The MAC Blog: Rivalry Week

Week three was Rivalry Week in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio kept the Victory Bell in Athens as they rallied for a victory at Marshall. Ball State conquered the Hoosier State, defeating Indiana 41-39 in Bloomington. Finally, Toledo was crowned King of Interstate 75, as they dropped Bowling Green, 27-15. Add a big road win by Northern Illinois and a streak buster by Akron, and you get a solid week of MAC Football.

The Northern Illinois offense has not missed a beat with Jordan Lynch taking over for Chandler Harnish. (Photo by NIU Today)

Player of the Week: Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch. Chandler who? Lynch has some big shoes to fill this season. Last Saturday at West Point, he proved he has the feet to fill them. Lynch ran for 125 yards 88 of which came on this touchdown run. More importantly, he tossed four touchdowns, including the game winner with 4:29 to play. If he keeps this up, Lynch may just be the next Mr. Irrelevant.

Goat of the Week: Buffalo QB Alex Zordich. I’m going to let this one slide, despite the fact that this was technically a week four game. The only other player who played horrid enough to warrant consideration, Eastern Michigan’s QB Alex Gillett, won the last week, and I’m all about spreading the love. As for Zordich, he completed only four passes for 92 yards. He also threw two interceptions, one of those coming in the end zone. Zordich was replaced by freshman Joe Licata halfway through the fourth quarter of Buffalo’s loss to Toledo.

Surprise of the Week: Akron’s win over Morgan State. Was there really another option? I stated last week that I thought Akron had a great chance to notch its first win of the season, but I had no idea this offense had 66 points in them. Dalton Williams accounted for 446 of Akron’s 753 yards, and Jawon Chisholm rushed for 129 yards on only eighteen carries. For a bit of comparison, Buffalo only defeated Morgan State by 22 in week two. Is this a launching pad for an Akron turnaround?

Disappointment of the Week: Western Michigan’s defensive backs. Coming into the season, it was obvious that this unit was one of the weaknesses of the team. They did nothing to change that perception during their loss Saturday at Minnesota. The Gophers only needed 10 passes to torch the Broncos for three touchdowns, all of them caught by junior A.J. Barker. If Western could have managed just one stop, they would be sitting pretty at 2-1. Instead, it could be time to hit the panic button.

Fashion Update: Eastern Michigan and Ohio looked like cousins with their week their color combos. I failed to mention this before, but Toledo’s new helmets are niceuntil you turn them around. Pick the logo or number and stick with it. Buffalo broke out black pants for their game against Toledo. Doesn’t quite match, but I don’t hate it.

Stat of the Week: After Ball State’s 41-39 victory at Indiana, the Cardinals have won three straight contests against the Hoosiers.

“Prayer” of the Week: Buffalo QB Alex Zordich must have said his Hail Marys before bed Wednesday night. Just before halftime in Thursday’s loss to Toledo, his prayers were answered. I guess he should have prayed for a win.

Standings:

What to Watch, Week 4: Kent State travels to Buffalo-oh wait, that already happened…My upset pick of the week: Ball State pulls the upset over USF in Muncie…A rested Central Michigan takes on Iowa. Northern Illinois couldn’t finish. Can the Chippewas?…Ohio should roll over Norfolk State, but with a potent Spartan passing attack and a banged up Bobcat secondary, anything can happen…Western Michigan desperately needs a win against UConn. A loss would kill the Bronco’s morale…Toledo takes on Coastal Carolina. Expect a lot of cats on the field, as Coach David Bennett is no longer on the sidelines for Coastal.

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