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CFB Week 11 Previews: Mid-American Conference

WEEK 11 MAC PREVIEWS

Tuesday, November 9
Buffalo (4-5, 2-3 MAC) at Miami (4-5, 3-2 MAC)
7:00 PM ET | ESPNU

Buffalo starts the #MACtion portion of their schedule on Tuesday night when they travel to Miami. Buffalo is 4-5 overall, 2-3 in the MAC and is coming off a 56-44 loss to Bowling Green on October 30. Running back Dylan McDuffie led the Bulls with 166 yards rushing and two touchdowns. McDuffie has rushed for 100+ yards in each of the last 3 games and has scored a touchdown in 6 of the last 7 games. The Bulls had a program-record 11 sacks against Akron on Oct. 23. It bested the previous record of 8 set against Massachusetts in 2012. Seven different Bulls registered a sack, led by Kyler Laing who had a team-record 3.5 sacks in the game. It was the most sacks in a game by any team in the nation this season. The Bulls now have 29 sacks on the year to lead the MAC and their 3.6 sacks per game average ranks 7th in the nation. Miami is 4-5 overall, 3-2 in MAC play and is coming off a 35-33 loss at Ohio last Tuesday. The RedHawks are led by quarterback Brett Gabbert who has thrown for 1,435 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. After having one of the top defenses in the MAC in both 2019 and 2020, Miami ranks atop several defensive categories once again. In MAC games only, the RedHawks rank first in defensive scoring (20.6), second in total defense (356.6), first in rush defense (78.6) and second in sacks (17.0).

Akron (2-7, 1-4 MAC) at Western Michigan (5-4, 2-3 MAC)
7:00 PM ET | CBS Sports Network
Akron continues MAC play this Tuesday as the Zips travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to square off against Western Michigan. Oscar Rodriguez, Jr., was named Akron’s interim head coach on Thursday, Nov. 4, becoming the seventh active Hispanic/Latino head coach in NCAA Division I. The Zips received career-best performances from QB Zach Gibson and WR Michael Mathison in a 31-25 loss to Ball State. Gibson threw for a career-high 331 yards on 24-of-31 passing with two touchdowns and connected with a career-long 57-yard pass to Mathison – which was also a career-long reception. Western Michigan enters action on Tuesday, Nov. 9 having dropped back-to-back games following a 42-30 home setback to rival Central Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Redshirt sophomore QB Kaleb Eleby has passed for 2,253 yards en route to connecting on 13 touchdowns through the air. The duo of sophomore RB Sean Tyler and junior RB La’Darius Jefferson have sparked the Broncos’ rushing attack running for 625 and 581 yards, respectively, including finding the endzone 16 times.

Ohio (2-7, 2-3 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (6-3, 3-2 MAC)
8:00 PM ET | ESPN2
Ohio is back for another week of MACtion this Tuesday, Nov. 9 when the Bobcats travel to Eastern Michigan. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPN2. Overall, the Bobcats are averaging 22.7 points per game to go along with 366.0 total yards per game. De’Montre Tuggle leads the ground game with 608 yards, while averaging 76.0 yards per game, with seven touchdowns on the ground. O’Shaan Allison adds 267 yards on the ground, while Armani Rogers adds 461 yards on 72 carries and six touchdowns. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke is 126-of-182 with 1,235 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Meanwhile, quarterback Armani Rogers is 29-of-47 with 350 yards. Eastern Michigan (6-3, 3-2 MAC) is riding high after beating the Rockets, 52-49, to claim its first win inside UT’s Glass Bowl Stadium since the 1999 season and earn bowl eligibility in the process, Nov. 2. The Eagles are bowl eligible for the fourth time in the previous five full seasons, and just the sixth time in program history. EMU has now claimed bowl eligibility in three consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. EMU is off to a 6-3 start for the first time in the Chris Creighton era (2016-Pres.). Prior to the 2021 season, EMU had not won six of its first nine games since the 1989 campaign, when the Green and White began the season 6-2-1 en route to a 7-3-1 overall record and a 6-2 MAC mark.

Wednesday, November 10
Ball State (5-4, 3-2 MAC) at Northern Illinois (6-3, 4-1 MAC)
7:00 PM ET | ESPN2
NIU plays its first game in Huskie Stadium in 25 days when the Huskies take on Ball State in the Battle of the Bronze Stalk on Wednesday, November 10. Ball State has won each of the last two games, including a 31-25 win in Muncie in 2020. NIU saw its five-game winning streak snapped at Kent State as the Golden Flashes claimed a 52-47 victory in a contest that featured 1,345 yards of total offense, 63 first downs and 171 offensive plays. Huskie freshman Trayvon Rudolph broke the Mid-American Conference and NIU records for receiving yards in a game with 309 yards on 14 catches at Kent State; his total ranks 18th all-time in NCAA history (FBS). Justin Hall and Carson Steele helped the Ball State football team build a 21-10 lead at half, while a late fourth-quarter fumble recovery by Bryce Cosby in the end zone secured a 31-25 victory over Akron in Tuesday night #MACtion at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field. Hall was selected to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
following his performance.

Toledo (4-5, 2-3 MAC) at Bowling Green (3-6, 1-4 MAC)
7:00 PM ET | CBS Sports Network
One of the great rivalries in college football resumes when Toledo makes the 26-mile trip to Bowling Green’s Doyt L. Perry Stadium in the Battle of I-75 on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Toledo holds a slim one-game advantage in the series, 41-40-4, though the Rockets have won 10 of the last 11 meetings. Toledo ranks first in the MAC in scoring defense (22.0) and defensive passing efficiency (121.2), second in total defense (345.0), and fourth in rushing defense (144.3). Toledo’s Bryant Koback rushed for a season-high 180 yards vs. EMU, now has 3,441 career rushing yards, passing David Fluellen (3,336 yards from 2010-13) for sixth place on Toledo’s all-time list. Bowling Green LB Darren Anders is the only player in the nation this season with 80+ tackles (91), 7.5+ tackles for loss (8.5), 1+ fumble recoveries (1) and 1+ interceptions (1). Anders currently ranks tied for No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in the MAC with 91 tackles. BGSU K Nate Needham is 14-of-14 on field goal attempts this season. He is one of eight FBS players who is perfect on the year, but his 14 made field goals rank No. 1 in the nation among those who are perfect. A perfect 9-of-9, he is tied for the nation’s lead with nine field goals from 40+ yards. Needham is a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award.

Kent State (5-4, 4-1 MAC) at Central Michigan (5-4, 3-2 MAC)
8:00 PM ET | ESPNU
Kent State picked up their eighth-straight home win, 52-47 overNIU last Wednesday night The eight-straight wins at home is the second-longest streak in program history (nine-straight over 2012-13 seasons) The Flashes were truly #FlashFAST against the Huskies, with seven touchdown drives under two minutes in length. In fact, Kent State has scored 22 touchdowns in under two minutes in drive length…19 of those have gone four+ plays and 50+ yards 63 percent (22 of 35) of Kent State’s TD drives have been under 2 minutes. Kalil Pimpleton’s first half performance at Western Michigan will go down in CMU history. The junior brought CMU back from a 14-0 deficit with a five-minute stretch on the game clock that saw Pimpleton return 2 punts for a touchdown and catch a touchdown pass. The junior was also the only CMU player to catch a pass in the first half, grabbing 3 balls for 104 yards. Pimpleton is the first CMU player to have two punt returns for a touchdown in the program’s Division I era. He is the only player at the FBS level this season to tally two in a game and is the 24th player in D-I to have multiple punt return touchdowns in a single game since 2000.

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