MAC Football Week Four Recap Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Sunday, September 23 2007
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Akron Reclaims The Wagon Wheel/Photo Courtesy
It was a topsy-turvy week of Mid-American Conference football that just concluded Saturday with three games decided by one-point while three MAC teams finally were able to rid themselves of the goose-egg in the win column by coming up with their first wins of the season.

Certainly the marquee game turned out to be the Ball State Cardinals' upset bid at Nebraska. The Cardinals had the nation watching scoring updates from Lincoln, NE in their wild shootout with the Cornhuskers. The Cardinals racked up over 610 yards in offense and came within three minutes of pulling what would have been the MAC's biggest upset since the conference pulled down five wins against ranked teams in 2003.

Prior to the season, MAC Report Online picked the Cardinals to claim the MAC West based primarily on their offensive firepower and their early season performances, other than an opening night misstep against Miami, would seem to backup their status as our favorites in the West.

Meanwhile, the Big 12's Iowa State Cyclones may want to avoid scheduling the MAC in the future as for the second time this season the Cyclones were downed by the MAC. After opening with a home loss to Kent State, Iowa State visited the Glass Bowl and Toledo finally recorded its first win of the season in dramatic fashion. Other teams in the MAC securing their first win of the season this past week included Western Michigan defeating Central Connecticut State and Northern Illinois downing Idaho.

For our complete recap of all of this week's games, see "Around The Conference" further down in this week's column. We also name our "Players of the Week" on offense and defense, so keep reading.

Champs Fading?
Defending MAC champions, Central Michigan, appear to be in a tailspin after a 44-14 loss to North Dakota State but remain atop the MAC West standings despite losing three of four to open the season, having won their only conference game played so far this season.

The Chips still have a chance to get their season back on track when they welcome Northern Illinois for a crucial divisional matchup on Homecoming in Mt. Pleasant.  The Chips are allowing an average of 43 points and over 500 yards of offense per game in head coach Butch Jones' first season at the helm in Mt. Pleasant.

Quick Stats
Here is a glance at the top leaders in three offensive categories through the first four weeks of the MAC football season:

Passing Yards

Nate Davis

Ball State


Tyler Sheehan

Bowling Green


Dan LeFevour

Central Michigan


Drew Willy



Tim Hiller

Western Michigan


Rushing Yards

Eugene Jarvis

Kent State


MiQuale Lewis

Ball State


Justin Anderson

Northern Illinois


Kalvin McRae



Jalen Parmele




Receiving Yards

Dante Love

Ball State


Jamarko Simmons

Western Michigan


Jabari Arthur



Darius Hill

Ball State


Antonio Brown

Central Michigan


Around The Conference

E-Eagle-color_small.JPGEastern Michigan 38, Howard 15.
Quick Take:  Eastern Michigan opened the scoring just fifteen seconds into the contest when FCS member Howard University fumbled the opening kickoff and the Eagles recovered at the Bisons' 19-yard line. Two plays later RB Pierre Walker scored from seven yards out and the Eagles never looked back, opening up a 17-0 halftime lead and cruising to a 38-15 triumph. The Eagles operated on a short field for the most of the contest and only one of their scoring drives consumed more than five minutes. Quarterback Andy Schmitt threw for 214 yards and tossed four touchdowns to four different receivers.

Eastern Michigan has now recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since defeating Central Michigan and Kent State in consecutive weeks in 2005.
**EMU QB Andy Schmitt's four TD passes were a single-game career best and the most for an Eagles QB since Matt Bohnet threw four touchdown passes in 2005 against Western Michigan.
**Schmitt has not thrown an interception in three consecutive games.
**The Eagles have not allowed a sack since the season-opener against Pittsburgh.

** "
I thought it was very important for us to get off to a fast start and our special teams effort had a significant impact on the game."  Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk,
** "You just can't win that way." Howard head coach Carey Bailey discussing the Bisons' four turnovers.
** "Ever since our last drive just before halftime against Northern Illinois, our offense has been clicking. We have a lot of playmakers on this team." EMU QB Andy Schmitt.

