Broncos and Huskies Lead West Division
MAC Players of the Week
Akron (5-2, 4-1 MAC) won its third game in a row with a 55-25 crushing of Bowling Green (2-5, 1-4) as the Zips kept pace with MAC East frontrunners Marshall and Miami. Miami scored a 17-10 triumph at Kent while the Herd defeated Toledo, 38-13, Thursday night on ESPN.
The Zips rolled up 263 rushing yards and 267 passing yards as six different players scored touchdowns. Lavell Bailey caught five passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Zip receivers. Jimmie Gray averaged 9.6 yards per carry (8 for 77 yards) and quarterback Butchie Washington completed 13 of 19 passes for 241 yards and two scores. BG's Kurt Gerling caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.
The RedHawks (5-2, 4-1) escaped Dix Stadium with a narrow win over the Golden Flashes (1-6, 1-3). Miami's Travis Prentice rushed for one touchdown and gained 149 yards on 43 carries. Prentice increased his career rushing touchdown total to 67, just five shy of the NCAA record held by Ricky Williams. The RedHawk defense kept Kent out of the end zone until there was 1:27 left in the game when Jose Davis tossed a nine-yard TD pass to Jurron Kelly.
On ESPN's Thursday Night Game of the Week, the #15 ranked Marshall Thundering Herd (6-0, 3-0) held off a stubborn Toledo Rocket (3-3, 2-2) squad 38-13 before a sellout crowd at Marshall Stadium. It was a battle of two outstanding quarterbacks, both of whom put up big numbers. Marshall's Chad Pennington, a Heisman candidate, completed 27 of 37 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns. Toledo sophomore Tavares Bolden, making only his second career start, was successful on 27 of 53 passes for 344 yards and one touchdown. Both quarterbacks threw two interceptions.
Northern Illinois (3-4, 3-1) won its third game in a row for the first time since the 1993 season with a 31-27 triumph at Central Michigan (2-5, 1-3). Justin McCareins caught three touchdown passes (40, 73 and 7 yards) including the game winner with 3:24 left in the game. McCareins had seven receptions for 163 yards and Chris Finlen completed 12 of 23 passes for 266 yards. CMU's Eric Flowers rushed for 134 yards and two TDs on 34 attempts.
Western Michigan (5-2, 4-0) rolled over Buffalo (0-6, 0-5) 45-17 in Kalamazoo. Tim Lester completed 22 of 36 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns and Robert Sanford added 107 rushing yards. Steve Neal caught seven passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Buffalo's Drew Haddad, the league's leading receiver, caught nine passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. UB's Derrick Gordon rushed for 97 yards on 30 attempts.
Eastern Michigan (2-4, 4-4) blocked a PAT with 1:06 left in the game to defeat Ohio (2-5, 2-2) 27-26. Jari Brown's block gave the Eagles their first win in the last three games. EMU's Walt Church passed for 347 yards and three TDs, completing 24 of 33 passes as the Eagles battled back from an early 14-0 deficit. For Ohio, quarterback Dontrell Jackson rushed for 144 yards and passed for 112 yards, including an 89-yard TD pass to Raynald Ray.
Schedule for Saturday, October 23
Akron at Navy, noon
Marshall at Buffalo, noon/FOX Sports Pittsburgh
Kent at Northern Illinois, 12:05/FOX Sports Ohio/Chicago
Ball State at Western Michigan, 1:00
Eastern Michigan at Toledo, 1:00
Bowling Green at Ohio, 2:00
Idle - Miami, Central Michigan