MAC Football Week 8 Recap: Bad Breaks & Bad Losses Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Sunday, October 21 2007
Tag it:
Furl it!
Photo: Jim Klapthor
It was a rough week in the MAC and we're not just referring to the fact that the MAC went winless this week against non-conference opposition. It was a rough week for starting quarterbacks as well with two starting signal-callers suffering season-ending injuries.

Temple quarterback Adam DiMichele went down in the second quarter of the Owls' 24-17 upset victory over Miami, suffering a comminuted fracture of the left tibia while being sacked. DiMichele was carted off the turf at Lincoln Financial Field on a stretcher and underwent successful surgery Sunday but is nonetheless out for the season.

Likewise Kent State lost its starting quarterback when Julian Edelman suffered a fractured arm late in Kent State's 31-20 loss to Bowling Green.

The run of bad luck continued for MAC signal callers as Northern Illinois' Dan Nicholson suffered a concussion in the Huskies' 44-3 loss to Wisconsin and his status is uncertain while another Huskie, running back Ricky Crider, was lost for the season when he broke his leg on the opening kickoff.

Hardly lost though in the casualty count was the fact that the MAC divisional leaders are not exactly setting the world afire outside of conference play.

Current MAC West leader Central Michigan, which controls its own fate and can claim a second-consecutive MAC West title with wins over Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan, continues to be an enigma.

The Chips were soundly thrashed at Clemson, 70-14 Saturday and have lost their three non-conference games to teams from BCS conferences by an average margin on 53-14 while winning their three MAC games by an average count of 48-28. Fortunately for the Chips, and maybe the MAC, CMU is finished with its non-conference schedule. But it hardly looks stellar for the potential, and defending, MAC champion to have been so badly outplayed outside of the MAC on a consistent basis with their only non-conference win coming against a poor Army squad.

The MAC East leading Buffalo Bulls are in a similar state. Sporting a less than stellar 3-5 overall mark, the Bulls have lost to two fairly low-level BCS teams; Baylor at home and this past Saturday to Syracuse as well as losing to Rutgers and Penn State earlier this season. The Bulls have several games remaining within the division and things are far from settled, but, like Central Michigan, the Bulls control their own destiny and would claim the MAC East by winning their remaining divisional games.

However Bowling Green, Miami, Akron and the surprising Temple Owls are still in the chase in the MAC East as things are far from settled. (For a breakdown of this week's results, see "Around the Conference" further down).

But consider this: Right now the two MAC divisional leaders are a combined 0-7 against BCS opposition and a combined 1-8 outside of the MAC. With four weeks remaining, somebody has to step up, right?

The MAC will fill its bowl slot for its champion, but anything beyond that remains a question mark.

Quick Stat Check
Here is a quick look at league leaders in three offensive categories:

Passing Yards
1. Nate Davis
Ball State
2. Dan LeFevour
Central Michigan
3. Tim Hiller
Western Michigan
4. Tyler Sheehan
Bowling Green
5. Drew Willy
Rushing Yards
1. Eugene Jarvis
Kent State
2. Jalen Parmele
3. Justin Anderson
Northern Illinois
4. Kalvin McRae
5. James Starks
Receiving Yards
1. Jamarko Simmons
Western Michigan
2. Dante Love
Ball State
3. Jabari Arthur
4. Stephen Williams
5. Matt Simon
Northern Illinois

Here is our recap of the past week's action, with notes and quotes from each game. Also be sure to keep reading for our choices for MAC offensive and defensive players of the week.   

Around The Conference
Northwestern 26, Eastern Michigan 14.E-Eagle-color_small.JPG
Quick Take:  The Eagles' defense limited the high-powered Northwestern offense to only 13 points and one touchdown through three quarters of play but Eastern Michigan could not overcome its own offensive mistakes, including three turnovers inside the Wildcats' ten-yard line, and fell to Northwestern 26-14 in a game played at Detroit's Ford Field. Kyle McMahon, a true freshman, earned his first collegiate start at quarterback for EMU in place of injured QB Andy Schmitt. McMahon scored both of EMU's touchdowns via rushes of five and 18 yards, including a fourth quarter touchdown run that closed the gap to 19-14. Northwestern QB CJ Bacher however found Kim Thompson for a 71-yard scoring strike late in the game, sealing the victory for the visiting Wildcats.  

