MAC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Part 2
Posted Oct 18, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week eight 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 | Week 7

How'd we do so far? 49-12 straight up, 27-26-2 ATS

Week 8 MAC Fearless Predictions | Get Tickets for These Games

Toledo (2-5) at Eastern Michigan (0-6)  3 PM EST GamePlan Saturday, October 21
Why to Watch: Who would've ever thought Toledo would be playing Eastern Michigan for the right to see who the worst team in the MAC West is. Fine, so EMU being here is hardly a shock, but Toledo has been one of the year's stunning disappointments after being predicted by everyone to be a contender. The Rockets have lost three straight and have been getting worse by the week getting whacked by Pitt, Central Michigan and Kent State by a combined score of 127 to 37. Meanwhile, EMU can't win a close game losing to Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Northwestern by less than a touchdown. On a six game losing streak, this is one of the best chances to right the ship; this will be the only time the rest of the year EMU will be favored.
Why Toledo Might Win: EMU has one of the few defenses playing as poorly as Toledo's. The Eagles have been equally poor at stopping the run and the pass, and it hasn't gotten nearly enough production from the offense to make up for the problems. If this gets into any sort of a shootout, EMU isn't equipped to keep up with last week's 21-point output its best so far this year. Toledo is averaging 24 per outing, but ...
Why Eastern Michigan Might Win: ... the offense has gone into the tank over the last three weeks at about the same time the defense has gone from bad to abysmal. Take out the 41-7 win over D-IAA McNeese State, and Toledo is giving up an average of 39 points per game. The only times the offense has exploded points-wise came in overtimes. The problem has mostly come from the offensive line that hasn't gotten any sort of a push for the running game and is awful in pass protection. In other words, this should be the first time in weeks that EMU's defense gets a break.
Who to Watch: The might not be a more productive, unnoticed receiver in America than Eastern Michigan's Eric Deslauriers. The senior has 217 career catches for 2,859 yards and 26 touchdowns with eight career double-digit catch games. He has caught fire over the last two weeks catching 19 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns making him the main focus of the Toledo defense.
What Will Happen:
Oh Ziggy, will you ever win? Toledo might be having major problems, and EMU will come up with its best offensive showing of the year, but the Rockets will win the shootout thanks to a late stop.
CFN Prediction
: Toledo 38 ... Eastern Michigan 34 ... Line: Eastern Michigan -2
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 1.5

Temple (0-7) at Northern Illinois (4-3)  3:05 PM EST Saturday, October 21
Why to Watch: Now that Northern Illinois has effectively been whacked from MAC title contention after losing 16-14 to Western Michigan, the goal will be to be as impressive as possible, and get Garrett Wolfe going again, to become attractive for one of the MAC's open bowl slots. Bowls want to be seen, and Wolfe is the league's marquee attraction. Now he has to generate a buzz again after getting stuffed for 25 yards by the Broncos last week. Temple is on a 19-game losing streak, but there have been slow signs of improvement. NIU is more TU's size and actually might represent the best chance to get s win since the opener at Buffalo because ...
Why Temple Might Win: ... NIU can't stop the pass. Only Ball State is giving up more yards through the air than the Huskies who have been torched by everyone from Ohio to Buffalo to Western Michigan. Temple has only been able to throw for more than 200 yards this year, in a 62-0 loss to Louisville, but this week should be the second time. NIU's pass rush hasn't been nearly effective enough to generate consistent pressure, so Vaughn Charlton should have time to throw, but ...
Why Northern Illinois Might Win: ... does he have the receivers who can make enough plays to take advantage of the miserable Huskie secondary? Tight end Steve Maneri caught a touchdown pass against Clemson, but there aren't any deep threats that'll scare anyone, and Charlton, only a freshman, is hardly a polished passer. After last week's performance, the NIU offensive line is frothing at the mouth to pound on someone, and the horrendous Temple defensive line will be the unfortunate victim. Temple allowed 248 rushing yards per game; Wolfe could have that in the first half.
Who to Watch: Wolfe isn't the only good back in this game. Temple's Tim Brown is a talented, quick runner who has the misfortune of not having any room to move. He came back from missing two games to rush for 147 yards and a score on Vanderbilt and 121 on Clemson as part of an excellent three-game stretch. For Temple to win, Brown has to do the impossible and match Wolfe yard for yard and big play for big play. 
What Will Happen:
Don't be stunned if Temple makes this far more interesting than expected for at least a half; NIU isn't that good. However, there will be no answer for Wolfe, who'll rip off a 300-yard day to get his season back on track.
CFN Prediction
: Northern Illinois 44 ... Temple 17 ... Line: Northern Illinois -34.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 1.5

Miami University (1-6) at Akron (2-4)  6 PM EST Saturday, October 21
Why to Watch: This might have been considered the MAC game of the year in the preseason with the winner likely to have represented the East in the championship. Now it's a fight for survival. Miami finally broke its ugly six-game losing streak with a way-too-close 38-31 win over Buffalo, while Akron has lost two straight and is searching for its first MAC win after losing to Central Michigan and Kent State. The Zips have one of the MAC's most prolific passing attacks, while MU is second in the league throwing the ball. There should be plenty of big plays and lots of fireworks.
Why Miami University Might Win: Akron just can't get to the quarterback. It's trying, but it has only generated four sacks on the season. The defensive front has been able to get into the backfield and has been decent at making big plays against the run, but it can't close when it comes to getting the quarterback down. The Zip pass rush will be a welcome relief to a porous MU offensive line that's doing its best to get QB Mike Kokal beaten up. If Kokal has time to operate, he's solid.
Why Akron Might Win: If Akron was ever going to start running the ball again, this would be the week. The RedHawks have been shoved around all over the place by everyone's running game, including Buffalo's with James Starks tearing off 113 yards and a touchdown. The Zip offensive line might stink, but Dennis Kennedy is a capable back who has the potential to run for 100 yards if he gets a little bit of room to move.
Who to Watch: One of the bright spots in the down season for Akron has been the emergence of freshman receiver David Harvey, who leads the team with 21 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns. The explosive speedster is also being used on kickoff returns averaging a whopping 44 yards per attempt over the last three games, while also being looked at by Luke Getsy as the number one target. In a game that could turn on one big play, Harvey could turn out to be a big difference maker.
What Will Happen:
Neither team is playing well, but Miami is playing worse.
CFN Prediction
: Akron 34 ... Miami 24 ... Line: Akron -7
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 2

Week 8 MAC Fearless Predictions | Get Tickets for These Games