Week 1 MAC Football Roundup: Hot Maction! (sorry)
The MAC showed it really could play
It’s easy for Power Five teams to schedule the MAC as a supposed easy layup, but a funny thing is happening on the way to the big paydays – MAC football is fighting back.
There might not have been any breakthrough moments or big, splashy victories, but time and again, the conference seemed to put up a battle and make the bigger team push. In the end, that’s the best of all possible world for an opposing coach.
While everyone likes a tune-up to get all the parts working, it’s a big plus to have to try, but without the fear of actually losing.
Michigan State was never going to lose to Western Michigan, but the Broncos did what they could to make it a game late – it was more than just a scrimmage for the Spartans to get ready for Oregon.
Central Michigan hung around with Oklahoma State, and while Bowling Green got run over by Tennessee, the offense showed up.
There were the typical blowouts – Kent State got destroyed by Illinois and Akron was whacked around by Oklahoma – and Northern Illinois had to try too hard to beat UNLV, but the conference went 5-6 and was respectable on the bigger stages.
Western Michigan: The Zach attack (again, sorry)
Michigan State might have one of the best defenses in America, and it certainly showed it off by stuffing Jarvion Franklin for 23 yards on eight carries, but Zach Terrell kept pressing under the pressure and made Sparty sweat with 365 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The 1-2 receiving punch of Daniel Braverman and Corey Davis combined for 23 catches for 263 yards and a score against a team that’s going to be deep in the playoff hunt.
Northern Illinois: Chalk it up to Week One
NIU is still the best team in the MAC, but the defense has to come up with something different, especially in the secondary. NIU rolled back after a rough start against UNLV, rallying back with Drew Hare firing away with a terrific 21-of-26 day for 360 yards with Kenny Golladay catching nine passes for 213 yards. Joel Bouagnon ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns, but this shouldn’t have been that tough. The machine got rolling in time, but the team needs the Murray State game next week to gear up for Ohio State and four road games in the next five.
Ohio: That’s the Derrius Vick the Bobcats need
Idaho doesn’t have a defense – it hasn’t for years – but still, for Ohio to go all the way to Moscow, Idaho, and come up with 45 points in a blowout win is still a positive. Vick was sharp, completing 13-of-16 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and running for 34 yards on nine carries. The Bobcats need pop and explosion, and now they need the consistency with Marshall up next.
Bowling Green: The Falcons got steamrolled, but …
Matt Johnson had himself a day. Back and healthy again after missing almost all of last year, the 2013 MAC championship quarterback threw for 424 yards and two touchdowns, spreading it around to 11 different receivers in the 59-30 loss to Tennessee. He had to – the defense couldn’t come up with a stop. The Vols ran for 399 yards and two touchdowns averaging over six yards per pop.
Eastern Michigan: The O worked, but the D …
Old Dominion’s Ray Lawry came through with a huge performance, rushing for 223 yards and four scores, but Eastern Michigan showed it could move the ball, too in the heartbreaking 38-34 loss. The quarterback rotation of Reginald Bell and Brogan Roback worked, but there weren’t any downfield passes. Darius Jackson is going to carry the attack on the ground, coming up with 117 yards and two scores. At the very least, EMU won’t be such an easy out.
Central Michigan: Can the Chippewas Cowboy Up?
Oklahoma State was supposed to blow into Mount Pleasant and rip apart Central Michigan. Instead, the game was a fight into the fourth quarter as the Chippewa defense played inspired in the 24-13 loss. Not considered a big part of the preseason MAC hype, all of a sudden, CMU looks like a possible player if it can control the clock and the tempo like it did against a supposedly resurgent Big 12 team.
MAC Player of the Week
Northern Illinois QB Drew Hare completed 21-of-26 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 14 yards in the 38-30 win over UNLV.
Mac Football Rankings After Week 1
1. Bowling Green (0-1)
2. Ohio (1-0)
3. Buffalo (1-0)
4. Massachusetts (0-0)
5. Akron (0-1)
6. Miami University (1-0)
7. Kent State (0-1)
1. Toledo (0-0)
2. Western Michigan (0-1)
3. Northern Illinois (1-0)
4. Central Michigan (0-1)
5. Ball State (1-0)
6. Eastern Michigan (0-1)
Week 1 Mac Football Scores & Picks: How’d We Do?
Week 1 MAC Football Picks: Straight Up 10-0, Against The Spread 4-3
Oklahoma State 24, at Central Michigan 13
Line: Oklahoma State -23, o/u: 54, Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Central Michigan 24
Stony Brook at Toledo
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Toledo 34, Stony Brook 17
GAME CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER
Ball State 48, VMI 36
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Ball State 44, VMI 20
Ohio 45, Idaho 28
Line: Ohio -8.5, o/u: 54.5, Prediction: Ohio 41, Idaho 27
Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 24
Line: Michigan State -18.5, o/u: 58.5, Prediction: Michigan State 40, Western Michigan 17
Illinois 52, Kent State 3
Line: Illinois -16, o/u: 51.5, Prediction: Illinois 34, Kent State 14
Old Dominion 38, Eastern Michigan 34
Line: Old Dominion -6, o/u: 66, Prediction: Old Dominion 35, Eastern Michigan 27
Buffalo 51, Albany 14
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Buffalo 41, Albany 27
Miami University 26, Presbyterian College 7
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Miami University 20, Presbyterian 13
Bowling Green vs. Tennessee (in Nashville)
Line: Tennessee -21, o/u: 60, Prediction: Tennessee -21, o/u: 60
Oklahoma 41, Akron 3
Line: Oklahoma -31, o/u: 55.5, Prediction: Oklahoma 52, Akron 13
Northern Illinois 38, UNLV 30
Line: Northern Illinois -21, o/u: 62.5, Prediction: Northern Illinois 44, UNLV 17