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CFB: Week 3 Conference Previews: Mid-American Conference (MAC)


Saturday, September 17
LIU (0-2, 0-0 NEC) at Kent State (0-2, 0-0 MAC), Noon ET | ESPN3
The Golden Flashes held a 3-0 lead late into the first half on Saturday night but a second-half rally by the No. 7 Sooners proved to be the difference in a 33-3 setback on Saturday night in Norman. Kent State linebacker Khalib Johns and punter Josh Smith were named the MAC East Division Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for their efforts. Johns was a pass-rushing force against the Sooners, recording a pair of sacks and totaling six tackles on the evening. Smith boomed six punts on Saturday and was able to flip the field against the Sooners. The sophomore averaged over 43 yards per kick against the Sooners with a long of 49. He was also able to drop two inside of the 20. The Golden Flashes have won ninestraight home games, the 10th longest streak in the FBS and ties the program record set from September 1949 through October of 1951 and again October of 2011 through August of 2013.

Cincinnati (1-1, 0-0 American) at
Miami (1-1, 0-0 MAC), Cincinnati, Ohio (Paycor Stadium) Noon ET | ESPNU
Miami hosts the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Battle for the Victory Bell series, which started in 1888 with the first college football game ever played in the state of Ohio, is now deadlocked at 59-59-7. Aveon Smith threw three touchdown passes in his first career start as Miami won its home opener 31-14 over Robert Morris Saturday night. Smith finished 14-22 through the air for 155 yards and became the first Miami quarterback to throw at least three touchdowns in his first career start since Andrew Hendrix in 2014.Mac Hippenhammer caught two touchdown passes for the RedHawks, who scored 28 consecutive points after an early touchdown by Robert Morris. Miami recorded its 15th straight victory at Yager Stadium, extending the second-longest home win streak in program history.

Buffalo (0-2, 0-0 MAC) at Coastal Carolina (2-0, 0-0 Sun Belt), 1 pm ET | ESPN+
This will be Buffalo’s first game at Coastal Carolina. In fact, it will be the first time the Bulls will play a game in the state of South Carolina. Coastal Carolina won the only other meeting between the schools, 28-25, last season at UB Stadium. The Bulls are looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2005. Against Holy Cross, quarterback Cole Snyder threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first UB quarterback to throw for 300 yards since 2020 and the first to throw three touchdowns since 2020. The Bulls got big performances from their wide receivers against Holy Cross. Quian Williams had eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. His eight catches were one shy of his career high. Newcomer Justin Marshall had five receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns, including a 69-yard score. James Patterson (314) is 13 tackles shy of reaching Khalil Mack (327) for ninth in school history in career tackles.

Bucknell (0-2, 0-0 Patriot) at Central Michigan (0-2, 0-0 MAC), 1 pm ET | ESPN3
Central Michigan plays host to Bucknell at Kramer/Deromedi Field at Kelly/Short Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17. This is the first meeting between CMU and Bucknell. The Chippewas have won 13 straight games against FCS opponents. The last defeat came to North Dakota State in 2007, 44-14. CMU went on to win a MAC championship that season. Last time out, South Alabama scored on five of its first seven possessions and Central Michigan never recovered as the Chippewas dropped a 38-24 non-leaguer to the Jaguars. QB Daniel Richardson completed 23 of his 47 pass attempts for 257 yards, but was sacked three times in the loss.

Murray State (0-2, 0-0 OVC) at Ball State (0-2, 0-1 MAC), 2 pm | ESPN+
The Cardinals are slated to welcome the Racers from Murray State for their annual Family Weekend at Scheumann Stadium in the first matchup of the series. Ball State has won seven straight games vs. teams from the FCS ranks, including all five opportunities under head coach Mike Neu. Ball State broke out in a big way on offense in its first home game of the season vs. Western Michigan. The Cardinals put up a season-high 447 yards of total offense. It was the highest yardage total in 17 games, in which the Cardinals had 519 yards at Central Michigan on Dec. 5, 2020. QB John Paddock threw for a career-high 291 yards after going 23-of-40 and a pair of touchdowns in his first career home start. RB Carson Steele ran for 147 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown. It marked the fourth time in his young career he has exceeded the 100-yard plateau on the ground and stood as the highest rushing total by any MAC player through the opening two weeks.

Ohio (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at Iowa State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12), 2 pm ET | ESPN+
The Ohio football team hits the road for the second week in a row to take on Iowa State. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. ET at Jack Trace Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPN+. Last time out, the Bobcats fell 46-10 at Beaver Stadium. Redshirt freshman running back Sieh Bangura scored the Bobcats’ only touchdown of the day with a one-yard rush in the second quarter. Freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos was 1-for-1 on field goals, maintaining his perfect start to his collegiate career. Currently, the Bobcats are 1-1. They average 25.5 points, 115 rushing yards and 254 passing yards per game. In the air, quarterback Kurtis Rourke is 41-for64 for 464 yards and four touchdowns. On the ground, Bangura has net 139 rushing yards with one touchdown while Rourke has one rushing touchdown on 40 yards. James Bostic leads the receivers with 167 yards and nine receptions. Ty Walton and Sam Wiglusz also have nine receptions with 86 and 82 yards, respectively.

