Week 9 Recap: Getting Bowl Eligible Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Sunday, October 26 2008
Tag it:
Furl it!
Chips Celebrate win over Toledo / Photo: Paul Nelson
With another week in the fast-moving season in the books, the Mid-American Conference now has three teams that are officially bowl-eligible with another squad only one win away from bowl eligibility.

Central Michigan's (6-2, 5-0 MAC) win over Toledo Saturday made the Chippewas bowl eligible for a fourth straight season as they stay on track in pursuit of a third straight MAC title.
The Chippewas are joined in the bowl eligibility parade by 18th-ranked Ball State (8-0, 4-0 MAC) and Western Michigan (6-2, 4-1 MAC), all of whom reside in the top-heavy MAC West division. Trailing right behind the bowl eligible trio in the MAC West is Northern Illinois (5-3, 4-1 MAC) which needs one more win in its remaining four games to reach bowl eligibility.
Meanwhile the MAC East continues to resemble a train wreck with no teams over .500 while only Akron (4-4, 2-2 MAC) currently has a non-losing record among the seven teams in the division. With four weeks remaining in the conference season it appears that whoever manages to claim the MAC East title will do so in precarious shape.
The MAC has three guaranteed bowl slots (Motor City Bowl, GMAC Bowl and International Bowl) and with three bowl eligible teams already qualified will have no problem filling its slots. It is quite likely however that the MAC West alone will have four bowl eligible teams by season's end.
The real question at the moment is whether the MAC East champ will be bowl eligible when the season ends after the MAC championship or will we see a repeat of last season when Miami finished the campaign at 6-7 after losing in the MAC championship game to eventual winner Central Michigan.
If such a scenario repeats itself, the MAC East champion would once again find itself sitting at home. The MAC's current bowl setup guarantees a bowl bid to both the MAC West and MAC East champion, providing both are bowl eligible.
Worst case scenario? The MAC East champ squeaks into a bowl game with a 7-6 record while a MAC West team potentially sits home with a better overall mark.
The MAC currently has its eyes on the EagleBank Bowl among others for possible additional bowl slots. The EagleBank Bowl is currently reserved for the #9 team from the ACC vs. Navy. Should either not be able to supply a bowl eligible team, the MAC is likely next in line to fill the slot.
Stay tuned because college football's silly season is just starting.
Movin' On Up
After defeating Eastern Michigan Saturday to improve to 8-0 on the season, the undefeated Ball State Cardinals made another upward move in the rankings.
The Cardinals moved up two spots to 18th in the AP Poll and improved from 22nd to 19th in the USA Today Coaches Poll
Ball State also made a big move up in the BCS Standings. After debuting in the 20th spot in the first official release of the BCS Standings last week, the Cardinals moved up to 16th in this week's BCS release.
The Cardinals' 8-0 start is their best since starting 9-0 in 1965. Ball State has won its games by an average 22 points per contest this season.
Players of the Week
KSU QB Julian Edelman
Photo:Mike Smith
KSU DB Brian Lainhart
Photo: David Maxwell

Offensive Player of the Week
Julian Edelman, QB, Kent State, 10-17, 107 yards passing; 16 carries, 158 yards rushing; 265 total yards, two touchdowns.
Kent State senior quarterback Julian Edelman helped pace a record-setting offensive performance by the Golden Flashes in their 54-21 victory over Miami Saturday. Edelman scored on a 58-yard run early in the third quarter en route to a career-high 158 yards rushing. The senior signal-called also passed for a 13-yard touchdown later in the third quarter, tallying 107 yards passing and 265 total yards for the game. The 54 points scored represented the highest offensive output for the Golden Flashes since 2004 and were the most points ever scored by KSU against Miami in their long-standing series.

Defensive Player of the Week
Brian Lainhart, DB, Kent State, 10 tackles (7 solo), .5 TFL, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Interception, 3 Pass Breakups
Sophomore defensive back Brian Lainhart set the tone early for the Kent State defense in the Flashes' victory over Miami Saturday. Lainhart caused the first of six Miami turnovers with a 13-yard first-quarter interception that set up a 51-yard Kent State scoring drive, culminating in the Golden Flashes' first touchdown of the game and a 10-7 second quarter lead, the first of 44 unanswered points that the Golden Flashes would register. Lainhart's day included a game-high ten tackles (seven solo) as well as being credited with three pass break-ups. He was also credited with forcing a third-quarter fumble by Miami WR Jamal Rogers which led directly to a 59-yard scoring drive, putting the Flashes up 37-7. Lainhart now has a MAC-leading five interceptions on the season.
This Week's Top Statistical Performers
Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Andy Schmitt
Eastern Mich
Julian Edelman
Kent State
Dan LeFevour
Central Mich
JR Taylor
Boo Jackson
Chandler Harnish
N. Illinois
Receiving Yards
Tyler Jones
Eastern Mich
Nick Bellore
Central Mich
Nick Moore
Sean Baker
Ball State
Madaris Grant
Ball State
Jahmal Brown
Bowling Green
Archie Donald
Alex Knipp
Ball State
On with our weekly breakdown of this past week's action and a look at how our predictions fared.
Around The Conference

