a bowl for the first time since 2017. Zach was disappointed by Eastern Michigan, who had a chance to reach eight wins for the first time since 1987. The Michigan MAC trophy was also on the line, with the Eagles having the opportunity to bring the three-way trophy home to Ypsilanti for the first time since 2012. Instead, the Eagles were bullied in Mount Pleasant on their way to a 31-10 loss to CMU, and the Michigan MAC trophy will reside with the Chippewas this year.

To close out the football segment, Zach and Steve do a deep dive on this weekends championship game. The first match up we take a look at is the NIU offense versus the Kent State defense, with the boys wondering if Kent State’s improvements on this side of the ball will be sustainable. Rocky Lombardi threw for 532 yards when these teams met last month, and the Huskies compiled 663 yards of offense and 47 points. Certainly, Sean Lewis and his staff are hoping for a better performance this time around.

On the other side of the ball, the NIU defense has a similarly tough task ahead. Despite the Huskies scoring 47 points in the last meeting, that wasn’t enough. Kent State’s offense managed 52 points and 682 yards, and the NIU defense had no answer for the Golden Flashes high powered running attack.

To close out the show this week, Vannzee comes into to talk #MACsketball. It was a good week for the MAC on both the men’s and women’s side of the conference, with many teams performing well over the holiday weekend. Toledo went down to the Bahamas and won the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Invitational, while the Kent State women’s team picked up two huge victories over UCLA and Penn State.

As always, thanks for stopping by folks. Have a great weekend, enjoy all the action on the gridiron and the hardwood, and we’ll see you back here next week!