Sophomore KR Dontayo Gage returned three kicks for 105 yards and established a new EMU single-season record for kick-return yards (784).
**EMU DB Jacob Wyatt's first quarter interception of Northwestern QB CJ Bacher snapped Bacher's streak of passes without throwing an interception at 111.
**Eagles' QB Kyle McMahon accounted for 326 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in his first career start.

"That's the defense we have seen glimpses of all season. People forget that, even with the number of points we've allowed, our defense has made plays at the end of these last two games to win them. Today, they made them all night." Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
** "All the hard work, all the effort and all of the foundation building that we're doing is fine, but we still have to find a way to make a big play." Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk.
** "
I thought our turnovers in the red-zone were freshman-based. If we had a little more experience, we probably don't fall into some of the traps that were set by the Northwestern defense. They (Northwestern) did a really good job of changing up their defense when we drove deep into their zone." Genyk

Wisconsin 44, Northern Illinois 3.NIU_3CHD_small.jpg
Quick Take: The Huskies' day started badly and went downhill as the Badgers made quick work of the Huskies, 44-3. NIU freshman RB Ricky Crider broke his leg on the opening kickoff, starting QB Dan Nicholson returned from injury only to suffer a concussion before halftime, knocking him from the game and then on the final play of the blowout loss, defensive end Ed Jackson suffered a potential season-ending injury. The game itself? The Badgers' PJ Hill rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns and the Badgers stormed out to a 31-0 lead by halftime in a game that was never seriously contested.

**After averaging over 157 yards in his previous five starts, Huskies RB Justin Anderson was limited to 14 yards on 13 carries.
Illinois totaled -13 yards net rushing.
**Wisconsin RB PJ Hill's first quarter 72-yard TD run was a career long and the longest run from scrimmage for a Badger RB since Michael Bennett's 83-yard run against Oregon on September 9, 2000.

** "
We wanted to go out there and take it to them. We wanted to make a statement on defense. We've been taking a lot of heat this whole year." Wisconsin DB Allen Langford.
"We didn't block and we didn't tackle. With those big backs you have to tackle at the ankles and a couple of times we did a nice job. Other times we bounced right off of his thigh bone. So we did not tackle well enough and we didn't block well enough. It's awful hard to beat a good football team when you're not doing those basic things." Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak.
** "They're a better team skill-wise than any team we've played, but we still thought we could run the ball some. I knew it wasn't going to be a picnic though." Novak.

24, Miami 17.MiamiRedhawks_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: MAC East division co-leader Miami had its three-game winning streak snapped as the Temple Owls extended their winning streak to three games, downing the RedHawks in Philadelphia, 24-17. The Owls opened the scoring on a Justin Harper 1 yard run and regained the lead before halftime when QB Adam DiMichele scored on a one yard run on the heels of engineering a 55 yard seven play drive after Miami QB Daniel Rauadabugh had tied the game with a 19-yard scoring pass to Jake O'Connell. DiMichele's day however would come to a painful conclusion just two minutes later when he suffered a fractured left leg after being sacked. But the Owls' defense, and sophomore QB Vaughn Charlton, proved more than up to the task as the Owls controlled the second half of play, opening up a 24-7 advantage before Miami staged a late comeback effort that fell short.  

**Temple has won three straight games for the first time since 1990.
**The Owls' 24-7 fourth quarter lead was their largest lead of the season.
**Miami was 3-19 on third down conversions.