 Temple 14, Ohio 10.
Quick Take: Ohio led for 58 minutes of the contest after building a 10-0 first quarter lead but a late 4th-quarter turnover proved to be the difference in Temple's 14-10 comeback victory. Ohio recorded the game's only first-half touchdown on Chris Garrett's 2-yard TD run midway through the first half. The Owls were held completely off the scoreboard until the final stanza when Kee-ayre Griffin scored on a 1 yard TD run to narrow the gap to 10-7. However the game turned when Ohio QB Boo Jackson fumbled the ball on the Bobcats' 18-yard line late in the game. The Owls recovered the fumble and five plays later QB Adam DiMichele found Steve Maneri for the deciding score, a five-yard TD pass with 1:58 remaining.
Two streaks remain intact for Temple: C Alex Derenthal has now started 43 consecutive games and WR Bruce Francis recorded a reception for the 34th straight contest.
** Temple has led at halftime in six of its eight games in 2008.
**Ohio TE Andrew Mooney suffered a season-ending injury in the loss. Mooney leads the Bobcats with three touchdown receptions this season.
"Every other game since I've been here that has been this close or come down to the end has not gone in our favor. I think today the defense played unbelievable and we made some plays late in the game on offense. It's only one win and we still have four more to go, but the guys are confident." Temple head coach Al Golden.
** "It's been a difficult year for us. We've had more things happen at the end of games to lose games then maybe any team that I can remember being associated with. And when you start to get an accumulation of those kinds of things you feel a little bit like you're snake bitten." Ohio head coach Frank Solich.
** "Coach called a play we usually go to a lot where we try to get Bruce (Francis) the ball, but he was bracketed. I did my scrambling around, and Maneri stopped in the back of the end zone and I threw it." Temple QB Adam DiMichele on the game-winning play.

 Central Michigan 24, Toledo 23.
Quick Take: Central Michigan reached bowl eligibility for the fourth straight season by rallying in the fourth-quarter to squeak out a narrow 24-23 win at Toledo on Saturday. A less than 100% healthy Dan LeFevour returned at QB for the Chippewas and tossed two touchdowns to Bryan Anderson but the game was not decided until CMU RB Ontario Sneed scored from one-yard out early in the 4th quarter to put the Chips ahead 24-23. CMU dominated the final quarter, possessing the ball for over 11 minutes, preventing Toledo from mounting a comeback.  The Rockets had grabbed a 23-17 lead in the third quarter on Nick Moore's 35-yard TD reception from Aaron Opelt before the Chips responded with the eventual game-winner.
**CMU WR Bryan Anderson's two TD catches gave him 19 on his career, tying him atop the all-time career receptions list at CMU. He has also now caught a pass in 35 consecutive games.
**Toledo is now 0-4 at home this season which is their longest home-losing streak since a four game stretch of games covering the 1977-1978 seasons.
**The Chippewas are now 6-0 in one-point games going back to the 1996 season.

