Week 6 Recap: East is East and West is...Best Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Sunday, October 05 2008
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The West Has Sacked The East This Season / Photo: Deb Ruthenberg
"East is East and the West is West and the twain shall never meet." So said Rudyard Kipling in perhaps his most famous piece of work, "The Ballad of East and West." The MAC meanwhile has its own ballad of the East and West but with a slightly different twist.

Based on the early season returns, we would offer that indeed the East is East but clearly the West is best and the MAC East coaches surely would have been happy at this point if the twain indeed would never have met.
In divisional crossover games this season, teams from the MAC West have gone a perfect seven-for-seven so far in contests against their MAC East brethren including going 2-0 Saturday as Eastern Michigan upended MAC East preseason favorite Bowling Green in the Falcons' MAC opener, 24-21 and Western Michigan throttled Ohio 41-20 in the other crossover game.
Here is a breakdown of this season's crossover games through October 5:
September 13
Ball State 41, Akron 24.
September 13
Central Michigan 31, Ohio 28.
September 27
Ball State 41, Kent State 20.
September 27
Central Michigan 27, Buffalo 25
September 27
Western Michigan 7, Temple 3.
October 4
Eastern Michigan 24, Bowling Green 21.
October 4
Western Michigan 41, Ohio 20.
The East will have a chance to break its winless streak against the West again next week when Miami travels to Northern Illinois, Western Michigan visits Buffalo and Temple pays a visit to Central Michigan.
Heading to the Polls
Ball State cracked one of the polls following the Cardinals' 31-0 shellacking of Toledo Saturday night, breaking into the AP Writers Poll Top 25, checking in at number twenty-five but the Cards didn't get any additional consideration in the USA Today Coaches Poll, checking in at 29th for the second straight week.
This Week's Top Statistical Performers
Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Tim Hiller
Western Michigan
MiQuale Lewis
Ball State
Tyler Sheehan
Bowling Green
Thomas Merriweather
Andy Schmitt
Eastern Michigan
Julian Edelman
Kent State
Receiving Yards
Jamarko Simmons
Western Michigan
Joey Hudson
Andre Jones
PJ Mahone
Bowling Green
Jacory Stone
Eastern Michigan
John Haneline
Bowling Green
Juan Nunez
Western Michigan
On with our weekly breakdown of this past week's action.
Also keep reading for our choices for his week's offensive and defensive players of the week and a look at how our predictions performed this past week.
Around The Conference

Akron 30, Kent State 27 (2OT).
Quick Take: The Zips were able to shake-off a first half that saw Akron QB Chris Jacquemain toss three interceptions to rally for a 30-27 double OT win to claim the Wagon Wheel trophy for the third straight season. The Flashes zipped out to a 21-10 halftime lead on the strength of two Julien Edelman touchdown passes and Jacquise Terry's first rushing score of the year. But the Zips answered with a pair of second half touchdowns capped by Deryn Bowser's 24-yard touchdown on 4th and eleven with 1:28 remaining in the game but the Flashes added their only points of the half when PK Nate Reed kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. Reed however could not extend the game further when he missed a 23-yard field goal in the second overtime, as Akron escaped with the victory.
Kent State DB Brian Lainhart recorded all three of the Flashes' picks against Zips' QB Chris Jacquemain and became the first KSU defender to record three picks in a game since 1988.
**Akron is now 3-0 all-time in overtime contests while Kent State falls to 1-5 in extra session games.
**Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis missed his third straight game with an ankle injury.
There was no doubt that I got my feet down and caught that ball. Akron WR Deryn Bowser on his fourth-quarter TD catch that gave Akron a 24-21 lead. The play was originally ruled incomplete but the call was overturned after replay review.
** I had no idea. The whole bench came out in front of me, I couldnt tell. It looked like he had it. But I had to make, in my mind, a desperation decision to use that time out (the coaches challenge).  Akron head coach JD Brookhart on his decision to challenge the original ruling on Bowser's catch.
** "I was really proud of our football team. We battled, played hard, and just made some mistakes that cost us the game; the fumbled punt and the two missed field goals. One thing though, this team played with class." Kent State head coach Doug Martin whose team has now lost 11 of its last 12 games.

Western Michigan 41, Ohio 20.
Quick Take: After a sluggish, mistake-filled first half by both squads that saw Western Michigan holding an 11-7 lead, the Broncos offense erupted for thirty second-half points and 299 yards in offense to win going away, 41-20. Western Michigan RB Brandon West recorded three long touchdowns, catching scoring strikes from Tim Hiller of 18 yards and 45 yards and then capping his day by adding the final score of the day on a 26-yard TD run. WMU QB Tim Hiller passed for 347 yards and four touchdowns for the Broncos who have now won five straight games.
**The Broncos recorded five sacks for the second time this season with Cody Cielenski recording a career-high 2.5 sacks.
**Ohio TE Andrew Mooney moved into second-place all-time in career receptions after catching a 4-yard TD in the first quarter. Mooney now has 12 career TD catches.
**WMU QB Tim Hiller has now passed for 19 touchdowns, tops in the MAC.