BG_small.jpgBowling Green 48, Temple 35. Temple_small.JPG
Quick Take: The Owls started fast, going up 7-0 when QB Adam DiMichele connected with Steve Maneri for a 7-0 lead but the Falcons responded with 21 straight points on three touchdown passes from Tyler Sheehan; two to Freddie Barnes and one to Marques Parks. The Owls evened matters before halftime though when DiMichele hit Dy'Onne Crudup for a 21-yard TD and then ran one in himself from one yard out with five seconds left in the half to tie the game 21-21. However the Falcons put the game away early in the third quarter with two defensive scores. Kenny Lewis scored on a 35-yard swipe of the ball from Temple FB Josh Bundy and then Orlando Barrow recovered DiMichele's fumble in the end zone. Bowling Green went on a 24-0 second half run to put the game away, winning 48-35.

**BG QB Tyler Sheehan has now thrown for over 300 yards in each of his first three collegiate starts this season.
**When Temple went up 7-0 in the first quarter, it was the first time they held a lead in the first quarter this season.
**Temple QB Adam DiMichele set career single-game highs in attempts (41), completions (27) and touchdowns (4).

** "I'm going to remember this game as the game that Kenny Lewis stole the ball. That was the play of the game." Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon.
"We work hard, like crazy on ball security. I guess we are going to have to keep working at it." Temple head coach Al Golden.
** "As long as Tyler (Sheehan) keeps throwing the ball like he is throwing we are going to continue to be a passing team. That's Bowling Green football." Brandon.

zips_small.jpgAkron 27, Kent State 20.KSU_NoText_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: The Zips reclaimed the Wagon Wheel with a 27-20 triumph over Kent State at the Rubber Bowl. Kent State dominated the first half but was again plagued by turnovers as the teams went into the locker room tied at 7-7. Kent State opened up a 17-7 lead but the Zips stormed back, outscoring the Flashes 20-3 the rest of the way despite 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns from KSU RB Eugene Jarvis. Down 17-10, the Zips tied the game when QB Carlton Jackson connected with Jabari Arthur for a 26-yard TD on fourth-down and three yards to go. After Reggie Corner picked off Kent State QB Julian Edelman on the next series of plays, the Zips went up 24-17 on a 1-yard TD run from Alex Allen. The teams traded field goals with the matter being settled when Davanzo Tate picked off an Edelman pass with 11 seconds left to seal the victory. Akron DB John Mackey left the contest with a knee injury and his status is unknown pending medical testing results.

**Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis has now rushed for over 100 yards in every game so far this season and recorded a season-high 159 yards rushing.
**Akron leads the overall series 28-20-2 but Kent State still holds the edge in Wagon Wheel matches, 19-16-1.
**The Zips were a perfect 4-4 in the Red Zone but were outgained by Kent State 375-245.

** "John Mackey is the heart of the team. Losing him was something big we had to overcome and we did." Akron DB Davanzo Tate
"That was a rivalry football game. That was what it was supposed to be all about. You had two teams that played extremely hard." Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart
** "I thought we absolutely were our own worst enemy again. The only thing that beat us was turnovers. We drove up and down the field all day on Akron's defense." Kent State head coach Doug Martin

(24)Nebraska 41, Ball State 40.BallState_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: Ball State gave Nebraska everything they could handle, and then some, as the Cardinals came heartbreakingly close to upsetting the heavily favored Cornhuskers, falling 41-40 in Lincoln. The Cardinals rolled up 610 yards in offense, led by quarterback Nate Davis' 422 yards passing and Dante Love's 214 yards receiving. The teams traded punches throughout the contest and Ball State held a 37-28 lead in the fourth quarter before Nebraska closed to within 37-35 when Bo Ruud returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals added a Jake Hogue 22-yard FG to give Ball State a 40-35 lead with 7:05 remaining. The Cornhuskers however responded again and took the lead for good with just over three minutes remaining on an 11-yard TD pass from Sam Keller to Maurice Purify. Ball State attempted a 55-yard field goal with twelve seconds remaining that would have won the game, but the attempt sailed wide left.

**Ball State QB Nate Davis' 422 yards passing were the second-most in school history.
**Cardinals' WR Dante Love's 214 yards receiving was the sixth-highest all-time in Cardinals' history
**The two teams combined for 1,162 yards of total offense.
**Ball State is now 0-35 all-time against teams from the six "BCS" conferences.