**I think its a tribute to our great coaching staff pushing us in the off-season and during practices. They dont let up much. We have great mental focus. I think it starts in the off-season because you cant build a championship team in the fall. CMU QB Dan LeFevour on closing out the victory in the fourth quarter.
** "Our kids expect to win. Each game up the ladder becomes bigger and bigger." CMU head coach Butch Jones.
** "Its tough to lose a close game like that. I thought the offense and defense both played well. If you lose by one point you have to go out there and correct all the little things." Toledo QB Aaron Opelt.
 (20) Ball State 38, Eastern Michigan 16.
Quick Take: In workmanlike fashion, the 20th-ranked Ball State Cardinals remained undefeated with a 38-16 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals led 10-0 at halftime and eventually built a 24-0 lead before the Eagles got on the board in the third quarter but the Cardinals saved their two biggest plays for the second half in recording their final points in putting the game away. After the Eagles had closed the gap to 24-7, BSU RB MiQuale Lewis busted off a 52-yard TD run on the Cardinals' next possession who then put the game away when DB Trey Buice returned an interception 45-yards for a TD midway through the fourth quarter. QB Nate Davis passed for two touchdowns and caught another on a first quarter four-yard pass from WR Briggs Orsbon for the Cards' only first half touchdown.
**EMU QB Andy Schmitt passed for a career-high 309 yards.
**Ball State RB MiQuale Lewis has now scored a touchdown in six straight games and tops the MAC with 14 rushing scores on the season.
**Eastern Michigan has been outscored 65-0 in the first quarter over the last eight games.
** "Our defense has really kept us going. Everybody talks about our offense, but in reality, it's the defense that needs to get all the credit. They've kept us in the last three games. They need all the credit. As an offense, we're fortunate to have them." Ball State C Dan Gerberry.
**"If you let teams hang around in a close game, you put yourselves in a position to be beat. I thought we came out with a great mentality in the second half and we were able to put the game away. Ball State head coach Brady Hoke.
** I felt we played well. We were moving the ball well but we couldnt get it into scoring range. Our spirit was high throughout the first half." Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk.
 Kent State 54, Miami 21.
Quick Take: Miami grabbed a 7-3 halftime lead but were overwhelmed by Kent State when the Golden Flashes reeled off 44 unanswered points, building a 47-7 lead by the third quarter. The RedHawks committed six turnovers, including turning the ball over on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter. Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis recorded all four of Kent State's second-quarter touchdowns while QB Julian Edelman rushed for 158 yards and one TD and passed for another score. The win was only Kent State's second victory in the past fifteen games and snapped a four-game losing streak.
**The 54 points surrendered by Miami were the most since a 54-3 loss to Miami (Fla) in 1987 and came close to the all-time high of 58 points when Dartmouth downed Miami 58-7 in 1942.
**Kent State's 54 points represented the highest offensive output by the Golden Flashes since Kent State defeated Eastern Michigan 69-17 in 2004.
**Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis' four touchdowns were a career high as were the 158 yards rushing by QB Julian Edelman.
** What this game did was make me even more mad. I've been telling our guys all year that this is what we could be. But it took almost three aneurysms in practice to get to this point." Kent State head coach Doug Martin told the Record-Courier.
** We started off decent and then we turned the ball over. I told the guys after the game it doesn't matter who you're playing, if you turn the ball over six times you aren't going to win a game." Miami head coach Shane Montgomery.
** "Our practices looked like a civil war battle the past two weeks, but the players responded." Martin.
 Northern Illinois 16, Bowling Green 13.
Quick Take: In a fierce defensive battle, Northern Illinois remained in striking distance of the MAC West frontrunners with a with a 16-13 win over Bowling Green in dramatic fashion. The teams battled to a 13-13 tie until NIU PK Mike Salerno broke the tie with 12 seconds remaining by connecting on a 30-yard field goal. It was Salerno's third field goal of the contest, including a career-best 52 yard FG that opened the scoring. Neither team crossed the goal line until the third quarter when Huskies' RB Chad Spann scored from 1-yard out to put NIU up 10-6 before the Falcons responded on a Marques Parks 18-yard TD reception to regain the lead 13-10 before Salerno added his second and third field goals of the contest, including the game-winner, to seal the victory for the Huskies. The game's decisive drive came after NIU's Landon Cox blocked a punt with the Huskies taking possession at the BG 37-yard line with 4:51 remaining in the contest.
** Northern Illinois has allowed only one touchdown in each of its last four games.
** NIU QB Chandler Harnish rushed for a career high 113 yards.
** With the win, the MAC West now holds a 11-1 edge in games against teams from the MAC East.
** "They did what they've been doing all year. The defense saved us today and did a great job. We struggled as an offensive group but the defense picked us up. That is when you know you have a good team, when one side of the ball picks up the other." NIU QB Chandler Harnish.
** "To have a chance in the fourth quarter like we did and in a tough environment on the road, we had a chance to win a game. I've said that a couple of times this year and haven't been able to finish in the fourth quarter and this is another example of that. We didn't finish in the fourth quarter." Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon.
** "I keep all kicks the same. There was no extra pressure that I felt. It is my job to make the kicks for this team. During the timeout I went to get that extra kick in. It just helps me to stay focused."  NIU PK Mike Salerno on his game-winning kick.
Prognosticating Prowess
It was a pretty good week in the predictions department. We compiled a 4-1 mark in the five contests, including getting the margin of victory exactly right in the Temple-Ohio game while also coming pretty close on the final margin of the Ball State-EMU contest
Nobody saw the Kent State blow-out coming. Wow.
For the season our picks now stand at a respectable 59-17 (.776).
Here is the breakdown from the past week:
Temple 20, Ohio 16.
Temple 14, Ohio 10.
Central Michigan 38, Toledo 21.
Central Michigan 24, Toledo 23.
Ball State 45, Eastern Michigan 17.
Ball State 38, Eastern Michigan 16.
Miami 24, Kent State 19.
Kent State 54, Miami 21.
Northern Illinois 27, Bowling Green 17.
Northern Illinois 16, Bowling Green 13.
< Prev   Next >


Will Ball State Qualify for a BCS Bowl?

Football - Latest News


Around The MAC

28.10.2008 | Football

It's our regular mid-week look-in around the Mid-American Conference with news and updates from our reporting partners across the MAC.     Read more

Basketball - Latest News


MAC Announces 2008-2009 Preseason All-MAC Squad

15.10.2008 | Basketball

CLEVELAND - Ten of the leagues top mens basketball players have been selected to the preseason All-MAC teams for the East and West Divisions as announced by the league office. Voting for the teams was…     Read more