It's our weekly early look-in around the MAC with some of the latest news around campus from our reporting partners across the Mid-American Conference.
Upon Further Review...
The Zips got a crucial reversal of an official's call on their way to defeating rival Kent State 30-27 in two overtimes Saturday at Kent's Dix Stadium.
The Zips were trailing 21-17 with 1:28 left when quarterback Chris Jacquemain threw a pass to the left corner of the end zone to receiver Deryn Bowser, who was tightly covered. The defender was between Bowser and the ball, but Bowser reached around him for the catch, and then dropped the ball as he was falling over the end line.
The officials called it incomplete; replays in the press box clearly indicated it was a catch. After review, the call was reversed, much to the chagrin of the home fans and the Golden Flashes. Kent got a late field goal to force overtime, but Akron made two field goals in the extra sessions and Kent missed one on the final play.
- Akron Beacon Journal
The Cardinals became the first Mid-American Conference team since Bowling Green in 2004 to be nationally ranked when they debuted at No. 25 in The Associated Press poll.
While Ball State's fans celebrated the school's first ranking in its history, players and coaches tried to downplay the accomplishment.
"I could lie and say it doesn't mean anything - it's a great honor to be in the Top 25 because we've put in a lot of work - but to be honest it doesn't mean anything," Gerberry said. "It's just a number.
"Last week, we were 29th and nobody cared. So we moved up four spots, but in reality we have bigger goals than to be ranked in the Top 25."
Coach Brady Hoke was most concerned about the potential distraction that could come with a national ranking.
He was an assistant coach at Michigan in 1998 when the Wolverines were the preseason No. 1 team. They went out and lost their first two games that season.
"I thought we were complacent," Hoke said. "The coaches were complacent and (the team) was complacent. If you get complacent in anything in life - I don't care what your job is - you're going to fall behind, and somebody is going to catch up."
- Muncie (Ind.) Star Press
With seven conference games remaining, it's not time to panic, even though Bowling Green's 24-21 loss to Eastern Michigan last Saturday was a stunning defeat.
"If we lose that game because we're not playing hard or giving great effort or not in it in the fourth quarter, yeah I'm panicking," said Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon. "But we had the game won with a minute 20 (seconds) left. We've got the lead and a vastly improved defense going out on the field and they've (EMU) got one time out and we've had three three-and-outs in a row."
Still the Falcons did lose as the Eagles drove 77 yards in six plays using just 45 seconds to score the eventual game-winning touchdown. EMU quarterback Andy Schmitt was 5-of-5 on the drive for 72 yards, including a 16-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Tyler Jones.
"We kind of stood around on defense, uncharacteristically," Brandon said. "The first four games we were flying around. We stood around and allowed that quarterback to sit in there and get comfortable. We didn't cover. We didn't get pressure as much as we needed to and lost the game for us.
"The last drive. I'm thinking, shoot, we're going to get a three-and-out and or at least they're going to run out of time," he continued. "I told Coach (Mike) Ward (BG's defensive coordinator), listen we may have to go back on defense again. He said 'that's all right Coach we'll stop them because we've had three three-and-outs in a row prior to that.' Then boom we come out and we're like statues."
- Bowling Green (Ohio) Sentinel-Tribune
Reversal of Fortune
It was tough week for the Eagles following a 37-0 homecoming loss to Northern Illinois but Eagles' head coach Jeff Genyk proved somewhat prophetic when stating last week that he wasn't concerned about the future because "in college football fortunes change.:
Such was the case when the Eagles upset MAC East preseason favorite Bowling Green 24-21 this past Saturday, a game that quieted the critics and also saw the emergence of a dual-threat offensive playmaker in senior WR Tyler Jones, a converted quarterback.
Jones' performance Saturday earned him MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors from the league following a game in which he led the team in rushing with 60 yards, all coming off direct snaps from center, and added 61 yards receiving, including the game-winning 16-yard catch against the Falcons.
Genyk attributed Jones' success to the dual-sport (football and basketball) performer's tenacity and determination..
"When Tyler faces adversity he responds by working harder," noted Genyk. "Whether its getting beat out at quarterback, losing his mother, he just respondsfrom being a starter on the basketball team, playing 13 snaps at QB (against Bowling Green), and catching the game winner. What that does for our program is very significant. He works so hard that the other players can see that type of work ethic can get you to be a very good player."
The win snapped a nine-game losing streak to Bowling Green. Prior to Saturday's game the Eagles had not defeated the Falcons since they were still known as the Hurons, way back in 1989.
Speaking of Hurons, EMU's trip to Army Saturday could bring about the end to another futility streak that goes back to the days of the Hurons as well. A win at Army would be Eastern Michigan's first-ever regular-season non-conference road win over a 1A opponent since EMU started playing football in the MAC in 1976.
- MAC Report Online
Eugene Rides Again..Maybe
Here comes the cavalry.
After losing three straight games with Eugene Jarvis standing on the sidelines in street clothes, Kent State is hoping to have the nation's top returning rusher from 2007 back in the lineup Saturday when the Golden Flashes host Ohio University on homecoming at Dix Stadium.
"Eugene was running on his injured ankle the other day at practice, so that's a good sign," said KSU coach Doug Martin. "We may get him back."
While the Flashes will be thrilled to have Jarvis reclaim his job as their feature back, his return creates a rare good problem in Kent.
Sophomore Andre Flowers and true freshman Jacquise Terry both played extremely well in Jarvis' absence. Their development needs to continue, and that means Martin must figure out a way to give all three backs a chance to play and contribute.
One option could be the long-talked-about idea of lining up with two running backs in the same backfield at the same time. Martin has toyed with the possibility for several years, but never committed to it in an actual game.
"If we got Eugene back healthy ... we would definitely love to do that because we have at least three guys right now we'd love to have in the football game," said Martin.
- Kent (Ohio) Record Courier
The Owls still aren't sure if Chester Stewart will be able to play QB this week.
He was a game-time decision at Miami, and it might be that way again. If he can't go, though, they might not use Vaughn Charlton, who they're trying to redshirt.
Instead, they may go with Colin Clancy. They're hoping Adam DiMichele can be back for Ohio at home on Oct. 21.
The Owls still have not allowed a first-quarter point this year, and in four games have not allowed a first-half point.
Both of their wins were on the road, which is as many road wins as they had in Al Golden's first two seasons.
- Philadelphia Daily News