MAC Fearless Predictions, Week 7
Posted Oct 11, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week seven MAC games

East  Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami Univ. | Ohio
West  Ball State | Central Mich | Eastern Mich | No. Illinois | Toledo | West Michigan
Past MAC Predictions:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
Week 6

How'd we do so far? 44-11 straight up, 24-23-2 ATS

Week 7 MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games

MAC Game of the Week

Northern Illinois (4-2) at Western Michigan (3-2) 2 PM EST GamePlan Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: Just when it look Western Michigan was about to take the MAC by storm following a nice three game winning streak that included victories over Toledo and Virginia, it lost to Ohio 27-20 making this a potential do-or-die game for the West title. The same goes for Northern Illinois, who's on a four-game winning streak after dropping the first two games of the year, including a 35-23 loss to Ohio. With MAC home games against Toledo and Central Michigan in November, and an apparent layup at Eastern Michigan to close things out, this might be the biggest hurdle to overcome in the quest for a second straight division title.
Why Northern Illinois Might Win: Western Michigan's run defense, statistically, was one of the best in the nation going into last week's game, but that was because it didn't face anyone who could run. Ohio changed all that tearing off 257 yards and two touchdowns with Kalvin McRae ripping off 120 yards averaging 6.3 yards a crack. Mr. Wolfe can run on anyone and should have a few slivers of daylight against the Bronco defensive front to rip through.
Why Western Michigan Might Win: The NIU pass defense is next-level bad. If gives up the short plays, it gives up the deep ball, and gets ripped apart on midrange throws. It has problems with it all. The Western Michigan quarterback haven't been special so far, but that's partly because TE Tony Scheffler is gone and Greg Jennings is being busy growing into Brett Favre's main weapon. Ryan Cubit, who settled back into the starting job after missing two games, had his best statistical game of the year against Ohio throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns, but the production came late. He should be able to fire at will this week.
Who to Watch: With all the attention being paid to Wolfe, both by the media and other teams, NIU senior QB Phil Horvath has been able to work in relative anonymity for a player good enough to be in the mix for All-MAC honors. He's a veteran leader who's completing 61% of his passes and has been more than solid when getting his chance to bomb deep. He'll have to take advantage of a WMU team selling out to stop the run.
What Will Happen: Western Michigan's passing attack hasn't been anything special, but it will be against the Huskies. Wolfe's 200 yard day won't be enough.
CFN Prediction
: Western Michigan 27 ... Northern Illinois 23 ... Line: Northern Illinois -3
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ...

Miami University (0-6) at Buffalo (1-4) 1 PM EST Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: At the beginning of the year, who would've ever thought this would probably determine the last place East finisher? Miami hasn't been bad, but it hasn't been able to get over the hump to get the first win of the year coming off a tough 28-25 loss to Northern Illinois. Fortunately, is gets a Buffalo team with a defense that's getting progressively worse by the week. Turner Gill's first season has been a rocky one, but he's looking for a stepping stone to build on for the future. Considering Kent State and Central Michigan are strong, and those two are UB's final two home games, this might be the most reasonable chance for a second win. 
Why Miami University Might Win: Buffalo's defense is giving up rushing yards in chunks, and while no one's taking the time to throw much on the mediocre secondary, MU should be able to dink and dunk to death. Ball State's Nate Davis was able to completed 11 of 14 passes last week for 247 yards and three touchdowns, while the running game tore off 232 yards. If the Miami offense plays like it did against Northern Illinois, with QB Mike Kokal mixing up his throws well and occasionally connecting on the deep ball, points won't be hard to come by.
Why Buffalo Might Win: You don't go 0-6 without having a few hundred holes that need patching. Miami's running game continues to be non-existent, the offensive line is doing its best to get Kokal killed, and the defense gives up rushing yards in chunks. At some point, UB's offense is going to turn it loose like it did in garbage time in last week's loss with QB Drew Willy bombing away. He's not making too many mistakes, but he also hasn't taken too many chances. If he starts clicking more on his deep throws, UB's attack could turn into something to watch.
Who to Watch: Buffalo is getting the ball more and more into the hands of its most dangerous playmaker, freshman Naaman Roosevelt. Already established as one of the MAC's premier kick and punt returners averaging 16.9 yards on punts and over 30 yards on kickoffs, he was used more a s a receiver last week catching seven passes for 72 yards and a score. UB's attack could use all the explosiveness it can get.
What Will Happen: Buffalo will hang around for a while, but the Miami offense will finally come up with the performance everyone's been waiting all year for.
CFN Prediction
: Miami 34 ... Buffalo 16 ... Line: Miami Univ. 7.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ... 1.5

Ball State (2-4) at Central Michigan (3-3) 1 PM EST Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: In the nasty MAC West, Ball State and Central Michigan are right in the thick of things with the Cardinals at 2-1 and CMU at 3-0. However, BSU's wins have come against lightweights Eastern Michigan and Buffalo with a loss to Northern Illinois, while CMU has beaten Toledo and Akron along with EMU. With the big division games against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois coming in November, the Chippewas could use all the wins they can get to try to build up a cushion. Ball State needs this win to establish a bit of MAC street cred and prove that it truly belongs in the title mix.
Why Ball State Might Win: CMU"s defense has been extremely average giving up yards and points on a consistent basis with little to no pass defense. Only Eastern Michigan and Michigan didn't throw for over 200 yards against the Chippewas, and that's because the were too busy running the ball. With Nate Davis and the Ball State passing game quickly turning into something special, getting 300+ yards shouldn't be a problem.
Why Central Michigan Might Win: Dead last. Ball State is dead last in America in total defense allowing 482 yards per game and dead last against the pass getting bombed on for 320 yards per outing. Most of the yards might have come in garbage time, but even Buffalo cranked out 408 yards on the Cardinal D. There's a decent pass rush, and the run defense has occasionally been fine, but Central Michigan should be able to fire at will. Putting up 35 points and 450 yards shouldn't be a problem with the way the offense has been humming.
Who to Watch: Two of the MAC's most exciting young quarterbacks will battle it out in the first of what's sure to be several great battles. Both CMU's Dan LeFevour and Ball State's Davis are in the same position replacing starters, but they've been better than anyone could've imagined. All Davis has done in place of Joey Lynch is lead the nation in passing efficiency, completing 73% of his passes over the last two weeks for 545 yards and seven touchdowns. He threw an interception against Buffalo last week, but that was his first of the year. LeFevour went from good to unbelievable over the last two weeks throwing for 655 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions.
What Will Happen: Expect lots of points, lots of big plays, and around 700 passing yards with Central Michigan getting a bit more pop in the second half.
CFN Prediction
: Central Michigan 44 ... Ball State 27 ... Line: Central Michigan -9
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ... 2.5

Week 7 MAC Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games