Friday, August 19, 2022

Week 3 Football Preview: Mid-American Conference

Thursday, September 16
Ohio (0-2) at Louisiana (1-1) | 8 pm (ESPN)
The Bobcats logged their second loss of the 2021 season Saturday afternoon falling to Duquesne, 28-26. The Bobcats were lead by De’Montre Tuggle on offense, as the redshirt fifth-year scored two total touchdowns and logged 175 all-purpose yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio’s Jett Elad lead the team in tackles with 11. Redshirt fifth year wide receiver Cameron Odom surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards on Sept. 11 against Duquesne, catching a 60-yard pass in the first quarter to secure the milestone. Redshirt junior running back O’Shaan Allison also surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards on Sept. 11 against Duquesne.

Saturday, September 18
Northern Illinois (1-1) at Michigan (2-0) | Noon (BTN)
The Huskies’ first two games have each been decided in the final minutes. In the season opener at Georgia Tech, Tyrice Richie made a diving catch of Rocky Lombardi’s two-point conversion pass in the back of the end zone with 38 seconds to play, giving the Huskies a 22-21 win. Versus Wyoming, NIU came back from 26 points down in the final 20 minutes of the game to take a 43-42 lead before Wyoming scored with 1:35 to play to earn the victory. NIU freshman Harrison Waylee ranks third in the country in rushing yards per game (161.5) after running for 144 and 179 yards, respectively in the Huskies’ first two outings, including touchdown runs of 35 and 75 yards.

No. 16 Coastal Carolina (2-0) at Buffalo (1-1) | Noon (ESPN2)
Buffalo will host 16th-ranked Coastal Carolina at UB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls are coming off a 28-3 loss at Nebraska last Saturday. Linebacker James Patterson led the Bulls with 12 tackles in the game. The Bulls have built quite the home field advantage over the last few seasons. UB is 16-2 in its last 18 games played at UB Stadium. Since 2017, the Bulls are 6-1 against non-conference opponents with their only loss coming to Army in 2018. The Bulls lead the MAC and rank 14th nationally in third down conversions at 54.3 percent (19-of-35). Buffalo was 8-of-13 against Wagner and 11-of-22 against a Nebraska.

Western Michigan (1-1) at Pittsburgh (2-0) | Noon (ESPN3)
Western Michigan picked up its first win of the season, 28-0 over Illinois State, in a dominant defensive performance at Waldo Stadium in front of 18,122 fans on Saturday night. Not only did WMU’s defense record the shutout, the first since a 68-0 win over Delaware State on Sept. 15, 2018, the team tied the program record for fewest yards allowed in a game with 57. The Broncos tied the 1972 team that held Marshall to 57 as well. Offensively the Broncos racked up 407 yards, with 233 on the ground and 174 threw the air. Junior running back La’Darius Jefferson had a game-high 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

LIU (0-2) at Miami (0-2) | 3:30 pm (ESPN+)
Miami opens the home portion of its schedule, welcoming the Long Island Sharks to Yager Stadium. Trailing 21-3 at halftime, the RedHawks scored 17 unanswered points to make it a one-point contest in the fourth quarter, falling just short to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 31-26. Miami surrendered zero passing yards in the second half as the RedHawks out-gained the Golden Gophers 341-287. Graham Nicholson was 2-for-2 on field goals, including a career-long 46-yard kick. He was named MAC East
Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts.

Kent State (1-1) at Iowa (2-0) | 3:30 pm (BTN)
The Flashes are coming off a 60-10 home opening victory over VMI. The Flashes rushed for 494 yards in the win, the most in a game since 1954. The 494 yards are the most in a game so far in this young FBS season, as do Kent State’s seven rushing touchdowns in a game. The Golden Flashes lead the FBS with a 360 rushing yard per game average. Montre Miller was named MAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over VMI. Miller had a trio of interceptions for the Golden Flashes in their 60-10 victory in Saturday’s home opener. He became the first player to have three picks in a game since Brian Lainhart did it for the Golden Flashes in the 2008 Wagon Wheel game.

