Zips Make Noise In MAC East
The Akron Zips won their second consecutive league game in a showdown with Ohio, beating the Bobcats 41-28, and keeping pace with Miami and idle Marshall. Miami routed Bowling Green, 45-31, to improve to 3-1, same as the Zips. Marshall leads the East with a 2-0 record going into Thursday night's ESPN game with Toledo.
The Zips were the beneficiaries of five Bobcat fumbles. Akron scored 21 first-quarter points and led 28-0 at the half. Brandon Payne scored on first half runs of 1, 2 and 19 yards and rushed for 94 yards on the night. Miami, on the road at Bowling Green, bolted to a 17-3 advantage thanks to touchdowns from Travis Prentice. Prentice scored the game's first points on a four-yard run and then hauled in another touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Mike Bath. Prentice scored again on a 53-yard run in the fourth quarter, boosting his career total in rushing TDs to 66, just six shy of the NCAA record held by Ricky Williams of Texas.
Western Michigan remained perfect in the West Division at 3-0 with a 40-37 overtime win at Eastern Michigan. The Eagles' Toller Starnes gave his team a 37-34 lead with a 34-yard field goal on its possession in OT. WMU's Robert Sanford answered by running 25 yards for the winning points on the Broncos' first play from scrimmage. Sanford ended the evening with 134 rushing yards and two TDs. Both quarterbacks passe for over 300 yards. Eastern's Walt Church completed 29-of50 passes for 312 yards and one TD while Western's Tim Lester was good on 19-of-30 for 303 yards and three TDs.
Central Michigan ran past Buffalo 38-19. The Chippewas' Eric Flowers had his best game of the season with 219 yards and four touchdown runs (6, 9, 9, 5) on 42 carries. Derrick Gordon led the Bulls with 124 yards and three touchdowns on 19 attempts.
Northern Illinois stopped Ball State 37-17 and Toledo stumped Kent, 47-7, as both victors improved to 2-1 in the MAC West Division.
NIU's defense produced two touchdowns as Donnavan Carter returned a fumble 15 yards and Jermaine Hampton returned an interception 44 yards for a score. William Andrews gained 117 yards on 12 carries for the Huskies while Ball State's Neil Dunbar rushed 22 times for 92 yards.
Toledo got two touchdown passes from both Tavares Bolden and Dan Cole in building a 38-0 halftime lead. The Toledo defense held Kent to 199 total yards. Antwon McCray paced the Rockets' ground game with 110 yard on 18 attempts.
This Week's Schedule
Thursday, October 14
Toldeo at Marshall, 8:00 (ESPN)
Saturday, October 16
Bowling Green at Akron, noon (FOX Sports Regional)
Buffalo at Western Michigan, 6:00
Northern Illinois at Central Michigan, 1:00
Ohio at Eastern Michigan, 6:00 (Ohio Sports Network)
Miami at Kent, 2:00
Ball State - idle