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MAC Fearless Predictions, Week 6, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 28, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week six MAC games, Part 2


MAC
East  Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | Northern Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan
Past MAC Predictions:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

How'd we do so far? 39-9 straight up, 21-19-2 ATS


Week Six MAC Fearless Predictions | Get Tickets for These Games

Akron (2-3) at Cincinnati (2-3)  3:30 PM EST Saturday October 7th
Why to watch: Cincinnati couldn’t upset Ohio State earlier in the year, but does have a chance to knock off a MAC opponent from the Buckeye State for the second straight week.  The Bearcats upended winless Miami last Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak and recapture the Victory Bell.  With Louisville next on the schedule, it’s imperative Cincy gets to .500 while it can against a struggling Akron team.  What in the name of Charlie Frye has happened to the Zips?  The same Akron team that upset NC State in Raleigh earlier in the year has lost consecutive MAC games to Central Michigan and Kent State, likely ending its chance to repeat as league champions.  The Zips need to stop the bleeding right now or else the 2006 season could begin to unravel.
Why Akron might win: The Zips can’t run the ball, so they’ll attack Cincinnati’s 85th-ranked pass defense with Getsy and his strong trio of receivers, Jabari Arthur and freshmen David Harvey and Jermaine Lindsay.  Harvey’s five touchdowns catches have him well on his way to being named MAC Freshman of the Year.  If Akron finds the end zone with regularity, the Bearcats won’t be able to keep pace with an offense that’s averaged just 12 points in four games with I-A opponents.
Why Cincinnati might win
: Akron is underachieving because it’s getting dominated at the point of attack.  The Zips have collected just three sacks all year while allowing Getsy to get dumped 18 times, which is more than just five teams in the country.  Cincy will generate a push up front behind an improving D-line, while opening holes for a running game that awoke with 253 yards last weekend.
Who to watch: In just his second year, the 6-2, 260-pound DE Trevor Anderson is developing into Cincinnati’s best pass-rusher, who’s replacing the production departed end Adam Roberts.  Anderson’s getting lots of help along the line from Angelo Craig, Terrill Byrd and Anthony Hoke, forming a unit that’ll make Getsy’s life miserable Saturday afternoon.
What will happen: It’s not going to be a Picasso, but Cincinnati will even its record on the strength of its defense and the inside running of Greg Moore and Butler Benton.
CFN Prediction: Cincinnati 27 ... Akron 20 ... Line: Cincinnati -5.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...
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Western Michigan (3-1) at Ohio (2-3)  7 PM EST GamePlan Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: All the positives from Ohio's stunning 35-23 win over Northern Illinois have been wiped away with a three-game losing streak including a painful 21-9 home loss to Bowling Green last week to put a serious crimp in any MAC title dreams. The hopes can all start up again with a win over a Western Michigan team that's gone on a three-game winning streak and has a showdown with Northern Illinois ahead. The Broncos have been tremendous since the opening day loss to Indiana with a shocking 17-10 win over Western Michigan and a 31-10 bombing of Toledo making them one of the new favorites for the MAC title. The West is the more competitive of the two divisions, so WMU needs this interdivisional win just in case there's a slip along the way.
Why Western Michigan Might Win: Western Michigan forces mistakes, and Ohio makes them. No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin with 12 takeaways and only four turnovers, the Broncos have been able to take advantage of opportunities time and again over the last three games. Ohio has given it up 12 times killing any momentum in several games. The Bobcat offense has gone in the tank scoring just 22 points over the last three games and dropping to 113th in the nation averaging 240 yards per game. However ...
Why Ohio Might Win: ... it's not like Western Michigan's offense is a well-oiled machine. WMU's passing game has been ineffective so far, and Ohio has been great at slowing down short to midrange passing games. Forced turnovers and strong defense have been helped the Broncos get by, so if Ohio can be secure with the ball and go on a few decent scoring drives, it'll have a shot.
Who to Watch: What the heck has happened to Kalvin McRae? One of the MAC's best backs, the Ohio junior has only rushed for 242 yards on the year with 108 yards and no touchdowns in the last three games. Defenses have loaded up against the Bobcat running game daring QB Austen Everson to win through the air, which he was able to to against Northern Illinois, but hasn't been able to do since. The Bobcats will need everything to work to penetrate the Bronco defense.
What Will Happen: WMU will keep the momentum rolling with timely offense and just enough big plays on D to pull off the big road win.
CFN Prediction
: Western Michigan 23 ... Ohio 10  ... Line: Western Michigan -3
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...
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Northern Illinois (3-2) at Miami University (0-5)  8 PM EST ESPN Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Back in the off-season, this appeared to be a key matchup and a possible preview of the MAC title game. Northern Illinois is doing its part after overcoming a stunning loss to Ohio to go on a three-game winning streak, but the turn in the fortunes was helped by playing Buffalo, Indiana State and Ball State. At the moment, Miami might be added to the list of dregs with a five game losing streak on the way to becoming one of the nation's most disappointing teams. The offense hasn't produced, the lines have been awful, and there have been no clutch plays whatsoever. Even so, the RedHawks are just 0-1 in the conference and can quickly turn things around with a splashy, nationally televised win.
Why Northern Illinois Might Win: Garrett Wolfe. The whole world is talking about the NIU senior running back after his 353-yard, three touchdown explosion giving him an NCAA record 1,181 yards after five games putting him in the Heisman race. Miami's run defense has been non-existent so far giving up 253 yards to Cincinnati and 152 yards to Syracuse over the last two weeks to average running games. Wolfe should be able to put up a monster number. If he's held down, veteran QB Phil Horvath is good enough to pick apart the MU secondary.
Why Miami University Might Win: It's not like NIU has beaten anyone, and it seems like MU is just this close from getting over the hump. Miami should be able to bomb away at will on an NIU secondary that hasn't even been close. The corners have been stunningly soft in a bend-but -don't-break defense that's busting in a big way. For all of Miami's problems, the passing attack has been working well, with the exception of a few too many interceptions.
Who to Watch: The college football world will be tuning into to see Wolfe, but the national spotlight will also showcase Miami's unsung star receiver Ryne Robinson. Known as an elite kick returner early in his career, Robinson has emerged as a polished receiver who has cooled off a bit after starting out the year with 18 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games. He showed against Cincinnati that he's still one of the nation's most dangerous punt returners with a brilliant 80-yard return for a score.
What Will Happen: Miami will throw for well over 300 yards, but that won't be enough to overcome the NIU balance. Wolfe will be held down for a little while, and then will explode for a big run to change the game around.
CFN Prediction
: Northern Illinois 26 ... Miami 21 ... Line: Northern Illinois -10.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...
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Week Six MAC Fearless Predictions | Get Tickets for These Games