This week in the MAC: Northern Illinois cruised by Massachusetts 63-19, Toledo defeated Eastern Michigan 55-16 and Akron eked out a 16-7 victory over Kent State. You may be thinking I’m missing a game or two there, but I’m not. The MAC featured only three games this weekend, and they were as exciting as they appear to be. Two blowouts and a close game between teams already eliminated from bowl contention sure makes for a great weekend in any conference.
Offensive Player of the Week: Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois. After making his triumphant return to this spot last week, Lynch wasn’t about to give it up. He may not have had much competition, and it may not have been tough competition, but he still earned this spot. Lynch completed 10 of his 13 pass attempts for 160 yards and a touchdown, but did much more on the ground. He had 17 carries for 119 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Lynch accounted for more touchdowns as Kent State, Akron, and Eastern Michigan combined this week. We are all lucky to have him in our conference.
Defensive Player of the Week: Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois. At 6’1” and 308 lbs, you wouldn’t expect this guy to be great in coverage. He might not be, but he was this weekend. Early in the second quarter, UMass dropped back for a screen pass and Bishop sniffed it out. He bobbled the ball off his shoulder and caught it to run 14 yards and nearly scored a touchdown. He also had nine tackles, which is nice too. This guy has pretty great hands, though.
Goat of the Week: Colin Reardon, QB, Kent State. It ended up being a 9-point game. Both teams scored a touchdown, then Akron managed three unanswered field goals. Reardon went 15/31 for 138 yards and three interceptions. Completing less than half your passes and turning the ball over three times isn’t a good way to help your team win. He had only a 13.7 QBR in a game that was easily winnable.
Game of the Week: Eastern Michigan at Toledo. If someone checks the records, this might be the first time my Game to Watch became the Game of the Week. It was a blowout of course, 55-16 for Toledo, but that doesn’t change the importance of this game. Toledo came into it with a reason to win, and left with bowl eligibility. They’re the fifth school in the MAC to earn eligibility, and that’s reason enough to make this a worthwhile game.
Game to Watch: Ohio at Buffalo on Tuesday. Yes, tonight, Tuesday, is the first of the Tuesday Night MACtion. None of us like it, but we have to deal with it. This is the start of a long streak of games that happen early in the week rather than College Football Saturdays. In fact, the MAC this week only has one game on Saturday, but two on Tuesday. Like I said, none of us like it, but we’ll have to get used to it. This is going to be an exciting start at least as these two 6-2 teams meet up on ESPN2. They’ll both be coming off bye weeks excited to be back in action. Just trust me on this, it’s going to be a great game.