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Misc The MAC The MAC Archive MAC Football Regular Season Wrap-up
Written by MikeSpinelli

Mike Spinelli


The best year in Mid-American Conference football history wrapped up the regular season with two teams ranked in the BCS and AP rankings, two of the top ten rushers, the fifth best scorer, two top ten defenses, and SEVEN bowl eligible programs.


First, the rankings. For the first time in history, two teams are nationally ranked. Both are ranked in both the BCS and AP rankings. In the AP, Kent State moved up to 18th, while Northern Illinois moved up to 19th. Ball State also received votes. In the BCS Kent State moved up to 17th, while NIU cracked the Top 25 with a 21st ranking. In the USA Today Coaches Poll, NIU is 18th and Kent 19th, while Toledo received votes. In the Harris Poll Kent and NIU are 18th and 19th with Toledo getting votes.

The MAC is famous (or infamous) for being an air-it-out, spread conference. They showed this year they can also run with the best. Kent’s Dri Archer led the nation in yards per rush with 9.7 (almost a yard more than second place). NIU’s Jordan Lynch finished 4th in Div. I-A in rushing with 1611 yards (he also threw for 2750 yds and 23 TD’s). Ohio’s Beau Blankenship was 9th with 1500 yards. Toledo’s David Fluellen missed the top ten by 9 yards, one of four MAC rushers in the bottom half of the top 20.

Titus Davis finished 6th in yards per catch with 20.0. Archer finished 5th in scoring with 126 points (14 rushing TD’s, 4 receiving TD’s, and 3 return TD’s). EMU’s Tyler Allen was third in return yardage with 1036, UMass’ Jordan Broadnax 5th with 932. You’ll note those were two teams that received a lot of kick-offs, because the opponent scored a lot.

It wasn’t all offense, either. Kent State was passed by Oregon this week for most interceptions, 24 to 22 and Bowling Green was 9th in points allowed (15.8).

Ball State’s Steven Schott led the nation with 24 field goals, NIU’s Mathew Sims was 4th in booting extra points (61) to no-one’s surprise.

Miami’s Zac Dysert was the leading passer (13th overall) in the MAC with 3483 yards, Akron’s Dalton Williams led in touchdown passes with 25. And if you’re into passer ratings, Jordan Lynch is your guy at 157.3, good for 13th in the nation.

Kent State rounded out its regular season by destroying everybody’s favorite to win the whole thing, Ohio. They started the fun by Luke Wollet recovering a Beau Blankenship fumble and taking it 50 yards for a touchdown in the second minute. A few minutes later Traiyon Durham ran it in 15 yards to add to Kent lead, and on the next play from scrimmage C.J. Malauulu had a pick-6 on Tyler Tettleton putting Kent up 21-0.  That’s pretty much how Ohio’s day went, they did manage a couple field goals as Kent wrapped up their magical season 28-6. "There was a weird feeling that things were changing around here," said Malauulu, a junior college transfer. "Coach Hazell talked about how it would be the people who would change things, and I just hopped on the bus and believed.” The Flashes wind up 11-1, 8-0 in the MAC.

Northern Illinois finished up their 11-1 8-0 season by throttling Eastern Michigan 49-7. Akeem Daniels scored four touchdowns and finished with a career high 112 yards on 12 carries. Jordan Lynch gained 100+ yards in his 10th straight game, an NCAA high. "We were really happy," coach Dave Doeren said. "We were great at tailback and didn't allow any sacks today.” It was a windy snowy day, and that changed their strategy. "We had to be pretty conservative with our passing game."

Ball State leap-frogged Toledo into the third-best team in the MAC, which should put them in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. They have identical records (9-3, 6-2) and Ball State won head-to head back on the 6th 34-27. They closed out the season with a 31-24 win over Miami. Jahwan Edwards rushed for three touchdowns as the Cardinals won their sixth straight. Miami’s Zac Dysert moved past Byron Leftwich on the MAC career passing list with 218 yards, for a total of 12,013.

Bowling Green dispatched Buffalo 21-7 to keep their bowl hopes strong. Matt Schilz threw a touchdown pass and ran in another, while John Pettigrew (93 yards) scored the Falcon’s first points. BG ends up 8-4, 6-2, Buffalo 4-8, 3-5.

Central Michigan overcame an early season funk to finish 6-6 4-4 and become bowl eligible with a 42-21 win over Massachusetts. Zurlon Tipton rewrote the Chippewa record books with his 6th straight 100myard game (185 yards and 4 TD’s). He finished with 20 TD’s (19 rushing) and his 1391 yards rank seventh all time.

I finished the week at 6-0, my first goose egg. For the regular season I went 73-26 .737 not bad for a rookie. The post-season includes the MAC Championship and up to seven bowl games, and we’ll see how well I predict the post-season.

East Division Final Standings
#17 Kent State 8-0
Bowling Green 6-2
Ohio 4-4
Buffalo 3-5
Miami 3-5
UMass 1-7
Akron 0-8

West Division Final Standings
#21 Northern Michigan 8-0
Ball State 6-2
Toledo 6-2
Central Michigan 4-4
Western Michigan 2-6
Eastern Michigan 1-7

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