Week 3 MAC - Marshall-Ohio & More, Part 2

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Week 3 - MAC Fearless Predictions, Marshall at Ohio & More, Part 2

- Bowling Green at Indiana & More, Part 1
- Marshall at Ohio & More, Part 2

Northern Illinois (1-0) at Idaho (0-2) Sept. 14, 5:00

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Northern Illinois beat a decent Iowa team in the opener and Jordan Lynch now gets his chance to pad his stats. Idaho has looked terrible through two weeks, but there's nothing like a home opener to lift the morale of a struggling team.
Why Northern Illinois Might Win: Idaho's defense has more holes than Swiss cheese in the first two weeks and a quarterback of Jordan Lynch's caliber will take advantage. The Huskies will also be able to establish a run game with the running backs, something they couldn't do against Iowa.
Why Idaho Might Win: Getting to Moscow, Idaho is a hassle and it's possible the travel makes the Huskies a bit weary on gameday. On the field, quarterback Chad Chalich has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 412 yards and could take advantage of Northern Illinois' secondary.
Who To Watch Out For: Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch should have a field day against an Idaho defense that has given up more than 577 yards per game. His dual threat ability means he should gain 300 yards through the air and 100 yards on the ground.
What Will Happen: Jordan Lynch will perform like a Heisman candidate against this weak Idaho defense and put up video game numbers. The Vandals offense will continue its struggle to move the ball and the Huskies will fly away from Idaho with a big victory.
Prediction: Northern Illinois 45 … Idaho 7
Line: Northern Illinois -28 o/u: 61
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 1.5

Massachusetts (0-2) at Kansas State (1-1) Sept. 14, 7:00

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Kansas State was able to be Kansas State again with a dominant performance over Louisiana-Lafayette to get over the pain of losing to North Dakota State. Now comes another tune-up for the Wildcat machine before diving into Big 12 action at Texas next week. UMass got obliterated in the opener at Wisconsin and didn't get the offense moving in a 24-14 loss to Main last week. It could get uglier before anything gets better – there's a shot against Miami University on October 12th and Akron on November 16th - but it's acknowledged it's a process. It's going to be a while before Charley Molnar's program starts to be competitive, and this could be another rough step.

Why Massachusetts Might Win: So how did North Dakota State do it? The Bison managed to control the clock, owned third downs, and didn't screw up. The problem for UMass has been a painful lack of long, sustained drives because the offense hasn't been able to connect. The Minutemen have to do everything possible to shorten the game. Slow, slow, slow, milk the clock, and keep the defense on the sidelines. And then, hope Kansas State isn't sharp.

Why Kansas State Might Win: UMass isn't getting anything out of the offense. There's no scoring punch, little passing game and nothing from the ground game on a regular basis – what does Kansas State have to gameplan for? Even when the offense was moving a little bit against Maine, it couldn't stop screwing up with three turnovers; you can't do that against Kansas State. The Wisconsin running game is going to make everyone look awful, but the Minutemen don't have much on the defensive front seven to handle the power of the Wildcats.

Who To Watch Out For: Kansas State's Tramaine Thompson has started the season on fire. The veteran wide receiver has been fine for the offense, catching eight passes for 154 yards and a score, but he's been unstoppable on special teams returning a kickoff for a score against Louisiana-Lafayette and two punts for 94 yards. The UMass special teams have been great, but it has to contain Thompson's home run hitting ability.

What Will Happen: UMass will have a nightmare of a time trying to move the ball, and the run defense won't be able to hold up. Kansas State will have this well in hand by halftime.
Prediction: Kansas State 51 … Massachusetts 7
Line: Kansas State -38.5 o/u: 52.5
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 1.5

Eastern Washington (2-0) at Toledo (0-2) Sept. 14, 7:00, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Eastern Washington was one of the FCS teams that shocked the world on opening weekend and this week they travel to Toledo which struggled in two road games against SEC opponents. This game could be yet another FCS upset over an FBS opponent.
Why Eastern Washington Might Win: Quarterback Vernon Adams was unbelievable against Oregon State, throwing for 411 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and running for a team-high 107 yards and two scores. The run defense has also been impressive, limiting opponents to less than 70 yards on the ground through two games.
Why Toledo Might Win: The Rockets challenged themselves with two SEC opponents on the road to start the season and will be excited for their home opener. Toledo's offense should be able to exploit the Eastern Washington defense and the Rockets' defense has done a great job putting pressure on the quarterback.
Who To Watch Out For: Toledo running back David Fluellen had an excellent game last week against Missouri, accumulating more than 100 yards rushing and receiving. Eastern Washington struggled to contain Oregon State's offense so Fluellen should find plenty of opportunities to have the ball in his hands.
What Will Happen: It would be no surprise if Eastern Washington won the game, but Toledo's offense will find a way to score on Eastern Washington. Rockets quarterback Terrance Owens is a much better passes than he's shown so far and will torch the Eagles' secondary.
Prediction: Toledo 44 … Eastern Washington 38
Line: Toledo -3.5 o/u: 63
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 2

