2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 11 - MAC Previews
MAC Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 12 at Eastern Michigan 30 … Buffalo 17
(AP) YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Alex Gillett threw four touchdown passes to lead Eastern Michigan to a 30-17 victory over Buffalo on Saturday.
Gillett connected on two TD throws apiece with Demarius Reed and Garrett Hoskins for the Eagles (6-4, 4-2 Mid-American).
Gillett went 10-for-15 for 234 yards. He also ran for 89 yards.
Branden Oliver scored both touchdowns for the Bulls (2-8, 1-5), running for 68- and 3-yard scores. He carried 18 times for 134 yards.
After Patrick Clarke's field goal and both of Oliver's touchdowns, Buffalo led 17-16 with 6:35 to go in the third quarter. But the Eagles responded with the second touchdowns by Reed and Hoskins for the final margin.
The Eagles outgained Buffalo 413 yards to 252 and converted 7 of 16 third downs to just 1 of 13 for the Bulls. Eastern Michigan also sacked Chazz Anderson five times.
Buffalo (2-7) at Eastern Michigan (5-4) November 12th, 1 PM ET
Here’s The Deal … Buffalo heads to Ypsilanti, Michigan to face Eastern Michigan in an interdivisional MAC contest. The Eagles won last season’s meeting 21-17 in Buffalo.
The Bulls have struggled this season, limping to a 2-7 record. However, Buffalo has remained competitive in most games this season, including narrow losses to West division contenders Ball State and Northern Illinois.
Eastern Michigan is the most improved team in the MAC. After finishing 2-10 last season, the Eagles are off to a 5-4 start, and still have a chance to take the division title if they win out.
Both teams need this game to make their season. A Buffalo win would give the Bulls an opportunity to finish 4-4 in conference play, which would give the team something positive to build on for the 2012 season. On other hand, an Eastern Michigan win would keep their hopes of a division title alive, and put them in position for a potential bowl berth. It would also give EMU its highest win total since 1995.
Why Buffalo Might Win: While Buffalo likes to use a balanced offense, they have had much more success in the passing game. Aside from the Temple game, the Bulls have torched opposing secondaries in conference play, averaging 258 yards per game, and topping the 300-yard mark twice. They will have no trouble throwing the ball against an Eastern Michigan defense that has allowed 260 yards per game, and has allowed opposing QB’s to complete a whopping 66% of their passes.
Why Eastern Michigan Might Win: Head Coach Ron English believes in playing physical football and establishing the running game. As a result, the Eagles rank 15th nationally in rushing yards per game. In MAC play, the Eagles continue to run right over opposing defenses, averaging 235 yards per contest. They will continue to have success this week against a Buffalo defense that ranks 10th in the conference in rushing defense, and allows 5.1 yards per carry in conference play.
What To Watch Out For: The Buffalo offense starts and ends with senior QB Chazz Anderson. Anderson has had an excellent season ranking sixth in the conference in total offense, and eighth in passing yards per game. In addition to his passing skills, Anderson can also run the ball, ranking second in the team in rushing yards. With his ability to make plays through the air or on the ground, the Bulls will give the ball to Anderson, and trust him to win the game.
Eastern Michigan will do what it does best – run the football. To get things started, the Eagles will turn to dual-threat QB Alex Gillet. Gillet is the leading rusher for the Eagle rushing attack, running for 565 yards this season, which ranks 10th in the MAC. While the Eagles prefer to pound the rock, Gillet can throw the ball when he needs to, completing 59% of his passes in conference play.
What Will Happen: As is this case with just about every MAC contest, the offenses will take over the game. Buffalo should get on the board early with big plays from Anderson. However, Eastern Michigan’s physical style of play will wear out the Bulls as the game goes on. The Eagles dominate the second half, earning their sixth victory, and their best season since 1995.
CFN Prediction: Eastern Michigan 35 … Buffalo 17
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Eastern Michigan -3 O/U: 48
Nov. 12 Kent State 35 … at Akron 3
(AP) AKRON, Ohio -- Trayion Durham ran for two of Kent State's four second-half touchdowns in the Golden Flashes' 35-3 win over Akron on Saturday.
