Mid-American Conference News and Notes

9:52 AM, Oct 29, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

AKRON: The first year of the Terry Bowden era at Akron (1-8, 0-5) continued its rocky course as the Zips were handled, 35-14, at Central Michigan. Akron managed to gain 494 yards of total offense, but turnovers and a 6-of-16 rate of success on third down kept it from lighting up the scoreboard. Dalton Williams went 31-of-51 for 329 yards and two TDs, but was picked off twice as well. Dee Frieson made eight receptions for 65 yards, Jerrod Dillard had six catches for 91 yards, and both made touchdown grabs. Conor Hundley gained 92 yards on 17 carries to pace the rushing attack. Kurt Mangum anchored the defense with 12 stops. The Zips stay on the road this weekend when they face Buckeye State rival, Kent State.

BALL STATE: For the second year in a row under Pete Lembo, the Cardinals (6-3, 3-2) became bowl eligible for the second year in a row with a 30-22 victory over Army in West Point. The win also extended BSU's winning streak to three games and finished off its non-conference slate. Ball State held Army to 379 total yards of offense, which is the second lowest total by an opponent this season. Keith Wenning completed 18-of-27 attempts for 189 yards, two TDs, and one pick. Jawan Edwards surpassed the century mark on the ground for the third straight game with 148 yards and a score on 30 rushes. Ball State is off until Nov. 6, when it heads to Toledo to play the Rockets in a rare Tuesday night game on national television.

BOWLING GREEN: The Falcons (6-3, 4-1) continued frustrating opponents and kept the Eagles out of the end zone as they held off Eastern Michigan, 24-3, for their fifth win in a row. Bowling Green held EMU to 178 total yards to make it two consecutive games that its opponent has failed to reach 200 yards. John Pettigrew carried BGSU's offense by picking up 136 yards on 24 attempts. Matt Schilz went 9-of-20 for 78 yards. Gabe Martin and Chris Jones anchored the defense. Martin finished with seven stops, three sacks, 2.5 TFL, a forced fumble, and an interception. Jones recorded three stops, 2.5 TFL, and returned a fumble 23 yards for six points. The now bowl eligible Falcons have off until Wednesday, Nov.7 when they play Ohio University in Athens.

BUFFALO: The Bulls (1-7, 0-4) played tough on both sides of the football, but still failed to get the job done and suffered a 25-20 setback to Toledo at home. Alex Zordich could have been more effective as a passer, as he finished with only 5-of-16 passing efficiency for 118 yards and a touchdown. He did manage to pick up 67 yards on the ground. Branden Oliver finally returned from an injury that kept him sidelined for four games to contribute 101 yards on 24 carries. Toledo amassed 412 yards of total offense, but Buffalo made some big plays, including two interceptions, to hold the Rockets more than 10 points under their season scoring average. The Bulls are back in action on Saturday when they welcome Miami-Ohio to UB Stadium.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Chippewas (3-5, 1-3) picked up a much needed MAC win by defeating Akron, 35-14, at home. CMU dropped its previous four games by double-digit margins. The offense produced 444 yards of total offense and was turnover free. Zurlon Tipton was the star of the contest, as he turned 37 carries into a career-high 243 yards and three TDs. Ryan Radcliff was solid under center, completing 15-of-25 attempts for 180 yards and a pair of scores. Justin Cherocci was all over the place on the other side of the ball and finished with a game-high 15 tackles. CMU will try to string together wins for the first time this season when it hosts Western Michigan on Saturday.

EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles (1-7, 0-4) ran into Bowling Green's brick wall defense and failed to get anything going in their 24-3 loss to the Falcons. EMU was held to 178 yards of total offense after averaging 600.5 ypg in its prior two outings. Tyler Benz went 11-of-24 for 114 yards and an interception. Bronson Hill was held to 57 yards on 13 carries. Eastern Michigan had a shortened recovery period as it returns to action on Thursday to play Ohio University at Peden Stadium.

KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes (7-1, 4-0) pulled off a stunning 35-23 upset of the No. 15 ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Piscataway. It was the first victory of a nationally-ranked opponent in program history and sixth in a row for Kent State, which is now in sole possession of first place of the MAC East Division. The defensive unit came up big and forced Rutgers QB Gary Nova into six interceptions. Spencer Keith delivered a steady performance by going 14- of-21 for 121 yards and two TDs. The dynamic duo of Trayion Durham and Dri Archer gave the Scarlet Knights issues. Durham gained 131 yards on 22 carries, Archer tallied 79 yards on 18 carries, and they both found their way into the end zone. Now on the verge of cracking the top 25 polls, KSU returns to conference play to host the struggling Akron Zips on Saturday.