** "This is a tremendous win for our program. Obviously, I know we're climbing. We're kind of in control of our own destiny." Temple head coach Al Golden.
** "We knew it was going to be a tough game going in. They were just like us, two teams coming off some big wins. Both teams had a lot of momentum going into the game, and so we knew we were going to get their best shot."
Miami head coach Shane Montgomery.
** "This is big. Real big." Temple LB Amara Kamara.
** "We're real confident about the next game. Our motto is to win seven in a row."
Temple RB Daryl Robinson.

Clemson 70,
Central Michigan 14.CMUletterC_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: Central Michigan is no doubt grateful that they have no further BCS opponents remaining on their schedule after another drubbing at the hands of a member of a BCS conference, getting hammered by Clemson, 70-14. In three contests against teams from automatic qualifying BCS conferences, the Chippewas have been outscored by an average margin of 39 points (53-14). Saturday was no different. The Chips did open the scoring on the game's opening offensive series when QB Dan LeFevour connected with WR Duane Brooks for a nine-yard TD pass following a 13-play, 68-yard drive. The Chips though unraveled and Clemson scored 42 unanswered points before LeFevour found Brooks again for a four-yard TD to make it a 42-14 contest in the third quarter. The Tigers added their final touchdown on a fumble recovery in the CMU end-zone early in the fourth quarter.

**Clemson's 70 points were the most scored against Central Michigan since the Chippewas were defeated 82-6 by Florida in 1997.
**The Tigers were 7-7 in the red zone, scoring a touchdown on all seven trips inside the CMU 20-yard line.
**Clemson finished with 656 total yards and it marked the first time in their history that they had over 300 yards passing (315) and over 300 yards rushing (341) in the same contest.

** I thought they (
Central Michigan) did a great job and really came out to try and make a pretty good statement. They came out and drove right down the field and scored on the first drive. We did a nice job responding, though." Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden.
** "Anytime you leave your defense on the field for an extended period of time you see what happens. You see the results.
" Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones.
** "We've got four games left and every single game is important. They know what's at stake. They've been in the stretch run before. You know, this one will hurt but then you let it go and come back on Monday and get ready for
Kent State. All of our goals that we set forth at the beginning of the season are still intact. That's what we've got to keep our eyes on." Jones.

State 27, Western Michigan 23.WMUBroncos_color_small.jpg
Quick Take: Western Michigan has seemingly mastered the art of the late game collapse. Just two weeks after suffering a crushing home loss on the last play of the game against Akron, the Broncos fell on homecoming when the Cardinals scored with just over one minute left in the contest, defeating Western Michigan 27-23. The teams battled back and forth throughout the contest and the matter appeared to be in hand for the Broncos after they took a 23-20 lead after QB Tim Hiller connected with Jordan White on a 50-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter just 23 seconds after the Cardinals had assumed a 20-16 advantage when BSU QB Nate Davis caught a 44-yard TD pass from WR Louis Johnson on a gadget play. The teams traded possessions until the Cardinals got the ball back with under four minutes remaining and RB Frank Edmonds scored from one-yard out with 1:07 remaining. The Broncos comeback effort ended when Alex Knipp intercepted a Tim Hiller pass at the Ball State 38-yard line.

** The two teams were nearly even in total yardage. Western Michigan: 433 yards; Ball State: 430 yards.
** Western Michigan RB Brandon West rushed for a career-high 171 yards.
** For the first time in the past 34 games, the Broncos failed to force a turnover.

** The big thing was we told everybody to do their own job and everything will work out. We had a bad first half. We didn't play as well as we could, but we pulled it out." Ball State QB Nate Davis.
"We finally got something going on offense at the end. There were a lot of smiling faces in that locker room. This means a lot." Ball State head coach Brady Hoke.
** "Our defense played pretty well, but at the end of the game they (
Ball State) had a couple big plays. I thought a lot of guys had a lot of good effort, unfortunately it didn't work." Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit.

