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Misc The MAC
Mike Perry


With the majority of the Mid-American Conference football non-conference games out of the way it is time to look at how the conference’s teams and individuals stack up against the rest of the nation.

Overall the MAC went 13-27 against foes from out of conference and across the nation. There were some amazing highlights as well as some embarrassing losses. There was individual excellence and team-wide ineptness. Here it will all be sorted out.

First, the good. Temple opened the season with a pair of impressive victories. First the Owls knocked off defending FCS National Champion Villanova, 31-24, in the battle for the Mayor’s Trophy in the City of Brotherly Love. The Owls followed next week with a 30-16 win over a team that was highly-touted heading into this season, UConn. Bowling Green was able to knock off Marshall, 44-28.

The biggest surprise and most impressive victory of the season for the MAC came last weekend when Toledo built up a big lead and held on to knock off Purdue out of the Big Ten, 30-21. Northern Illinois also defeated a Big Ten school Saturday, defeating Minnesota, 34-23, in Minneapolis.


Mike Perry


The Big Ten squared off with the Mid-American Conference Saturday, and things did not go too well for the MAC. Michigan, sans Heisman candidate Denard Robinson for most of the game, put 65 points on the board against an overmatched Bowling Green defense. Ohio State, the second-ranked team in the nation, hung a school record 73 points on Eastern Michigan, who could not come close to covering diminutive Buckeyes wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher.

However, despite these two blowout losses, the MAC did not embarrass itself as a league against the first or second-best football conference in the country. Two MAC teams, Toledo and Northern Illinois, were able to claim road victories against Big Ten foes. Temple led Penn State early and, but for an ankle injury to super-sophomore running back Bernard Pierce in the fourth quarter, could have pulled off a monumental upset against Penn State in State College.

The MAC went 2-6 overall Saturday, averaging 20.5 points per game while giving up 39.1. However, if you throw out the Michigan and Ohio State point totals the MAC’s defenses gave up 27.5 points per game to their Big Ten opponents.

Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann had a huge game in the Huskies’ 34-23 win over Minnesota at the Golden Gophers’ new TCF Bank Stadium. He carried the ball 15 times for 223 yards (a 14.8 yards per carry average) and found the end zone twice. Toledo sophomore quarterback Austin Dantin also had a huge game in the Rockets’ 31-20 win over Purdue in West Lafayette. Dantin completed 24 of 31 passes for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 64 yards (including a 58-yard touchdown jaunt) as Toledo built a big early lead and held on to top the Boilermakers.

There were some big numbers given up by MAC defenses. In Michigan’s win over Bowling Green the Wolverines had 466 rushing yards and an astounding 721 total yards. Eastern Michigan allowed 645 total yards to the Buckeyes.

The Iowa defense also overwhelmed the Ball State offense, holding the Cardinals to eight total first downs, 56 yards on the ground and in the air and 112 total yards in the Hawkeyes’ 45-0 victory in Iowa City. Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell torched the Akron defense with four first-half touchdown passes and Penn State running back rushed for a career-high 187 yards against Temple.

Heading into conference play Temple leads the Eastern Division with a 3-1 overall record, 1-0 in the conference. They are followed by Miami (2-2, 1-0), Kent State (1-2, 0-0), Bowling Green (1-3, 0-0), Buffalo (1-3, 0-0), Ohio (1-3, 0-1) and Akron (0-4, 0-0). Toledo leads the Western Division at 3-1, 2-2 followed by Central Michigan (2-2, 1-1), Northern Illinois (2-2, 0-0), Western Michigan (1-2, 0-1), Ball State (1-3, 0-0) and Eastern Michigan (0-4, 0-2).

Mike Perry

HaywoodLast season was one of the most dismal campaigns in the history of Miami University Football. The RedHawks finished the season with a record of 1-11, their only victory coming against Toledo, 31-24, at Yeager Stadium late in the season.

Miami lost its first two games of the season, 42-0 against Kentucky at Paul Brown Stadium and 48-0 on the road against Boise State. In their third game of the season the RedHawks gave up the first 35 points of the game to Western Michigan. Finally, after being out-scored 135-0 to open the season, Miami got on the board with a 14-yard pass from quarterback Daniel Raudebaugh to Eugene Harris.

Of course, the extra point kick was blocked.

All that, however, is ancient history. This season the RedHawks are a different breed, and they have also doubled last season’s win total sitting at 2-1 heading into today’s road contest with Missouri.

The RedHawks opened the season by not embarrassing itself against Florida in The Swamp. In fact, despite the Gators’ 34-12 victory it was Florida that spent the week after the game nervous about the future. The Gators had problems with the center-quarterback exchange as center Mike Pouncey rolled numerous shotgun snaps back to quarterback John Brantley. Miami led 3-0 after the first quarter and was held to just 41 total yards through three quarters.


Mike Perry


The Mid-American Conference has always been overlooked in my opinion. In all sports the talent level is better than most of the country might think and most schools in the MAC have above-average training facilities. Although the MAC is made up of a diverse group of schools, their programs are similar pretty much across the board.

There is a lot to like about the MAC. In men’s basketball the conference games are very intense and the teams play sound fundamental defense. In football there is the opportunity to see a ton of talent, talent that will end up playing on Sundays, in a medium-sized venue. Baseball, wrestling, swimming, softball, etc. … most matches, meets or games are quite competitive.

And, in my eyes, the facilities are great because they add to the atmosphere. In fact, my favorite arena on the planet was in the MAC.


Mike Perry


This weekend provides the final full slate of non-conference action before Mid-American Conference play begins in earnest. There are quite a few games that should be very entertaining, led by Temple’s trip to Beaver Stadium to take on Penn State.

Temple is legit. When this writer was growing up one of his favorite features in the local newspaper was the “Bottom Ten” feature that made fun of the 10 worst football programs in the country. The hapless Owls were usually one of those teams. But Temple head coach Al Golden has the program on the rise. Even Golden has a different perception of the program.

"It's a big win because we are 3-0, and because it was against a real physical opponent,"  Al Golden said to the media following the game. "An opponent that had gone into South Bend and won, gone to play South Carolina and won.  That's the significance of it.


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