MASSACHUSETTS: The Minutemen (0-8, 0-4) had their FBS leading losing streak extended to 11 games when they were buried, 49-7, by the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. UMass continued to look helpless offensively and finished with only 264 yards and three turnovers. Mike Wegzyn went 15-of-27 for 162 yards and an interception before A.J. Doyle relieved him to complete 8-of-14 attempts for 48 yards with a touchdown and interception. Michael Cox was limited to 56 yards on 17 carries. Marken Michel led the team with 56 yards on six receptions and Deion Walker reeled in six passes for 51 yards and a score. Freshman LB Kasan Messiah paced the defense with nine total tackles. The Minutemen will be huge underdogs this weekend when they try to take down Northern Illinois at Huskies Stadium.

MIAMI-OHIO: The RedHawks (4-4, 3-1) kept their MAC Championship dreams intact by pulling off a 23-20 upset of the then No. 23 Ohio Bobcats at home. Miami's defense entered the game allowing 285.3 rushing yards per game, but held Ohio to 162 yards on the ground and the MAC's leading rusher Beau Blankenship to only 74 yards. Kaleb Patterson came up clutch with the go-ahead field goal with 1:24 remaining. Ohio drove down the field but Wes Williams sacked Tyler Tettleton on the final play to end the Bobcats' comeback effort. The final sack by Williams was the seventh of the game for the team. Zac Dysert finished with 311 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on 21-of-36 passing. Nick Harwell made eight receptions for 138 yards and a score. The RedHawks will try to keep the ball rolling as they invade UB Stadium to play Buffalo.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Huskies (8-1, 5-0) protected their perfect league record by defeating Western Michigan, 48-34, on the road. NIU was trailing 21-14 seconds before halftime, but Mathew Sims made a field goal as the first half's time expired the Huskies scored four unanswered TDs after the break to take control. Jordan Lynch showed off his duel threat ability by throwing for 274 yards on 18-of-28 passing, rushing for 136 yards, and compiling six total TDs. Martel Moore led the Huskies with seven catches for 120 yards but was kept out of the end zone for the third time this season. Tommylee Lewis and Da'Ron Brown each had two touchdown receptions, while Sean Progar led the defense with three sacks. NIU returns home for its first-ever conference game against UMass on Saturday.

OHIO UNIVERSITY: The Bobcats (7-1, 3-1) were finally handed their first loss of the season as they were bested, 23-20, by Miami-Ohio in Oxford. The setback dropped Ohio out of the top-25 and out of its first-place tie with Kent State in the East Division standings. Beau Blankenship gained 74 yards on 16 carries to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark on the season for the first time in his career. Tyler Tettleton completed 23-of-38 for 302 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Ohio will attempt to bounce back on Thursday when it hosts Eastern Michigan.

TOLEDO: The Rockets (8-1, 5-0) stayed perfect in MAC action by holding off Buffalo for a 25-20 road victory. Toledo overcame a halftime deficit by scoring 18 unanswered points in the third quarter to escape UB Stadium with its eighth win in a row. The usually reliable Terrance Owens threw two picks for the third multi-interception game of his career and finished 12-of-25 for 171 yards and a touchdown. David Fluellen served as the team's workhorse once again and rushed the ball 35 times for 228 yards and two TDs. The junior tailback's career-best performance put him above 1,000 yards for the season. Dan Molls continued to be a force on the other side of the ball by making 14 tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and returning a fumble 13 yards for a touchdown. Toledo returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 6 when it hosts Ball State for a Tuesday night MAC battle.

WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos (3-6, 1-4) were defeated 48-34 by Northern Illinois after allowing the Huskies to score four unanswered touchdowns to start the second half. WMU was productive with 489 yards of total offense and NIU managed 36 yards less, but Jordan Lynch threw four touchdown passes and rushed for two more to lift the Huskies to the double-digit victory. Tyler Van Tubbergen tied his career-high with 333 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-51 passing. Van Tubbergen also rushed for a score and threw an interception. Dareyon Chance tallied 97 yards and scored on one of his 23 rushing attempts. Justin Currie made a team-high 14 tackles in the losing effort. WMU will try to end its current three-game losing slide on Saturday when it squares off with Central Michigan.


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