Eastern Michigan (1-1) at UMass (0-2) | 3:30 pm (FloFootball)
Eastern Michigan is set to hit the road for a second consecutive weekend when it travels to The Bay State for a contest against UMass. EMU currently ranks inside the nation’s top-10 in a pair of special teams categories. The EMU kick off unit has yet to allow a yard of return this season, which is the second-best total of any team in the nation. Only Colorado State (-1.0 yards) has had a better kick return defense this season. As a punting unit, EMU’s 45.7 net yards per punt ranks eighth nationally and first in the MAC. Saturday’s game will be the third all-time meeting between the Eagles and Minutemen. UMass holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams. Most recently, the Minutemen traveled to Ypsilanti and secured a 28-17 win, Nov. 14, 2015.

Bryant (1-1) at Akron (0-2) | 3:30 pm (ESPN3)
Akron held an early 14-0 lead, but could not overcome 38 unanswered points from Temple at Saturday’s home opener at InfoCision-Stadium-Summa Field, as the Zips fell 45-24. Redshirt junior linebacker Bubba Arslanian was recognized by the MAC as its MAC East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Arslanian turned in a stellar performance against Temple registering a game-high 17 tackles, including eight solo stops. His 17 total tackles represent the best single-game effort in the NCAA this season and is two shy of his career-high total of 19 tackles set against Bowling Green last season. Arslanian is rated second in the NCAA in total tackles per game (12.5) and solo tackles per contest (6.0).

Ball State (1-1) at Wyoming (2-0) | 4 pm (Stadium)
Ball State and Wyoming are set to square off for the first time in series history Saturday. RB Carson Steele has a touchdown in both games against Western Illinois and Penn State. He is one of only two true freshmen in the country to rush for a touchdown in both games to begin the season, joining Jarquez Hunter of Auburn. Steele is one of seven players overall in the MAC to rush for at least one touchdown in both games to begin the 2021 campaign. Ball State has three of the top 15 tacklers in the MAC in ILB Jaylin Thomas, S Bryce Cosby and S Brett Anderson II. Thomas is tied for 10th in the league with 16 tackles, while Cosby is right behind in a tie for 12th with 15 tackles. Anderson has 13 stops and is tied for 19th.

Colorado State (0-2) at Toledo (1-1) | 4 pm (ESPNU)
The Rockets return to the Glass Bowl to face Colorado State after nearly pulling off one of the greatest upsets in school history last week. Toledo (1-1) lost at Notre Dame, 32-29, on Sept. 11 but not before putting on an impressive showing that nearly sent the then-No. 8 Irish down to defeat. Toledo’s defense held Notre Dame in check most of the game, racking up three turnovers, six sacks and five pass breakups. Junior cornerback Chris McDonald had a pick-six late in the first half and junior lineman Terrance Taylor had a pair of sacks. Sophomore quarterback Carter Bradley completed 17-of-27 passes for 213 yards. Sophomore Devin Maddox had a career-high nine receptions for 135 yards. Junior Bryant Koback paced the rushing attack with 122 yards on 22 carries with one TD reception.

Murray State (1-1) at Bowling Green (0-2) | 5 pm (ESPN3) Bowling Green hosts Murray State for the second time in series history. BGSU LB Darren Anders is the only player in the nation this season with 20+ tackles (22), one interception, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one sack. He recorded his first career interception against South Alabama last time out and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. He currently ranks No. 9 in the nation and No. 2 in the MAC with 11.0 tackles per game. QB Matt McDonald notched a career-high 308 passing yards against South Alabama. It was the first time in his career he passed for 300+ yards in a game. His 495 passing yards this season ranks No. 1 in the MAC. His 308 passing yards were the most of any MAC quarterback in Week No. 2 and was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

Central Michigan (1-1) at LSU (1-1) | 7:30 pm (SEC Network)
Central Michigan travels to LSU for its final road non-conference game of the season. CMU tallied a shutout against Robert Morris, its first since a 37-0 victory over UMass in 2013. CMU dominated the game, holding RMU to three first downs, 109 total yards (13 passing, 96 rushing) and 1-12 on third down. The Chippewas have been strong with their third-down defense this season, allowing opponents to convert just two of 23 opportunities (9%). That leads the MAC and ranks second in the nation.

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