Week 7 Football Notes

Updated 10/3/1998
MAC East Division Update:
Akron continued its impressive challenge for the MAC East Title with a 27-21 win at Bowling Green, the Zips' first win at BG since 1989. UA is now 3-0 in the division and faces its next division foe Oct. 28 when it hosts three-time defending MAC Champion Marshall. Marshall and Miami both suffered home losses to West Division foes, the Herd 30-10 to Western Michigan and the RedHawks a 15-10 decision to Ball State. Ohio dropped a 42-20 loss on Buffalo and the Bobcats, with one division loss, remain in the title chase. Buffalo, Bowling Green and Kent State all have two losses in the division. The Golden Flashes, however, won their first game of the year with a 24-21 overtime win at Central Michigan and play Ohio and Marshall the next two weeks.

MAC West Division Update:
Western Michigan shocked Marshall last week, 30-10, while Northern Illinois continued its fine play with a solid 40-20 drubbing of Central Florida. The Broncos and Huskies share the West Division lead with 1-0 records. NIU plays at East leader Akron this week and at WMU on the 21st. Toledo's 42-14 win at Eastern Michigan improved the Rockets to 2-1 in the division. Ball State, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan all are 0-1 in the division.

Streak Stoppers:
Western Michigan's 30-10 win at Marshall on ESPN's Thursday night game of Oct. 5 ended the Herd's national best 33-game winning streak. The loss was Marshall's first at home since a 22-20 setback at the hands of Montana in the 1995 I-AA National Championship game. Ball State's 15-10 win at Miami stopped the Cardinals' 21-game losing streak, the nation's longest. It was BSU's first win since topping Northern Illinois, 18-15, on Oct. 3, 1998.

Smith Continues To Lead The Nation:
Despite no interceptions in the Zips' 27-21 win at Bowling Green, Akron defensive back Dwight Smith contniues to led the nation in interceptions with eight. The MAC record for interceptions in a season is 12 by Eastern Michigan's Bob Navarro in 1989.

Neal Nears Record:
Western Michigan wide receiver Steve Neal has his eyes on the league's all-time record for receptions and receiving yards. Neal is 26 receptions and 266 yards shy of the MAC career standard of 229 receptions and 3,513 yards set by Kent State's Eugene Baker from 1995-98. Neal's most recent outing resulted in three receptions for 41 yards in WMU's 30-10 win at Marshall.

Pinkel Moves Up:
Toledo's 42-14 win at Eastern Michigan on Oct. 7 was the 49th league win for Rocket head coach Gary Pinkel, tying him with Doyt Perry (1955-64) and Denny Stolz (1977-85), both from Bowling Green, for third place all-time in MAC history. Pinkel's 68 overall wins as a MAC head coach are fourth all-time, behing Herb Deromedi (107, CMU, 1978-93), Bill Hess (108, Ohio, 1958-77) and Doyt Perry (77, BGSU, 1955-64).

Freshman Break the Ice:
Two redshirt freshman quarterbacks led their respective team to its first win of the year. Ball State's Talmadge Hill completed 17-of-29 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown, overcoming three interceptions, in a 15-10 win at Miami. Kent State's Jeff Valentino paced the Golden Flashes 24-21 overtime win at Central Michigan with a 10-of-21 outing for 132 yards, a touchdowna nd no interceptions. Both QB's received extensive support from the running game as BSU's Anthony Jones rushed for 187 yards and KSU's Chante Murphy cruised for 114 yards.

Blackney Ties Walker:
Bowling Green head coach Gary Blackney, who earlier in the year announced his resignation effective the end of the 2000 season, earned his 59th career win in the Falcons' 18-11 triumph at Kent State on Sept. 30. The win ties Blackney with former Miami coach Randy Walker for ninth place all-time in league history for overall wins. It was also Blackney's 46th MAC win, tying him again with Walker for eighth place.

Road Warriors:
Of the six league contests this week, only one home team was able to win its game, that taking place when Ohio beat Buffalo, 42-20. Taking wins on the road were Western Michigan (30-10 at Marshall), Kent State (24-21 ot at Central Michigan), Akron (27-21 at Bowling Green), Ball State (15-10 at Miami) and Toledo (42-14 at Eastern Michigan). Ball State and Kent State each won its first game of the season.

Sanford Sets Sails:
Western Michigan's Robert Sanford became the first MAC player to rush for over 200 yards in a game this season and he did it on national television. Sanford's 203 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries ignited the Broncos' 30-10 win at Marshall on Oct.. 5 before an ESPN audience. Sanford enjoys the confines of Marshall Stadium as last year he set a MAC Championship game record with 163 rushing yards versus the Thundering Herd.

This Week's Games - Saturday, October 14

Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-5) at Ball State Cardinals (1-4), 1:00
Ball State Stadium (21,581) Muncie, Ind.
The Coaches: EMU-Jeff Woodruff (Kent State 1979) 1-5/first season; BSU-Bill Lynch (Butler 1977) 22-39/sixth season.
The Series: BSU leads 21-18-2
One of these teams will get its second win of the season ... Ball State is coming off a 15-10 triumph over Miami, a game which snapped the Cardinal's 21-game losing streak ... the Eagles have dropped five in a row since a season opening 32-25 win over Connecticut ... BSU, allowing 39 points per game, shut down a RedHawk offense averaging 26 ppg, limiting Miami to 235 yards of total offense and forcing four turnovers ... Shaka Johnson had three tackles for minus nine yards among his team-high 12 tackles ... Anthony Jones led the BSU offense with a career-high 187 rushing yards on a school record 46 carries plus one TD rushing and one receiving ... Jones is a former DB who had just 151 career rushing yards until last week ... redshirt freshman Talmadge Hill made his first career start passed for 186 yards and rushed for 33 and overcame three interceptions in leading BSU to its first win over a team with a winning record since the Cardinals topped then No. 18 ranked and 8-0 Toledo, 35-3, on Nov. 8, 1997 ... in the Eagles' loss to Toledo, EMU's Kenny Christian caught his first career scoring pass after 96 receptions ... Christian, who earlier this year set a MAC single game record with 20 receptions versus Temple, is the nation's co-leader with 8.3 receptions per game ... in the loss to the Rockets, EMU had the ball for only 48 plays (to UT's 84) and for 20:07 in time of possession ... EMU has not lost six in a row in a single season since starting the 1992 campaign 0-7 ... EMU has won three of the last three in the series and five of the last six ... BSU's last win came in 1996 in Ypsilanti, 39-25 .