BG_small.jpgBowling Green 31, Kent State 20.KSU_NoText_Color_small.jpg
Quick Take: The pass-happy Falcons pulled a fast one and went to the ground game in downing Kent State 31-20 behind 203 yards rushing from freshman Willie Geter. Bowling Green also used a strong defensive effort, stopping Kent State twice on fourth down inside the Falcons' five yard line. The teams entered halftime with BG holding a 14-13 edge until the Falcons put up 14 unanswered second-half points on two scoring passes from QB Tyler Sheehan. Sheehan connected with Anthony Turner on a 31 yard TD pass in the third quarter and then found Corey Partridge for a 24-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to open up a 28-13 advantage. The Golden Flashes closed to within 28-20 when QB Julian Edelman tossed a TD to Rashad Tukes but Edelman's season ended later in the quarter when he suffered a fractured arm that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.

** Bowling Green freshman RB Willie Geter's 203 yards rushing were the most for BG since PJ Pope rushed for 205 yards against Western Michigan in 2005.
** Both Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis (168) and QB Julian Edelman (104) rushed for over 100 yards.
** The victory gives the Falcons possession of the Anniversary Award. BG has won 18 of 22 games against Kent State since the inception of the award.

** "Willie Geter is going to be a great player before he is through. He is a tough little runner. He brings his `A' game every day to practice and has a great work ethic. Sometimes I look at him and forget he is a freshman. He is an outstanding young player and a great kid too." Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon.
** "We just commit dumb penalties. We did a great job with turnovers. We can move the ball on any defense. We showed that in our last couple games, all season, actually. It's just the little things that we've got to get back and correct and take it from there." Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis.
** It seemed like when we would get in the red-zone we would have that bend but don't break mentality. It seemed once we stopped them once it fired us up to do it again." Bowling Green LB John Haneline.

Syracuse 20, Buffalo 12.819.gif
Quick Take:
Despite Buffalo QB Drew Willy throwing for 286 yards, the Bulls were not able to cross the goal line, having to settle for four field goals in a 20-12 loss to Syracuse. The Bulls opened the scoring on the first of AJ Principe's four field goals, a 31-yard effort, but Syracuse scored 17 unanswered points over the next two quarters, including an 11-yard TD pass with fifteen seconds remaining in the first half. The Bulls added three more field goals in the second half but could not push the ball across the goal line. Ten penalties for 83 yards did not help the Bulls cause.   
** Buffalo QB Drew Willy set a school record with 32 completions.
** Buffalo WR Naaman Roosevelt had ten receptions, the most in a game for a Buffalo WR since Andre Forde had ten receptions in a game against
Kent State in 2000.
** Bulls freshman safety Davonte Shannon recorded nine tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and one interception.

** "I'm very disappointed in this game. We came down here with an opportunity, a big opportunity, to win a game." Buffalo LB Kareem Byrom.
"It's a four-game season for us. We have to put this game behind us, learn from it, but learn from the mistakes and go from there." Buffalo head coach Turner Gill.
*** "
So many of our problems were self-inflicted." Buffalo QB Drew Willy.

ToledoRockets_Color_small.jpgToledo 43, Ohio 40.OhioBobcats_color_small.jpg
Quick Take:
The forty year drought continues. The last time the Bobcats were victorious in Toledo, the Vietnam War was still raging and the Beatles were regularly topping the charts. It's been that long. The Rockets recorded their eleventh straight victory over Ohio, and their first MAC win of the season, defeating Ohio in a wild and wooly 43-40 contest. The Rockets appeared to be on the verge of putting the game safely away late in the contest. Up by a count of 40-32 and driving for a game-clinching touchdown, RB Jalen Parmele fumbled the ball and the Bobcats recovered at their own seven-yard line and marched 93 yards in 1:07 when QB Theo Scott, who had earlier replaced starter Brad Bower after Bower threw four interceptions, tossed a 36 yard TD to Andrew Mooney. Ohio then converted on a two-point effort to tie the game at 40-40. Toledo was stymied on their next possession and punted the ball away but Ohio's Chris Garrett muffed the punt return and the Rockets recovered with 26 seconds remaining, setting up a game-wining 40-yard field goal by Alex Steigerwald as time expired.