Leading 6-3, Freddy Cortez kicked a 46-yard field goal for the Golden Flashes (4-6, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) late in the second quarter.
Kent State then got a 1-yard touchdown run from Durham, a 6-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Keith to Tim Erjavec and another 1-yard score from Durham to go up 29-3 at the end of the third quarter.
Jacquise Terry capped the Golden Flashes' scoring on an 11-yard run with 9:10 remaining.
Durham finished with 107 yards on 24 carries, as Kent State outgained Akron 265-58 on the ground.
The Zips (1-9, 0-6) were held to just 223 yards of total offense in their fifth straight loss.
Keith finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 11 of 16 passing.
Kent State (3-6) at Akron (1-8) Nov. 12, 2:00, STO, ESPN3
Here’s The Deal …This is a big deal with the two campuses only twelve miles apart. Indeed it’s time to battle for the wagon wheel. That’s right, this is a trophy game--if you want to call it that, and bragging rights are on the line in Northeast Ohio.
Neither team is probably going bowling, and neither team has a real shot at a division title, but that won’t matter come Saturday afternoon. Kent State won the annual battle last year by a score of 28-7 at home, but are behind in the all-time series 30-21-2. Akron has won the last three at home in this rivalry, and 11 of the last 14 overall.
Why Kent State Might Win: Kent State has the better squad this year, and though the Golden Flashes have not set the world on fire, they have won their last two and are gaining momentum as the season enters the home stretch. The offense is not going to create a lot of mismatches against anyone, but it may not have to against an Akron offense that is just as bad.
Akron is the only MAC school yet to register a victory in conference, and its mainly because they have nothing to hang their helmet on whether it be offense (115th in scoring) or defense (104th in allowing points). The Golden Flashes on the other hand, have been able to at least slow teams down from time to time (ranked 33rd in total defense). That should tilt this game towards a potential KSU win.
Why Akron Might Win: It’s not like Kent State is thatmuch better of a football team, and the Zips have history and emotion on their side. As the old adage says, throw the records out in this one. Yes, AU has been horrendous this year, but that won’t matter in this one. The game is at home, its a heated rivalry--and it’s THE SEASON for an Akron team that has just this remaining as something to play for. Look for emotion. Look for an Akron football team to play over its head, and look for the Zips to be in this one and have a legitimate shot to pull the upset at home, in front of their fans.
What To Watch Out For: Which team is going to get things going early on offense to win this one? Both teams have struggled mightily on offense this season, and a slow start is going to be very hard to overcome. Neither team is built to score, let alone come back from a deep hole in an intense rivalry. Can Kent State QB Spencer Keith get things moving through the air against the porous Akron defense, or can Akron RB Jawon Chishom get it going on the ground for Akron? Whichever has more success early, will have the best shot at circling the wagon wheel.
What Will Happen: Playing in front of the home fans, in the game that it circles every year, with nothing more to play for--Akron will come out with lots of emotion and play above the talent level. The running game will get going to a degree early, and at least initially--the Zips will get the better end of the yardage. They won’t but be able to finish drives to keep the momentum going. After the initial emotion wears off, Kent State will start to build and cease the game by beginning to shut down the Akron offense. Offensively, Kent State will stay close early and do just enough late to pull this one out.
CFN Prediction: Kent State 24 … Akron 16
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Kent State -5.5 O/U: 39.5
Nov. 12 Ohio 43 … at Central Michigan 28
(AP) MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Tyler Tettleton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to help Ohio take the lead in the Mid-American Conference's East division with a 43-28 victory over Central Michigan on Thursday night.
The Bobcats (7-3, 4-2) ran for 309 yards, including 129 from Beau Blankenship, who scored two touchdowns late.
Ryan Radcliff completed 26 of 52 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns for Central Michigan (3-8, 2-5).
Ohio (6-3) at Central Michigan (3-7) Nov. 10, 7:30, ESPNU
Here’s The Deal …It’s the first place team in the East division versus the last place team in the West division. There is not much room for error by either team as every team jockeys for divisional position heading down the last few weeks of the season.
Central Michigan lost a close game last week to Kent State that has put them two games behind in the division race, while Ohio is coming off of a huge win at home against a very good Temple team to control its own destiny in the East. Both teams need a win for different reasons. Central Michigan is looking for respect and pride, while the Bobcats still have a championship on their minds.
Why Central Michigan Might Win: It’s a home game for CMU, and the Chippewas are catching the Bobcats at a time in which they are ripe for a let down. Ohio has been very inconsistent this year, having lost two of its three games on the road. Likewise, CMU is not having the best year, but at home, it is a much different team-- winning strangely two of only three home games played thus far, and even knocking off a very good NIU team that is looking to play for big things. The fact that this game is played in Mount Pleasant is going to be a huge difference, and maybe difference why the Chippewas can get back on the winning side of the scoreboard.
Why Ohio Might Win: Plain and simple, OU is the better team. Central Michigan can move the ball well enough through the air, but it has had no success on defense stopping any form of attack, and almost no success moving the ball on the ground on offense.
The Bobcats are balanced enough to put together whatever game plan is needed to win, but they will almost undoubtedly continue to use the improving arm of Tyler Tettleton and look to gain most of its yards through the air. The yards should be plenty and the points easy to come by against a Chippewa defense that is ranked 91st in points allowed. CMU will score some points, but plugging the dam on defense against an ever-improving and talented offensive OU team could be too much to handle.
What To Watch Out For: If the Chippewas are going to win this game, it will be via their bread and butter spread passing attack. There is one slight issue with that game plan heading into this week however. Two starters at the wide receiver position are ailing. Cedric Fraser has already been missing in action for the last four games with an undisclosed injury--and now, the Chippewas second leading receiver, Cody Wilson is also questionable. CMU will still look to enforce its game plan through the air, but just how effective it can be without some of its projected top receivers being able to run around and make plays remains to be seen. How will it cope, and where will the offense come from consistently?
What Will Happen: Being at home will give the Chippewas a boost--early on. Playing on the emotion and comfortable surroundings of home, Central Michigan will get out to a hot start and go up early. As the game wears on however, the Bobcats will begin to figure things out on the defensive side of the ball, and garner the field position needed to start making plays on offense. The tide will turn and the better talent on the green and white sideline will pull away for a victory to stay in the driver’s seat of the division.
CFN Prediction: Ohio 31 … Central Michigan 23
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Central Michigan -6.5 O/U: 60
Miami (4-5) at Temple (5-4) Nov. 9, 8:00, ESPN
Here’s The Deal …It’s another tangle between two teams at the top of the jumbled MAC East, and with just three games to go into the conference slate, this is a big one. The winner will keep pace for a shot to take the division, and while the loser won’t be out of it, it’ll mean much needed help down the stretch.
Miami is coming off of a pasting of Akron to move into a tie for the division lead, while Temple lost a close one on the road in Athens to fall half a game behind the division lead. This will be only the sixth meeting between the two schools in history, with the Owls holding a 3-2 advantage that includes a 23-3 Miami win last year at home to clinch the MAC East.
Why Miami Might Win: The Redhawks have seemed to have turned the corner. After starting out by losing its first four games of the season, Miami has now rattled off four of its last five to vault itself right into contention for a division title. The Redhawks have gotten better and better as the season has progressed by continually putting the ball in the hands of their talented junior quarterback Zac Dysert. As he has gotten better at not turning the ball over, the wins have piled up.
And on top of that, a chink showed in the armor of the Temple defense last week as the Ohio Bobcats threw for 258 yards. Miami will look to exploit the same secondary that now seems to be lacking confidence and should have every opportunity to score enough points to pull this one out.
Why Temple Might Win: Aside from last game, the Temple defense has been fairly stout, giving up a fourth best in FBS 12.8 points per contest. All told, the Owls rank in the top ten in the country in five defensive stats including scoring defense, total defense, pass efficiency defense, rushing defense, and pass defense.
Between the ability to control the clock via its talented, ball-control offense, and an ability to clamp down on a Miami offense that features the worst running game in the country, it could be a relatively easy time at home in Lincoln Financial Field. Look for a bruising attack on offense, and a game plan revolving around stopping the one dimensional attack of Miami on defense for the right to keep pace at the top of the division.
What To Watch Out For: Just how healthy is Bernard Pierce? The Owls top running back, and one of the most featured and talented runners in the country has been battling injuries for the last few weeks. He has not practiced much leading into games, and now has a head injury that could limit his action on game day.
Temple has a more than capable back up to tote the mail in junior running back Matt Brown, but without Pierce, the offense will not be nearly the same threat as with him. For this reason, it will be interesting to see just how Temple expects to game plan for a Miami defense that will no doubt already be looking to stack things up against whomever is carrying the ball. If Pierce can’t be close to 100%, it could be a long and upsetting day for the home team that could result in missed expectations.
What Will Happen: Temple will look to dictate the pace of the game early on by establishing the run, and by bringing pressure on defense to disrupt the timing of the Redhawk offense. The game will remain close all the way through the first half as Temple struggles to find its rhythm without a fully healthy Bernard Pierce, and Miami gets bottled up through the air a bit by a very good Owl defensive unit. In the end, Temple will force Zac Dysert into a couple of ill-advised turnovers to turn this one to the smiling side of the scoreboard for Temple in a hard fought win in front of the home fans.
CFN Prediction: Temple 27 … Miami 13
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Temple -13 O/U: 43.5
Western Michigan (5-4) at Toledo (5-4) November 8th, 8PM ET
Here’s The Deal … Western Michigan travels to Toledo for a critical MAC West showdown. The Rockets won last season’s contest 37-24.
The Broncos enter this game with a 5-4 record after defeating Ball State 45-35 last week. The win kept Western Michigan in the hunt for the division title and moved the Broncos within one game of first place.
After winning their first four conference games in convincing fashion, Toledo comes into the game reeling from a disappointing 63-60 loss to Northern Illinois. The loss dropped the Rockets into a tie with the Huskies atop the West division.
Both teams need to win this game to save their season. A Western Michigan win would put the Broncos in position to grab the MAC’s third bowl bid. On the other hand, Toledo needs to win this game not only to secure a spot in the postseason, but also to keep their hopes of a division title alive.
Why Western Michigan Might Win: The Bronco passing game leads the MAC in yards per game, averaging 306 yards per contest. They will have no trouble throwing against a Toledo defense that ranks 102nd in the nation in passing efficiency. In addition, Western Michigan’s explosive return game should fare well against a Rocket unit that surrendered two kickoff returns for a touchdown against Northern Illinois last week.
Why Toledo Might Win: The Rocket running game has excelled in conference play, rushing for 240 yards per game with an outstanding 5.1 yards per carry. This success on the ground will continue this week against Western Michigan, who has the worst the run defense in the MAC. In addition, Toledo averages 1.56 takeaways per game, which should give them at least one extra turnover – and an extra score - against a Bronco team that has shot itself in the foot with turnovers this season.
What To Watch Out For: When Western Michigan has the ball, they will place the ball in the hands of QB Alex Carder and ask him to win the game. Carder ranks second in MAC in total offense averaging 311.5 yards per game. In addition to his skills as a passer, Carder can also run the ball, rushing for a season-high 95 yards against Bowling Green. His athleticism will cause problems for a Toledo defense that struggled to contain fellow dual-threat QB Chandler Harnish in last week’s 63-60 loss to Northern Illinois.
Toledo’s success in conference play has come from the running game. To get the running game started, the Rockets will hand the ball to senior RB Adonis Thomas, who has 4.45 speed. After missing three games with a broken arm, Thomas returned to the lineup two weeks ago, and ran for 160 yards last week. The Rockets will run Thomas early and often to take advantage of a Western Michigan defense that has struggled against the run all season, allowing 5.7 per carry.
What Will Happen: With both teams fighting for their postseason lives, each team will play inspired football. The offenses will dominate the game in the early in the going, with each team scoring on their first few series. However, the Toledo defense will make some timely plays in the second half to force some turnovers. Aided by these turnovers, the Rockets will pull away from the Broncos late in the game, and remain even with Northern Illinois atop the MAC West.
CFN Prediction: Toledo 38 … Western Michigan 24
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Toledo -11.5
Northern Illinois (6-3) at Bowling Green (4-5) Nov. 8, 8:00, ESPN2
Here’s The Deal …Somebody is beginning to hit their stride. Northern Illinois, after walking through an inconsistent haze at the beginning of the year has now started to finally win the way everyone thought it would. Bowling Green is the antithesis of improvement and is going the other way by losing four of its last five, including an inexcusable loss at Kent State last week to quiet some of the division title talk. The Falcons, despite the late woes can get right back in the MAC East hunt with a win, while the Huskies are looking to keep pace with Toledo for the division lead in the West. It is a big game for both teams as the conference rounds the corner to the home stretch.
Why Northern Illinois Might Win: Slowly but surely, the Huskies are beginning to finally slow teams down enough on defense to outscore everyone. Points have come in bunches over the last few weeks (averaging 45.5 over the last six weeks) via a dynamic rushing attack. The more NIU has focused on establishing the run, the more successful it has become. For Bowling Green, that could be the worst news of all for a team that is ranked 91st in stopping pedestrians. The game should hinge on the ability of NIU to gash the BGSU defense, and home or away, it looks to be a more likely than not scenario for running QB Chandler Harnish and his partner in crime, RB Jasmin Hopkins. The match up on paper looks surely to be a 250 plus yardage ground attack for the Huskies. That should be plenty enough to score and win.
Why Bowling Green Might Win: So, Northern Illinois can score, but can it stop anyone? The Huskies have given up huge gains whether it be on the ground or via the aerial variety. While scoring in the 100’s can be good in some sports, it does little for a defensive reputation. NIU has provided slightly more resistance than air with total defense (103rd), rushing defense (104th), pass efficiency defense (104th), and scoring defense (109th). BGSU will be looking to bomb away and the numbers says that there’s going to be a lot of success. In a shootout, the team more likely to stop the other can often get one or two big stops in a game to tilt the outcome, and BGSU has far more opportunity than NIU in this one. Add the ingredient of home cooking, and there is a good shot that the Falcons get a positive result.
What To Watch Out For: This game will be brought to you by the word -offense? The Huskies will be looking to dominate on the ground, while BGSU will more than likely try to do its damage through the air. It will be a fun game to watch with contrasting styles, but whichever team can throw a little resistance into the equation to stop the barrage, will have a decided advantage. Ever-improving BGSU sophomore QB Matt Schilz will be looking for a little help on the ground to balance out the efficient passing game, while Chandler Harnish may have to try and move the ball on occasion through the air after design run after design run. Can BGSU load up and stop the potent ground warriors, and can NIU slow down the laser precision through the air? Tune in on a Tuesday night to watch what should be a very entertaining game.
What Will Happen: BGSU is currently holding try-outs for scoreboard operators as this one promises to blow a few fuses on the scoreboard clock. Bowling Green will be a little more balanced but come off the bus throwing darts, while Northern Illinois will spread out the Falcon defense and eat up chunks on the ground. It will be a back and forth and widely entertaining game. The harsh reality for fans showing up at Doyt Perry is that BGSU just won’t be able to get the key stop it needs at the end of the game to pull this one out. It will be too much offense by the Huskies and not quite enough defense by Bowling Green.
CFN Prediction: Northern Illinois 42 … Bowling Green 35
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Northern
Illinois -5.5 O/U: 65.5
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