You know what Week 5 means, football fans: The return of MAC…conference play! While there has been the occasional conference matchup here and there, this week saw the arrival of the meat of the conference schedule.
Player of the Week: Miami QB Zac Dysert. Look at that glorious flow! He looks like the son of Clay Matthews and Barbie. Perhaps he is a modern-day Samson, as he channeled the power of his supernatural mane en route to 624 total yards and six passing touchdowns Saturday at Akron. He also managed a thirteen-play, 89-yard drive in the final seven minutes to secure a win for the RedHawks. Still don’t think “The Mop” is legit? His 9,943 career passing yards puts him second in school history behind only Ben Roethlisberger. Expect that record to fall in the next six games.
Goat of the Week: Western Michigan QB Tyler Van Tubbergen. A nightmare season for the Broncos continues to get worse. With starting quarterback and team leader Alex Carder out indefinitely after having hand surgery, Western needed a spark from the junior backup. The Broncos needed Van Tubbergen to simply manage the game, minimize mistakes and feed the rock to running back Dareyon Chance in order to keep Toledo’s potent offense off the field. None of those things happened vs. Toledo. The Rockets jumped on Van Tubbergen’s inexperience and took an early 17-0 lead. When it was all said and done, Van Tubbergen had thrown three picks and the Broncos were blown out, 37-17.
Surprise of the Week: UMass’ upset bid against Ohio. Hold up, Mid-American Conference. The Minutemen may not be the pushovers you think they are. UMass may be 0-5, but they’ve racked up almost 1,000 yards of total offense in their first two conference games and managed 61 points. Coming into Saturday’s contest with Ohio, Massachusetts quarterback Mike Wegzyn had yet to throw a touchdown pass in his short career. He threw four against the Bobcats and added 373 passing yards to go with it. I didn’t think this team would win a game this season. Now, I would be shocked if they DIDN’T steal an in-conference win.
Disappointment of the Week: MAC Defenses. What ever happened to the saying “defense wins championships?” Of the five conference matchups on Saturday, teams combined for more than 70 total points in four games. Five MAC defenses allowed more than 50 points, and Miami allowed 49 points to Akron. The team that can find a way to slow down opposing offenses will have a huge advantage in conference play.
Workhorse of the Week: Ohio RB Beau Blakenship. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Mid-American Conference is a pass-happy conference. The most teams won’t run the ball more than 30 times a game, and that includes quarterback scrambles. Blankenship carried the rock 44 times on Saturday for 280 yards and two touchdowns. 44 times! That is more times than Tyler Tettleton dropped back to pass (27). That is more rushes than fans at the game. That is just as how many times Tim Tebow says the word “excited” in a press conference.
Fashion Update: As if Western Michigan’s season couldn’t get any worse, they wore this on Saturday. That’s supposed to be a carbon-fiber helmet. I think. It looks more like houndstooth than carbon fiber. To make matters worse, they unveiled the special uniforms with this poorly produced YouTube video. I think they took the music from a Monster Truck rally. And that yell? I think he’s just frustrated about having to wear that stupid helmet. In other news, Toledo broke out a nice looking yellow dome. Definitely not as fly as those blue ones, though.
What to Watch, Week 6: Big test for the RedHawks, as they take on an undefeated Cincinnati team and try and take the Victory Bell for the first time since 2005….Toledo and Ball State meet in Muncie in this week’s premiere conference matchup…Kent State travels to Ypsilanti to take on Eastern Michigan. They should win this one handily…I’m putting a struggling Western Michigan team on upset alert at home against UMass. They can’t look past the Minutemen to a big Week 7 matchup with Ball State