** Toledo RB Jalen Parmele set career highs in carries (38) and yards (241) and recorded his fourth straight game over 100 yards.
** Ohio RB Kalvin McRae rushed for a season-high 182 yards and tied his personal career-best with three rushing touchdowns.
** The two teams combined for 1,033 yards in offense (Ohio: 560; Toledo: 473).

"I'm really proud of our football team. We've had some adversity this year but with the senior leadership on this team we've been battling and we haven't stopped believing in ourselves. I look at this as a really big win for our team." Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz.
 ** "I was excited to get out there and play. Being out for two weeks and not getting any action and then getting the green light to go was a good feeling."
Toledo QB Aaron Opelt.
** "It is ridiculous. There's no way, no matter how hard you play, you're going to be able to be on the winning side of it at the end of the game with that many turnovers."
Ohio head coach Frank Solich on the Bobcats' seven turnovers.

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

Offensive Player of the Week
bg_geter_small.jpgWillie Geter, RB, Bowling Green, 203 yards rushing on 22 carries and one touchdown.
Comment Geter, a true freshman, carried the ball a career high 22 times,  averaging 9.2 yards per carry on his way to recording a career-best 203 yards rushing and becoming  the first running back for Bowling Green to top 200 yards rushing since 2004.



Defensive Player of the Week
Junior Galette, DE, Temple, Nine tackles (four solo); three tackles for loss; three QB sacks; one forced fumble.
Comment: Galette paced a Temple defense that led the way to the Owls' first three game winning streak since 1990, defeating MAC East co-division leader Miami. Galette recorded a career best three sacks and forced a fumble to go along with nine tackles.

Prognosticating Prowess
When looking over our prognostications over the past four weeks, with only one winning week among the four, we can't get the R.L. Burnside tune "It's Bad You Know" out of our heads.

It's been a very unpredictable year in the MAC and our picks have certainly suffered.

We are thinking of offering up a sacrifice to the football gods who obviously must be angry with us considering that we have had three of our picks go down the drain in the last two weeks on last second plays and another on a last minute touchdown.

The perfect sacrifice? We are thinking of offering up our replica Detroit Wheels football helmet. After all, talk about bad karma...this was a team that folded before completing its first season in the ill-fated World Football League after going 1-13 and had their uniforms repossessed for non-payment. Oh, and they played their home games at
Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Stadium. Or maybe that would just anger the gods more.

It's bad you know.

For the past week our picks went a shameful 3-5 for a season mark of 47-28. The breakdown:



Northwestern 38, Eastern Michigan 28.

Northwestern 26, Eastern Michigan 14.

Wisconsin 31, Northern Illinois 10.

Wisconsin 44, Northern Illinois 3.

Miami 24, Temple 13.

Temple 24, Miami 17.

Clemson 37, Central Michigan 23.

Clemson 70, Central Michigan 14.

Western Michigan 23, Ball State 21.

Ball State 27, Western Michigan 23.

Kent State 34, Bowling Green 26.

Bowling Green 31, Kent State 20.

Buffalo 27, Syracuse 23.

Syracuse 20, Buffalo 12.

Ohio 42, Toledo 35.

Toledo 43, Ohio 40.

Last Updated ( Monday, October 22 2007 )
< Prev   Next >


Will Ball State Qualify for a BCS Bowl?

Football - Latest News


Week Thirteen Preview

20.11.2008 | Football

Week thirteen of the MAC football season is already well underway with a pair of early week games that included a nationally televised match between MAC West heavyweights Ball State and Central Michigan.…     Read more

Basketball - Latest News


MAC Hoops Roundup

14.11.2008 | Basketball

Its already been a busy couple of days in MAC hoops action. The RedHawks battled 4th-ranked UCLA down to the wire Thursday night while six more MAC squads open play tonight. There was also…     Read more