** "We had some great opportunities and did not capitalize. We are very disappointed in the outcome but proud of the heart and character of this team."  Ball State head coach Brady Hoke.
** "I knew if we came out and fought, if we came out and gave it our all, we would have a chance. No matter where Nebraska ranks in the country, we would have a chance. We have great athletes. We have kids on this team that are focused and determined, including myself. We came out and we fought. We have great players as well." Ball State DE Brandon Crawford.
** "
We work too hard twelve months a year for moral victories. We go to win." Hoke.

Wyoming 34, Ohio 33.OhioBobcats_color_small.jpg
Quick Take: The Bobcats lost to visiting Wyoming, 34-33, despite holding a 23-6 lead in the third quarter and a 30-20 edge with ten minutes remaining in the contest. Wyoming quarterback Karsten Sween tossed five interceptions, including one that was returned 30 yards for a touchdown by Ohio's Jameson Hartke which gave the Bobcats their 30-20 lead but the Cowboys mounted a comeback and took the lead for good with just over two minutes remaining when Sween connected with Michael Ford in the end-zone on a five-yard pass. The Bobcats got on the board in the first quarter on Chris Garrett's 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead and never trailed again until the contest's final two minutes.

** Ohio forced a total of seven Wyoming turnovers.
** Chris Garrett's 94-yard kickoff TD return was the second longest in Bobcats history, tied with Jerry France who returned a kick 94 yards in 1968 against Bowling Green.
** Ohio QB Brad Bower connected with TE Andrew Mooney for a 68-yard touchdown, the longest completion of Bower's career.

** "We weren't able to lock it down on either side of the ball. There can be no pinpointing in this game, because there were opportunities that we left open both offensively and defensively." Ohio head coach Frank Solich.
** "Just an emotional rollercoaster. I don't think I've ever been in a game that was like this, in my life.  The heart of a very determined football team came through in the end.  It was uphill, in the wind all day long, and they were not to be denied." Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn.
** "We're a little beat up, and this was a very difficult football game. We are coming off a week where we are a little beat up, but really there is no way to use that to explain how the game went today." Solich.

North Dakota State 44, Central Michigan 14.CMUletterC_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: Things seem to be imploding for the Chippewas as the defending MAC champs were thoroughly dominated by North Dakota State at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, dropping a 44-14 decision to the fourth-ranked (FCS) Bison. The Chips were held to 91 yards rushing and committed three turnovers while visiting North Dakota State rolled to 436 yards in offense and never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 13-0 lead and then scoring 17 unanswered points at one stage, opening up a 30-7 lead before the midway point of the third quarter. The Chips however remain in first place in the MAC West by virtue of winning their only conference game, defeating Toledo two weeks ago.

** Central Michigan has allowed over 2,000 yards of total offense through their first four games.
** Opponents are averaging 43 points per game against Central Michigan and have scored on 22-24 red zone opportunities.
** CMU QB Dan LeFevour has now thrown at least one touchdown in eleven straight games.

** "This was a great win for our team and another stepping stone for our program. To come in here and win the way we did in convincing fashion, I think makes a great statement about North Dakota State football." North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl.
** "This isn't the end of the year. We have a big game next week. We've got to learn from this, correct our mistakes and come out for Homecoming (against Northern Illinois) next week." Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones.
** "If we don't beat ourselves, we are a good football team. Today we beat ourselves." Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones.

Colorado 42, Miami 0. MiamiRedhawks_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take:
One week after suffering their worst home loss ever at Yager Stadium, the RedHawks followed that up by getting shutout for the first time since losing to Ball State in 1993. The RedHawks were never a factor in their 42-0 whitewash at Colorado. Senior QB Daniel Raudabaugh, getting his first start of the season, completed only 11-32 passes for 95 yards. Colorado, which had rushed for a total of 134 yards in its first three games, rolled up 359 yards on the ground against Miami and outgained the RedHawks 634-139 yards. Colorado led 28-0 by halftime. Miami, down to its third-string running back, Austin Sykes, was held to 44 yards net rushing and managed only six first downs.
** Prior to Saturday's game, Miami was last shutout on November 6, 1993 by Ball State, 21-0.
** The last time the RedHawks surrendered 600 yards of offense was September 13, 1986 vs. Cincinnati (647 yards).
** Colorado dominated time of possession, holding the ball for over 40 minutes.

