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Misc The MAC The MAC Archive This Week in MAC Football
Written by MikeSpinelli

Mike Spinelli

WesternMichiganvBallStateIn week 7 of MAC play we have a Friday night national TV game as well as key division battles that all should come down to the last possessions. Five conference games are on the slate along with a couple games against military academies.

 Friday night ESPN2 features Central Michigan hosting Navy at 8:00. Both teams bring 2-3 records to the contest, with Navy losing to Notre Dame, Penn State, and San Jose St, and winning against VMI and Air Force. Trey Miller leads the Midshipmen attack with 381 yards passing, and 291 yards rushing. He has 1 TD to go with 3 INT, and has scored 3 touchdowns running. Noah Copeland is the second busiest back with 274 yards and a score. The leading Wideout is Shawn Lynch, with 149 yards on 8 receptions and 1 TD. This is a ground attack team, ranking 17th in rushing yards with 230 yards per game. The Chippewas are 0-2 in the MAC, both against the Best in the West (NIU and Toledo). One of their wins was against Iowa. CMU is a passing team, with Ryan Radcliff throwing for 1286 yards this year. A 59% completion percentage, 9 TD’s and 6 INT’s round out Ryan’s numbers. His favorite receiver this year has been Cody Wilson (33 for 394 yards).  Navy has a stronger defense, giving up 24 ppg compared to CMU’s 41. Their throwing game and home field advantage give the Chippewas the slightest advantage in this one.

Akron travels to Ohio to take on the Bobcats. The Cats are getting some of their players back, and that spells trouble for an Akron team that lacks depth and size, especially on D. Beau Blankenship, 2nd in the MAC in rushing, must be licking his chops looking at the Zips undersized and beaten-up front seven. Ohio is trying to break into the Top 25; Akron is trying to get through the season without breaking anything so they can start their rebuilding in one piece. Ohio goes 3-0. This game is on ESPN3 at 2pm.

Kent State travels to West Point for a date with the Black Knights. Army enters the game at 1-4, beating Boston College last week 34-31. Army will run you over, their NCAA leading ground assault is led by Raymond Maples, who has 671 yards and 1 TD. He averages 6.5 yards per rush. Their second best rusher, Larry Dixon averages only 6.0 yards per, but has 5 TD. Kent State can run the ball as well, with Dri Archer averaging 8.8 yards per run. This looks like a good old-fashioned dust-up ground and pound game. I have Kent winning a close one. This game is on CBS Sports Network at noon.

Toledo travels to Eastern Michigan, this is the only game that won’t be on TV, maybe because it’s the only game that could end up with one team scoring triple digits. The Eagles are going to have a tough time making this a walk-through for the Rockets.

Northern Illinois travels to Buffalo, this one should be closer.  But not much. Buffalo has shown some improvement, but not nearly enough to give the Huskies a game.

Miami travels to Bowling Green in what arguably could be the battle for third place in the East. Miami comes in at 2-0, BGSU 1-1. Bowling Green’s loss was Toledo, while Miami has played UMass and Akron. Miami is coming off a bad loss to Cincinnati last week, 52-14. And this is their third straight week on the road. Miami’s attack is one dimensional, and the Falcons have a stronger defense. I’m taking Bowling Green. This game is on ESPN3 at 3:30.

And last but certainly not least, is our MAC Game of the Week. Western Michigan travels to Ball State in the battle of two programs scrambling for a shot at second place in the West. WMU comes in with a 1-1 MAC record, Ball State 1-2. WMU is one of the “Best of the West” teams that had the misfortune to face Toledo while their QB Alex Carder was out with an injury. Ball State was the Cinderella team of the West beating Indiana and USF, before dropping a 2 pointer at Kent and a tough loss to NIU last week. The Cardinals average almost 300 yards per game through the air, and 200 yards on the ground, while the Broncos allow less than 25 points per game. With the home field advantage, I’m giving this one to Ball State in a close upset. Microscopic.  This game is on ESPN3 at 3pm.

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