Vanderbilt (2-1, 0-0 SEC) at NIU (1-1, 0-0 MAC), 3:30 pm ET / 2:30 pm CT | CBSSN
The NIU Huskies welcome Vanderbilt, the only SEC team ever to play in Huskie Stadium, for a return visit. The teams, who meet for the fifth time Saturday, played in DeKalb in 1997, with the Commodores coming away with a 17-7 victory. NIU is coming off a 38-35 loss at Tulsa as the Golden Hurricane scored in the final minute and thwarted the Huskies’ last drive with an interception. NIU quarterback Rocky Lombardi led a second half comeback that saw the Huskies’ overcome a 24-7 halftime deficit by scoring three consecutive touchdowns, including on back-to-back possessions to start the half thanks to an onside kick recovery, to take the lead. Lombardi finished the game 18-of-31 passing for 239 yards and three touchdowns, two to newcomer Kacper Rutkiewicz to go with a 33-yard toss to Cole Tucker. The NIU defense held Tulsa to 107 rushing yards and collected four sacks.

Marshall (2-0, 0-0 Sun Belt) at Bowling Green (0-2, 0-0 MAC), 5 pm ET | NFL Network
Bowling Green hosts Marshall on Saturday for Homecoming. It is the 100th Homecoming game at BGSU. The Falcons are 27-12 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt, which includes games against Arkansas State (1-0), Georgia Southern (0-1), Marshall (21-8), South Alabama (1-1), Southern Miss (3-1) and Troy (1-1). BGSU QB Matt McDonald is No. 1 in the MAC and No. 10 in the nation with six passing touchdowns. His 24.0 points per game responsible for ranks No. 1 in the MAC and No. 7 in the nation.. RB PaSean Wimberly has blocked a punt in each of BG’s first two games. He ranks No. 1 in the MAC and No. 2 in the nation with two blocked kicks. Each of his blocked punts led to touchdowns. At UCLA Charles Rosser picked it up and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown. Against EKU, Jaison Patterson punched it in for a score seven plays later to put BG up by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Akron (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at No. 15 Tennessee (2-0, 0-0 SEC), 7 pm ET | ESPN+
The Zips came up short in its non-conference showdown at No. 11/14 Michigan State as the Spartans registered a 52-0 triumph over the Zips on Saturday, Sept. 10 in East Lansing, Mich. The Zips finished with 225 yards of total offense, including 203 through the air led by 123 yards from redshirt junior QB DJ Irons and 80 yards from redshirt junior QB Jeff Undercuffler, Jr. Redshirt junior WR Daniel George pulled in four catches for Akron for a team-high 44 yards, while redshirt TE TJ Banks added four receptions for 29 yards. Irons and redshirt sophomore RB Cam Wiley garnered 30 yards apiece on the ground for the Zips. Sophomore DB Darrian Lewis and redshirt junior LB Jeslord Boateng led the Zips’ defensive efforts with eight tackles each, including three solo stops. Redshirt senior LB Bubba Arslanian added seven tackles, while senior DB Jalen Hooks and redshirt senior DL Zach Morton each garnered an interception

Toledo (2-0, 0-0 MAC) at No. 3 Ohio State (2-0, 0-0 B1G), 7 pm ET | FOX
Toledo plays No. 3 Ohio State at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17. The Rockets are coming off a 55-10 win over UMass on Saturday that featured an offensive explosion which matched a dominating defense that shut out LIU 37-0 a week earlier in the season opener. Sophomore quarterback Dequan Finn threw for a touchdown and ran for two more to lead Toledo vs. the Minutemen. Finn completed 12-of-26 passes for 177 yards and added a team-best 74 yards rushing to lead the offense. He was named MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Sophomore Peny Boone added a pair of short yardage touchdowns in the first half, helping the Rockets jump out to a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. Toledo’s defense held UMass to just 253 yards of total offense, including just 48 yards through the air. Senior defensive tackle Desjuan Johnson led the defensive front with 1.5 tackles for loss.

No. 23 Pittsburgh (1-1, 0-0 ACC) at
Western Michigan (1-1, 1-0 MAC), 7:30 pm ET | ESPNU
Western Michigan outscored Ball State 23-14 in the second half to come from behind and defeat the Cardinals 37-30 on the road at Scheumann Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos improved to 1-0 in Mid-American Conference play with the win and are now 6-0 in MAC openers under head coach Tim Lester. Senior running back La’Darius Jefferson had three touchdowns on the ground to lead WMU, but it was Sean Tyler and his 60-yard run to the endzone that sealed the win. Tyler finished the day with a team-best 108 yards on the ground. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Salopek threw for a new career-high 230 yards and a touchdown, while running for 30 yards on seven carries. Wide receiver Corey Crooms had a game-high and career-high 10 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. Zaire Barnes led the Broncos with nine tackles, while six other players had five tackles, including Braden Fiske, who had a tackle for loss, fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Eastern Michigan (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at
Arizona State (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12), 11 pm ET | Pac-12 Network Eastern Michigan will play away from home for the second consecutive week as the Eagles head to the Valley of the Sun for a battle with Arizona State. EMU looks to bounce back from its week two setback at the University of Louisiana, Sept. 10. The Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead against the Ragin’ Cajuns in a contest that included a 66-minute lightning delay. Despite the early success, EMU was outscored, 49-7, in the second half en route to a 49-21 setback. Meanwhile, ASU is coming off a 34-17 setback at the hands of No. 11/10 Oklahoma State University on the same day. The Eagles have held their opponents scoreless in consecutive first quarters to begin the 2022 campaign (EKU, Sept. 2; Louisiana, Sept. 10). : Head Coach Chris Creighton has directed his EMU teams to three “Power Five” wins during his tenure in Ypsilanti (Rutgers – 2017, Purdue – 2018, Illinois – 2019)

World Elite Syndicate

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