** "I've been here seven years and this is the most we have struggled on offense." Miami head coach Shane Montgomery.
** "Our defense was on the field three-quarters of the game and we (the offense) didn't do anything to help them." Miami QB Daniel Raudabaugh.
** "
We felt like we had a good red-zone plan. We just didn't get to use it."  Montgomery.

NIU_3CHD_small.jpgNorthern Illinois 42, Idaho 35.
Quick Take:
Northern Illinois finally got its first win of the season, defeating Idaho on the road, 42-35. The Huskies built up a 35-14 halftime lead, including scoring twice on defense and once on special teams. NIU spotted the Vandals a 7-0 lead before tying the game on Matt Simon's 59-yard touchdown reception from Dan Nicholson. Chase Carter then returned an interception 95 yards for the Huskies before Nicholson connected for another touchdown, this time to Britt Davis then special teams took over as the Huskies extended their second-quarter lead to 28-7 when Jeff Fontana recovered a blocked punt. The Huskies finished their first-half scoring binge when Larry English, who had five sacks, recovered a fumble in the end zone. The Vandals responded though when Keo Shiloh returned a punt 100 yards for a touchdown with under a minute remaining. The Vandals mounted a furious comeback and recovered an on-side kick with 47 seconds remaining and down 42-35 but were thwarted after driving to the Huskies' 18-yard line when Larry English secured victory with his fifth sack of the game.

** The win snapped a four-game losing streak for NIU dating back to last year's Poinsettia Bowl.
** NIU DE Larry English set a school single-game record with five sacks.
** Chase Carter's 95-yard interception TD return was the longest for NIU since Ray Carter returned an interception 68 yards against Central Florida in 2004.

** "This was a good team win. It's a relief to get a win. We've got eight more games to go. We've still got a long season left."  NIU DE Larry English
** "It's good to finally get a win. We've had a bad taste in our mouths since last season." NIU WR Matt Simon.
** "As a defense we got winded because the air was different. We had oxygen tanks on the sidelines, but we endured for the victory." English.

Baylor 34, Buffalo 21.buffalo_small.jpg
Quick Take:
Coming off strong performances against Temple and Penn State, many expected Buffalo to continue their strong play and parlay that into a win over the visiting Baylor Bears. The Bears however had other ideas as they defeated the homestanding Bulls 34-21. Bulls QB Drew Willy, who entered the game among the MAC's leaders in passing efficiency, threw three interceptions and the Bulls were limited to 87 yards rushing, despite three rushing touchdowns from Bulls' tailback James Starks. The Bears however had no trouble moving the ball on the ground, amassing 229 yards rushing after compiling only 375 yards rushing through their first three games. Baylor broke open a tight game, scoring 17 unanswered third quarter points to open up a 27-7 lead before the Bulls added two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns from James Starks.

The win snapped a three-game road losing streak for Baylor.
** Baylor has outscored its opponents 38-7 in the first quarter this season.
** The announced attendance of 22,676 was the third-largest crowd ever at UB Stadium.

"This is definitely disappointing because we wanted to win our first home game and give us momentum going into Ball State next week." Buffalo DE Trevor Scott, who had two sacks against Baylor.
** "Baylor played hard and the bottom line is they executed better than we did.'' Buffalo head coach Turner Gill.
** "We thought they were going to pass the ball and we had a cushion there waiting for the pass and they ran it." Buffalo LB Kareem Byrom.

WMUBroncos_color_small.jpgWestern Michigan 51, Central Connecticut State 14.
Quick Take: After three weeks of playing against BCS level competition, and starting the season 0-3, the Broncos took out their frustrations on Central Connecticut State, defeating the Blue Devils 51-14 at Waldo Stadium. Western Michigan blitzed CCSU, which plays in the FCS, going up 17-0 in the first quarter, highlighted by Boston McCornell returning an interception 32 yards for a touchdown. The Broncos eventually built up a 31-7 halftime lead with QB Tim Hiller passing for two touchdowns before being relieved in the second half by both Thomas Peregrin and Drew Burdi. Burdi capped the Broncos' scoring with a 17-yard TD pass to Jamelle Murray, giving the Broncos a 51-7 lead.