Kent State (1-1) at LSU (2-0) Sept. 14, 7:00, ESPNU

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Is LSU ready to really start looking like a national title contender? It beat a strong TCU team by ten, and disposed of UAB without breathing hard, but the defense hasn't quite been up to its normal snuff and the offense isn't destroying teams, final scores aside. With SEC play up next against Auburn, and with a road game at Georgia to follow, this is the game to get the Cam Cameron/Zach Mettenberger passing game rocking and rolling against a Kent State team that's a far cry from the almost-BCS team of last year. After starting out the season struggling against Liberty, the Golden Flashes were thumped by Bowling Green in a 41-22 loss with a defense that gave up 24 unanswered points and an offense that didn't do anything over the final 34 minutes. This kicks off a tough run of five road games in the next six for Kent State. It's the first time the two programs have ever played.

Why Kent State Might Win: The Golden Flashes get their star back. Dri Archer was knocked out early against Liberty with an ankle injury and missed the game against Bowling Green – it showed. One of the most explosive players in the MAC, he's used as both a runner and a receiver, and at the very least he'll take all the focus off of the rest of the offense. He's the one guy LSU has to stop, and that might be easier said than done – he could be the best offensive pro prospect on the field. If the Tigers aren't taking this game seriously and are focusing on the SEC world ahead, there's a chance Kent State could hang around if Archer cranks out a few big plays. On the other side, the Golden Flash defense is just athletic and aggressive enough to give LSU problems for a few series, but …

Why LSU Might Win: It's not getting the job done. Bowling Green moved the ball at will in the second half of its win last week, throwing at will and running without a problem. The Falcon passing game was crisp and explosive, hitting on a 92-yard touchdown pass to break things open in the second half, and the ground game thundered away with a huge performance from Travis Greene. If LSU is trying, the offense should be able to do whatever it wants to thanks to the line. Kent State has an active defensive front, but it can be beaten on.

Who To Watch Out For: While all of the media attention seems to be on Zach Mettenberger and his progress, he's being helped by the emergence of his key receivers. The receiving corps wasn't exactly considered a weak link going into the season, but it had to be better. Odell Beckham, Jr. caught five passes in each of the first two games, rolling for 118 yards against TCU and 136 yards and three touchdowns against UAB. Jarvis Landry has been more than a No. 2 guy, catching eight passes for 109 yards and a score, and five grabs for 71 yards and two touchdowns against UAB. If these guys continue to shine, the rest of the offense should be wide open.

What Will Happen: Kent State's defense won't hold up. The offense will stall and stall some more, and the Tigers will take advantage of the easy opportunities to pull away in the second half.
Prediction: LSU 41 … Kent State 10
Line: LSU -37.5 o/u: 55
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 2

Marshall (2-0) at Ohio (1-1) Sept. 14, 8:00, ESPNews

Why You Should Give A Hoot: This is a monster game for the Thunder Herd because it needs this victory if it expects to play the darkhorse role as a contender for a bid to the BCS. The offensive firepower in this one should make a solid matchup, and we will find out just how for real Marshall is in 2013.

Why Marshall Might Win: That Rakeem Cato is 39th in the country in passing yards is impressive, but the offense as a whole is much better. The offense is 17th in the nation averaging 550 yards per game, and they might just put reach 50 points in this matchup. The playmakers are explosive and they are fully capable of making the Bobcats defense look as putrid as they were against Louisville two weeks ago.

Why Ohio Might Win: QB Tyler Tettleton has been around for a while, and he has seen a ton during his stay in the MAC. The Bobcats are still trying to gain momentum, and they need a solid performance in order to get prepared for the conference play. The duo of Tettleton and RB Beau Blankenship is one to be reckoned with, so don't count them out just yet.

Who To Watch Out For: Marshall WR Tommy Shuler. This may be the best slot receiver in college football and nobody seems to know who he is. The reason being is nobody watches the Herd even play, but this game is on a solid network, ESPNews, on which this young playmaker can shine. Expect double-digit catches along with a pair of touchdowns and over 100 yards in this shootout.

