MAC Blog: Conference play commences

Northern Illinois repeated their MAC Championship performance by scoring 17 answered to down Kent State (Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports(

Northern Illinois repeated their MAC Championship performance by scoring 17 answered to down Kent State (Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports(

It’s hard to believe that it’s already week six in college football. At least that means great news is here, as it’s finally the start of conference play. The only non-conference game in the MAC was Ball State’s stunning 48-27 victory over Virginia.

Aside from Ball State, we saw the conference come ablaze against each other, with many teams in their first conference games of the season. Ohio was able to pull out a massive 43-3 victory over Akron, once again dismantling the rebuilding team. Northern Illinois pulled out a victory with 17 unanswered points to finish the game with a 38-24 victory over Kent State in a conference championship rematch. Central Michigan got their first conference win over Miami (OH) with a final score of 21-9, the third game that Miami has been unable to produce 10 points. Finally, Buffalo came back with their team in full swing for a 42-14 win over Eastern Michigan, the first time since 1981 that Buffalo has produced 40 points in back-to-back games, according to ESPN.

Those teams only just opened conference play, meanwhile Toledo’s 47-20 victory over Western Michigan was their third conference game and second MAC victory. The best of all is Bowling Green, though, with their 28-7 win over Massachusetts, giving them a 3-0 record in the conference.

Offensive Player of the Week: David Fluellen, RB, Toledo. Toledo was able to pick up its second MAC victory and it came behind the incredible running of their feature back. Fluellen was able to produce 220 yards on 23 carries to go with 14 receiving yards to produce an offensive punch. His biggest production was in the red zone, where he produced 3 touchdowns within 10 yards of the end zone, but wasn’t limited to short yardage gains. His 9.6 yards per carry average shows how dangerous he could be, but if you needed more reason, look to the opening of the second half when he took a 66 yard carry to the house.

Defensive Player of the Week: Luke Wollet, S, Kent State. It’s not often that you’ll find a defense holding the biggest star of the conference to his third worst start of the season by QBR and becoming the second to force two interceptions from the superstar Jordan Lynch. That’s what Kent State was able to do with both interceptions in the first half. Wollet was able to follow the post route and take an interception in the end zone that could have helped the Huskies pull away. Wollet also produced 15 total tackles against the Huskies and was no doubt a big player in helping Kent State achieve a 24-21 lead in the third quarter before things went awry.

Goat of the Week: Kyle Pohl, QB, Akron. It would be unfair to put Miami on here, despite their horrendous offense. Instead, Kyle Pohl gets named the goat of the week by being dominated by the Ohio Bobcat defense. Only a sophomore, it’s understandable for him to be flustered in the face of eight sacks from the Bobcats. However, his 11/26 for 101 yards, 3.9 yards per attempt, and an interception was only good for a MAC-low 6.2 QBR this week, according to ESPN.

Game of the Week: Northern Illinois Huskies defeat Kent State Golden Flashes. Despite the bum day from Jordan Lynch in terms of his normal abilities, it was still a great day or football between these two teams. Kent State had a lead in the third quarter, and looked capable of pulling off an upset. Northern Illinois had a different idea for the game, though, and came back with a fury. The Huskies had 98 total plays for 698 yards in the affair, once again proving themselves as the gold standard for offense in the MAC.

Standings:

MAC Standings Week 6

Game to Watch: Miami (OH) at Massachusetts. Just kidding, that’s going to be the horribowl. Avoid this game at all costs.

Kent State at Ball State. Kent State is only 2-4 this season, but has been able to produce against big time MAC opponents. Against Bowling Green in Week 2, they took a 22-17 lead into the final minutes of the first half. Bowling Green would be able to produce 17 unanswered in the second half after a last minute touchdown to end the half. They then took a 24-21 lead in the third quarter and seemed primed to pull away before yet again 17 unanswered points yielded a loss.

Starting to see a trend? This week they go up against 5-1 Ball State and the trend could continue against the team that just produced 48 points and 506 yards against a Virginia defense that allowed only 299 yards per game going into it. If history is an indicator, this will be an exciting first half followed by a horrifying second half for the Golden Flashes.

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