** The Broncos were a perfect 7-7 in the Red Zone.
** CCSU recorded only 27 net yards passing.
** Western Michigan was only 6-12 on third down conversions, but 2-2 on fourth down conversion attempts.

** "We know we are capable of beating teams. We just needed a win under our belt to get that burden off our back and get ready for league play'.' Western Michigan WR Schneider Julien.
** "If we can do what we did tonight, controlling the ball and limiting turnovers, we'll be hard to beat because we can run the ball."  Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit.
** "This game, we really showed more passion." Western Michigan RB Mark Bonds.

ToledoRockets_Color_small.jpgToledo 36, Iowa State 35.
Quick Take:
Toledo extricated itself from the ranks of the winless with a gutty, come from behind victory, defeating Iowa State at the Glass Bowl, 36-35. The teams traded touchdowns in the first half and went into the locker room tied 14-14. The Cyclones opened up a 35-24 lead five minutes into the fourth quarter and then Toledo's special teams took over as Jalen Parmele returned the ensuing kickoff 82-yards for a touchdown as Toledo closed the gap to 35-30 after missing the extra point. Iowa State was forced to punt on its next possession but Cyclones punter Mike Brandtner could not handle the low snap and Toledo's Greg Hay pounced on the loose ball in the end zone to give the Rockets a 36-35 lead with just over three minutes remaining. Toledo's two-point conversion failed and Iowa State had one more chance. Their final drive stalled at the Rockets' 21-yard line and their 38-yard FG attempt sailed wide left with 14 seconds remaining, preserving the Rockets' first win of the season.

** Toledo SS Barry Church recorded a career-high 19 tackles which was the most tackles in a single-game for Toledo since Tom Ward recorded 22 tackles against Ball State in 2002.
** The Rockets are now 39-5 in their last 44 games at the Glass Bowl, dating back to 1999.
** Jalen Parmele's 82-yard kickoff return for a TD was the first for Toledo since Richard Davis had a 94-yard TD return against Western Illinois in 2005.

** "Barry Church kept making play after play for us. The whole defense stepped up and showed how much heart they really had in them." Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz.
** "I've never experienced a loss like this. That's why I feel so bad for our guys - because they all fought really hard." Iowa State head coach Gene Chzik.
** "I had to become a leader on the field. I was disappointed with my first three games. I just had to step it up." Toledo SS Barry Church.

Players of the Week
MAC Report Online announces its choices for offensive and defensive players of the week for week four of the MAC season.

bsu_davis_small.jpgOffensive Player of the Week
Nate Davis, QB, Ball State, 26-43, 422 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Comment: Davis powered a Ball State offensive attack that rolled up a near school record 610 yards of offense as the Cardinals came within an eyelash of upsetting the 24th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers, dropping a hard-fought 41-40 decision in Lincoln.


Defensive Player of the Week
Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois,  12 tackles (7 solo), five tackles for loss, five QB sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery.
Comment: English established a new school record for sacks in a single game, recording five quarterback sacks to go along with twelve tackles, keying a defensive effort that led to the Huskies first win of the season, a 42-35 triumph over Idaho.

Prognosticating Prowess
Below is a recap of our picks for week four and the actual results. It was a rough week in the MAC and an ugly week for our picks. For the week our picks went 5-6 for a season mark of 31-12.



Bowling Green 38, Temple 17.

Bowling Green 48, Temple 35.

Kent State 31, Akron 26.

Akron 27, Kent State 20.

Nebraska 41, Ball State 28.

Nebraska 41, Ball State 40.

Ohio 23, Wyoming 16.

Wyoming 34, Ohio 33.

Eastern Michigan 37, Howard 10.

Eastern Michigan 38, Howard 15.

Central Michigan 42, North Dakota State 34.

North Dakota State 44, Central Michigan 14.

Colorado 35, Miami 13.

Colorado 42, Miami 0.

Idaho 24, Northern Illinois 17.

Northern Illinois 42, Idaho 35.

Buffalo 27, Baylor 24.

Baylor 34, Buffalo 21.

Iowa State 27, Toledo 23.

Toledo 36, Iowa State 35.

Western Michigan 45, C. Connecticut St 17.

Western Michigan 51, C. Connecticut St 14.

Last Updated ( Sunday, October 07 2007 )
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