** "It was a different me. That was ugly. I was embarrassed. I got up at half and I said 'you guys this is my fault.' I told them I will be better. It was just execution. I didn't execute well." WMU QB Tim Hiller on his first-half struggles that saw him commit two turnovers.
** "We had a lot of penalties in that first half, which is tough when youre trying to get a lead and build on that lead. Were plagued with penalties right now. Well take a look at it and see where the problem is. But we didnt give ourselves a chance." Ohio head coach Frank Solich whose Bobcats were whistled for nine penalties for 98 yards, including 73 first-half penalty yards.
** "It was rough going in the beginning, we really struggled offensively. Then all of a sudden we made a lot of adjustments. Our coaches in the box did a great job. We put Tim (Hiller) in a better position and he made some great throws (in the second half)." Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit.

 Temple 28, Miami 10.
Quick Take: The Owls jumped all over Miami early and never trailed in the contest. The Owls stormed out to a 14-0 halftime lead, thanks to Kee-ayre Griffin's 25yard TD run late in the first quarter and Steve Maneri's 2-yard TD reception from Chester Stewart. The Owls held Miami out of the end-zone until Thomas Merriweather scored the RedHawks' only TD on a 2-yard TD run to close the gap to 14-10 late in the third quarter but the Owls responded with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, both being delivered by Stewart to Bruce Francis (43 and 6 yards), to clinch the victory.
**First quarter facts: Temple has held every opponent scoreless in the first quarter this season while Miami has been outscored by a cumulative count of 41-3 in the opening stanza of its games this season.
**Temple WR Bruce Francis has now caught a pass in 32 straight games.
**Miami RB Thomas Merriweather rushed for a career high 133 yards, the first 100-yard rushing game by a RedHawks RB this season.
** "Now that we got our second win, and we only lost (three games) by nine points, I think the guys know that we could be 5-1.  Temple head coach Al Golden.
** I felt like we had two good weeks. Were just not a very good football team right now." Miami head coach Shane Montgomery.
** He became a man in the fourth quarter. The game got really tight there. To see Chester step up after he threw an interception and things werent going well in the third quarter was extraordinary. He threw four bullets in the fourth quarter. One was dropped. It was a tremendous pass. Golden on the play of redshirt freshman QB Chester Stewart.
 Eastern Michigan 24, Bowling Green 21.
Quick Take: Eastern Michigan stunned Bowling Green, spoiling homecoming for the Falcons, coming away with a dramatic 24-21 victory. The teams battled to a 7-7 draw in the first thirty minutes. The Eagles grabbed their first lead at 10-7 early in the third quarter before BG responded with a Tyler Sheehan to Adrian Hodges 46-yard TD strike to regain the lead. But the back and forth affair continued as the Eagles' answered with their own third quarter TD on Dwayne Priest's 12 yard run. After the Falcons regained the lead once more on Sheehan's 8-yard TD run with five minutes remaining, the Eagles again countered and scored when QB Andy Schmitt found WR Tyler Jones in the end-zone for a 16-yard TD with thirty-six seconds remaining. The game was not decided however until Vrvilo Sinisa's 53-yard field goal attempt for the Falcons sailed wide left with no time remaining.
**The victory over the Falcons was the Eagles' first in the last ten contests against Bowling Green, snapping a losing streak that dated back to 1989.
**EMU LB Daniel Holtzclaw recorded a team-high ten tackles and is the NCAA's active career leader with 386 tackles.
**The loss was Bowling Green's first in a conference opener since dropping a 27-21 contest to Akron in 2000. The Falcons are now 0-2 at home this season but 2-1 on the road.
** "I have been down here twice and lost very close games the last two years. It was nice to be able to spoil someone else's homecoming." Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk.
** "We've been up and down, and to win and then come back home and do this, it's mind boggling. We had fan support and could hear them during the game, we let them down. We have to figure it out because in the MAC everything is up in the air. Every week and every year someone is coming in to knock us off." Bowling Green LB John Haneline.
** "I think that we played up to our potential today. It has been something that we have been stressing since we have a couple of banged up quarterbacks. Up front we really want to keep those guys clean." Eastern Michigan OL TJ Lang.
 Ball State 31, Toledo 0.
Quick Take: The Cardinals became the first team in the MAC to reach bowl eligibility, opening the season 6-0 following a convincing 31-0 shutout of Toledo at the Glass Bowl. The Cardinals did it with defense this time around, limiting Toledo to 14 yards net rushing and only 157 yards in offense in total. The Cardinals held a slim 3-0 edge at halftime before the offense kicked in with four rushing touchdowns, two by MiQuale Lewis and one each from QB Nate Davis and RB Cory Sykes who capped the evening's scoring with a fourth-quarter 53-yard TD run.