What Will Happen: Marshall is way too good to let this one go slip away. The Thundering Herd is a contender for an at-large bid in the BCS, and it could perhaps stun Virginia Tech the following week. First up are the Bobcats, and Cato will go bonkers on a secondary that allowed 615 yards of offense to the ‘Ville. While Marshall may not top that figure, it is certainly capable of throwing up quite a few points.
Prediction: Marshall 42 … Ohio 31
Line: Marshall -8 o/u: 70
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) … 1.5

Western Michigan (0-2) at Northwestern (2-0) Sept. 14, 9:00, BTN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: This is Northwestern's final FBS opponent before Ohio State comes to town on Oct. 5, and it's the final chance to get everything in place after a fantastic start. The young Wildcat secondary still has room for improvement and going against a weaker opponent should demonstrate if the unit has the talent to hang with the upper echelon of the Big Ten. The dual-quarterback system continues to work in Evanston and the rise of the running game despite Venric Mark's injury is a storyline to continue to watch. For Western Michigan, P.J. Fleck is the youngest head coach in FBS, and that doesn't seem to be a plus as the Broncos are facing a crisis after losing at home to Nicholls State last week. Fleck will need to keep his players' morale high after a tough start to the season, and a huge upset win over the Wildcats would do it.
Why Western Michigan Might Win: Corey Davis has been a stud for the Broncos as a pass catcher, reeling in 16 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. Western Michigan also has a good dual-running back system with Dareyon Chance and Brian Fields both eclipsing 100 yards last week, which should allow the offense to control the clock and keep their defense off the field. The defense has done an excellent job at getting off the field on third down, limiting offenses to a 33 percent conversion rate.
Why Northwestern Might Win: Neither Cal nor Syracuse was able to stop the Northwestern offense for an extended period in the past two weeks. Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian make the two-quarterback system work and the passing game has finally found its legs this season through two weeks. The Northwestern defense has become a takeaway machine, leading the nation with seven interceptions through two weeks, and the defensive line has done a great job at getting to the quarterback and disrupting his rhythm.
Who To Watch Out For: It's impossible to separate Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian when discussing the Northwestern offense, at least when Colter is healthy. The dual-quarterback system has magically worked for the Wildcats and both quarterbacks played really well against Syracuse, combining to complete 30 of 37 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. Colter also added 87 yards and a score with his feet.
- Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen was knocked out of the Michigan State game and has struggled early this season. If the Broncos want to pull off the stunner, Van Tubbergen must be at the top of his game: limiting the turnovers, being more accurate as a passer and incorporating more people not named Corey Davis into the offense.
What Will Happen: Northwestern's offense will run roughshod over Western Michigan's defense as the pure speed and athleticism will be too much for the Broncos. Western Michigan will score early, but it will likely be the only time they sniff the end zone in the first three quarters. Northwestern will come up with at least three interceptions and Western Michigan's offensive line will struggle with the power and athleticism of the Wildcats front seven, resulting in many quarterback hurries and a couple of sacks. The Wildcats will empty the bench in the fourth quarter and that allows the Broncos to score one more time before the game ends.
Prediction: Northwestern 48 … Western Michigan 14
Line: Northwestern -31 o/u: 59
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 2

Central Michigan (1-1) at UNLV (0-2) Sept. 14, 10:00, CampusInsiders.com

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Someone has to get their season going. UNLV suffered meltdowns in ugly losses to Minnesota and Arizona, getting its doors blown off last week by the Wildcats and breaking down in key spots on special teams against the Gophers. The experience is there to be better, but if the Rebels can't beat a mediocre MAC team at home, it could be a brutally long rest of the season. Central Michigan was awful in the opener against Michigan, but it came back to beat New Hampshire in a thriller last week. With Toledo to kick off the MAC season next week, the offense has to be better, fast, while the Rebels could go on a decent run with a win. This is the easy part of the schedule with Western Illinois, New Mexico and Hawaii up next.

Why Central Michigan Might Win: Get the running game going. Minnesota pounded away a little bit with the backs, but UNLV was able to slow them down – the D couldn't handle Gopher QB Philip Nelson. Last week, the Rich Rodriguez Arizona offense blew up on the Rebels with 397 yards on the ground. While CMU might not get too many rushing yards out of the quarterback, the passing game worked last week against UNH with Cooper Rush throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns.

Why UNLV Might Win: Oh yeah, the Central Michigan running game. Saylor Lavallii has been a pounder so far, and he helped carry the load against New Hampshire, but he's about it. He's not going to be the breakaway threat who can tear up an already struggling Rebel defense. For all the problems UNLV might be having, giving up the big pass play hasn't been among them, meaning it could be a tough evening for …

Who To Watch Out For: Titus Davis, the all-around veteran playmaker for CMU who was held in check by Michigan – coming up with two catches for 28 yards – and destroying New Hampshire with six catches for 184 yards and two scores, highlighted by a 97-yarder in the fourth quarter to tie the game. In a game that needs playmakers to step up, CMU has to get another huge day out of its veteran.

What Will Happen: Finally, UNLV won't royally screw things up. Despite the problems, and with the big blowouts, the team has shown glimpses, and now it's playing someone its own size. The run defense will stop Lavallii, the secondary will be fine, and the offense won't give up any disastrous turnovers. At least not too many.
Prediction: UNLV 38 … Central Michigan 27
Line: UNLV -7 o/u: 56
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 1.5

- Bowling Green at Indiana & More, Part 1
- Marshall at Ohio & More, Part 2