Bowling Green Falcons (1-5) at Miami RedHawks (3-3), 2:00
Yager Stadium (30,012/grass) Oxford, Ohio.
The Coaches: BGSU-Gary Blackney (Connecticut 1967) 59-46-2/10th year; Miami-Terry Hoeppner (Franklin College 1969) 10-7/second year.
Series: Miami leads 34-18-5
The RedHawks' 15-10 loss at Ball State marked the first time since 1994 they have dropped back-to-back MAC games ...Miami has won 14 of its last 16 home MAC games ... BG is coming off a 27-21 home loss to East Division frontrunner Akron ... the Falcons' Kurt Gerling returned to action for the first time in a month and caught a 34-yard TD pass ... QB Andy Sahm tossed two scoring passes, but just his third interception in 156 passes this year was returned for a touchdown ... John Gibson rushed for a career-high 149 yards and has 292 yards the last three games after gaining just 242 yards his first two years ... Miami's consecutive losses to Akron and Ball State are the first back-to-back losses sice 1997 ... QB Mike Bath did throw a TD pass to become Miami's all-time leader with 45 scoring passes ... Bath leads the league in total offense at 276.8 yards per game ... a week after a season-high 256 rushing yards at Akron, Miami was held to 65 yards by Ball State ... after averaging 32 points per game in the first four games of the season, Miami has scored a total of just 30 points in its last two games ... the RedHawks hold an 18-9-1 series advantage over the Falcons in Oxford and have won the last two games ... the series began in 1941 and has been continuous since 1950.

Ohio Bobcats (3-3) at Kent State Golden Flashes (1-5), 2:00 Dix Stadium (30,520/artifcial turf) Kent, Ohio
The Coaches: Ohio-Jim Grobe (Virginia 1975) 29-32-1/sixth year; KSU-Dean Pees (Bowling Green 1971) 3-25/third year.
Series: Ohio leads 33-17-2
Both teams are coming off wins ... the Golden Flashes won their first game of the season in an overtime contest at Central Michigan, 24-21, breaking a seven-game losing streak and an 18-game losing streak on the road ... the Bobcats won at home against Buffalo 42-20 ... KSU won in the second OT when Dave Pavich nailed a career-long 49-yard field goal, that after missing a 31-yarder with 1:20 in regulation ... Chante Murphy rushed for a season-high 114 yards, bettering his previous mark of 102 yards at Purdue ... redshirt freshman Jeff Valentino made his first start by completing 10-of-21 passes for 132 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions ... Valentino's passes found seven different receivers ... KSU had just 320 yards of total offense to CMU's 380 but forced four turnovers ... the Bobcats rolled up 367 rushing yards versus Buffalo and pushed across four TDs on the ground ... QB Dontrell Jackson paved the way with a season-high 139 yards on only 14 carries, an average of 9.9 per attempt ... Chad Brinker scored on two short runs (1 and 5 yards) while Raynald Ray scored via the ground (20 yards) and a pass reception (39 yards) from Freddie Ray (no relation) ... safety Chris London picked off a Buffalo pass at the two-yard line to preserve the Bobcats' 21-7 halftime lead ... Ohio's 299.8 rushing yards per game leads the MAC and ranks fourth in the nation ... Kent State's defense is allowing just 132.7 rushing yards per game, fifth best in the MAC ... Ohio has won the last four meetings in this series and the game before that was a tie ... KSU's last win was in 1994, 24-0 ... the Flashes last win in Athens came in 1987, 24-10.

Northern Illinois Huskies (3-2) at Akron Zips (4-2), 7:00
Rubber Bowl (35,202/Astroturf) Akron, Ohio
The Coaches: NIU-Joe Novak (Miami 1967) 11-38/fifth season; Akron-Lee Owens (Bluffton College 1977) 23-38/sixth year.
The Series: tied 3-3
Two teams that have surprised so far and could be giving fans a preview of the MAC title game to be held Dec. 2 ... Akron leads the East Division with a 3-0 mark that includes four straight wins, while NIU, who is tied at 1-0 in the West with Western Michigan, has losses only to ranked teams (Auburn and Northwestern) ... the Huskies secured a 16-0 second quarter point differential to overcome a 7-0 deficit in last week's 40-20 drubbing of Central Florida ... TB Thomas Hammock ran for a career-high 143 yards and one touchdown to key the Huskie offense ... the defense did its part, adding a safety and a fumble return for 24 yards and a touchdown by Buster Sampson ... Sampson added an interception, two pass deflections, a cased fumble and 10 tackles ... NIU's safety was the result of the team's third blocked punt of the season, the highest such total since 1990 ... Justin McCareins' 40-yard TD reception that gave NIU its first points was the 23rd of his career, putting him into sixth place all-time in MAC history and first place in NIU history ... McCareins leads the MAC in all-purpose yards (146.4), receiving yards per game (113.2) and yards per reception (20.2) ... NIU also has the league's third leading rusher in Hammock (90.8 ypg) ... