Week 7 - MAC Fearless Predictions

Posted Oct 12, 2012

Week 7 MAC Fearless Predictions, Analysis & Game Previews

Toledo (5-1) at Eastern Michigan (0-5) Oct. 13, 1:00

Here's The Deal: Toledo found its stride last week with a 50-35 blasting of Central Michigan to go 3-0 in MAC play. The Rockets might not have the high-powered offense of previous seasons, but it's an effective attack that's rolling without a problem after a season-opening loss at Arizona. The defense has been good enough, even if the secondary is struggling in shootouts. Fortunately for Toledo, there shouldn't be much of a problem against a horrible EMU offense.

It has been a disastrous season so far for the Eagles, and now they're on a seven-game losing streak going back to last year. Not only are they winless this year, but they haven't come within single digits of beating anyone. The offense is the second-worst in the nation, the defense is 114th, and nothing seems to be working. EMU has lost five in a row in the series and 11 of the last 12, with the last win coming in 2006. Head coach Ron English needs to buck the trend to try saving the season.

What Will Happen: Toledo will run early and often against a defense powerless to keep David Fluellen under wraps. The Rockets will tear off 300 rushing yards on the way to an effortless win. The Eagles will throw a little bit but won't be able to keep up the pace.

CFN Prediction: Toledo 45 … Eastern Michigan 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Toledo -15.5 O/U: 58.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 1.5

Akron (1-5) at Ohio (6-0) Oct. 13, 2:00, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: Akron has been a whole bunch of fun under new head coach Terry Bowden, leading the MAC in passing offense and averaging 34 points per game, but the production hasn't translated in to wins. The Zips pushed Tennessee, game Miami University fits and took FIU into overtime, but none of it has mattered on the way to a 1-5 start. This starts a run of three road games in the next four weeks, and sooner than later, the defense has to hold up its end of the bargain and the O has to be more consistent.

Ohio keeps on plugging along starting out the year unbeaten after shocking Penn State in the opener, but it's been a fight lately. The Bobcats beat Marshall, UMass and Buffalo by a grand total of 13 points with the defense starting the waver and the offense not quite as consistent as it should be. However, it should be smooth sailing on the way to the MAC title game if there aren't any problems in a landmine game like this against a dangerous attack.

What Will Happen: The Bobcat secondary has been just shaky enough to make this a game. Akron will throw well, but the defensive front doesn't have the strength or toughness to keep Beau Blankenship and the Ohio running game under wraps. The Bobcats will get to 7-0, but it will be a fight along the way.

CFN Prediction: Ohio 41 … Akron 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ohio -20.5 O/U: 67
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2

Miami University (3-3) at Bowling Green (3-3) Oct. 13, 3:30, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: MU is 2-0 in MAC play, but the wins came against lightweights Akron and UMass. Even so, with a good passing offense and the potential to hang 50 on the board on the right day, the RedHawks are just good enough to potentially keep on pushing for a special season. However, the big East games are coming up against Ohio, Kent State and Ball State, and even though all three are at home, they're going to be major tests. If the team is good enough to get by Bowling Green, it'll be good enough to roll through just about anyone else on the slate.

The Falcons are on a two-game winning streak and don't have any margin for error after losing to Toledo in mid-September. Things get easy for a while with UMass and Eastern Michigan up next before the showdown against Ohio. Before thinking about getting into the MAC title chase, the offense has to be far more effective and the passing game stronger without running back Anthon Samuel, who's out with an ankle injury.

What Will Happen: The banged up Falcon offense doesn't have enough pop on the ground without Samuel to take advantage of the horrible MU defensive front, but the strong pass defense and terrific pass rush should be just enough to keep the tempo manageable at home.

CFN Prediction: Bowling Green 27 … Miami University 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Bowling Green -7.5 O/U: 54
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): #

Buffalo (1-4) at Northern Illinois (5-1) Oct. 13,

Here's The Deal: NIU is a late Iowa touchdown run away from being unbeaten, and while there have been so close calls along the way with close wins over Army and Kansas, everything is starting to come together. The rushing attack leads the MAC and the defense has been clutch, at least since the Iowa game, and now it's all about getting through the next few weeks before getting to MAC West-deciding games against Western Michigan and Toledo.

Buffalo has yet to win a game against an FBS team this season with the lone victory coming against Morgan State, but it's been an interesting ride. The Bulls gave Ohio all it could handle last week in a 36-31 loss, and the running game continues to work despite the loss of Branden Oliver to a leg injury, but now it's time to start coming up with wins. With four home games in a row coming up next, even with dates against Pitt, Toledo and Western Michigan to deal with, this is when UB is supposed to look better. However, this is also one of the toughest stretches that any MAC team has to deal with.

What Will Happen: The Huskies should be able to run without a problem on a Buffalo run defense that's getting gouged by anyone and everyone. This is the best ground attack UB has faced since the opener against Georgia, but the UB pass rush should keep this from getting out of hand.

CFN Prediction: Northern Illinois 38 … Buffalo 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Northern Illinois -14 O/U: 55.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2