** The Cardinals cracked the AP Writers Poll Top 25, entering the rankings for the first time this season at number 25. The Cardinals remained however at 29th in the USA Today Coaches poll this week.
** Ball State is 6-0 for the first time since moving up to 1A in 1971, representing its best start since going 9-0 in 1965.
** The shutout of Toledo represented the first time the Rockets have been blanked in MAC play since losing to Bowling Green in 1985 and the home field shutout was the first for the Rockets since losing 44-0 to Central Michigan in 1977.
** "This was awesome. It's a great feeling. ... It was a great team effort and team win. Good teams have the ability to lean on each other. We knew the offense would come back." Ball State LB Bryant Haines discussing the shutout.
** "Its awfully satisfying. If they cant score, they cant win. If our defense can help our team win by shutting someone out, then were going to get the win." Ball State head coach Brady Hoke.
** We didnt rush the ball the way we wanted to. Part of our plan was to be able to run the ball to set up the rest of our offense and we didnt get that executed. I give them credit for playing very good defense, but our execution wasnt where it needed to be. Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz.
Tennessee 13, Northern Illinois 9.
Quick Take: In the only non-conference game in the MAC Saturday, Northern Illinois traveled to SEC country to take on the Volunteers and came up just short in a tight, 13-9 contest. The Huskies limited the Vols to one touchdown and trailed by only 6-3 in the third quarter (after a 3-3 halftime tie) before Tennessee scored its lone TD to open a 13-3 lead. NIU added a pair of Mike Salerno FG's in the third quarter but could draw no closer. The Volunteers were held to 69 net yards rushing and held only a slim 225-194 edge in total yards.
** Northern Illinois DE Larry English had 2.5 sacks bringing his career total to 27, which is currently eighth-best in MAC history. One of English's sacks forced a Tennessee fumble that was recovered by the Huskies and led to NIU's final points of the game.
** The Huskies have given up just one touchdown in their past three games.
** NIU QB Dan Nicholson left the game with an injury to his (non-throwing) left shoulder.
** "This was more than a valiant effort, it was a great effort. The kids played incredible. They gave a tremendous effort. The credit goes to the players who fought their tail ends off. People don't understand how physical SEC football is, and we were in it to the bitter end."  Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill.
** We really just knew one thing; that we were going to come in and play hard. We knew that they obviously had a lot of talented football players." NIU DE Larry English.
** "Larry English is great football player." Kill.
WMU RB Brandon West
Photo: Brett Selleck
NIU DE Larry English
Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week
Brandon West, RB, Western Michigan, 239 all-purpose yards; 22 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD; 4 receptions, 72 yards, 2 TDs.
West rushed for 107 yards and tallied 179 yards in total offense (239 all-purpose yards including 60 yards in KO returns). West also accounted for a career-high three touchdowns in Western Michigan's 41-20 victory over Ohio, scoring on a pair of touchdown passes from Tim Hiller of 18 and 45 yards and then added a 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to account for the Broncos' final score of the day. The 100-yard effort was already West's third 100-yard rushing game this season.
Defensive Player of the Week
Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois, 4 tackles (2 solo); 2.5 sacks, 2.5 TFL, Forced Fumble
Larry English recorded 2.5 quarterback sacks in the Huskies' 13-9 loss to Tennessee Saturday moving him into eighth place all-time in the MAC with 27 career sacks. English also recorded a forced fumble when his sack of Tennessee QB Nick Stevens caused a turnover that was recovered by NIU at the Tennessee nine-yard line, leading to a field goal that brought the Huskies to within four points.
Prognosticating Prowess
And this folks is why they play the games.
Eastern Michigan (a team that has thoroughly confounded us this season) upset Bowling Green (the most schizophrenic team in the MAC) while Temple took Miami to the woodshed in delivering our two setbacks this week as we compiled a 4-2 mark.
Also, a special shout out to Northern Illinois which is looking stronger every week and gave the Volunteers far more than they bargained for in their contest in Knoxville.
For the season our picks now stand at 46-12.
Here is the breakdown from the past weekend:
Akron 28, Kent State 17.
Akron 30, Kent State 27 (2OT).
Western Michigan 31, Ohio 20.
Western Michigan 41, Ohio 20.
Miami 17, Temple 9.
Temple 28, Miami 10.
Bowling Green 42, Eastern Michigan 14.
Eastern Michigan 24, Bowling Green 21.
Ball State 44, Toledo 27.
Ball State 31, Toledo 0.
Tennessee 34, Northern Illinois 17.
Tennessee 13, Northern Illinois 9.
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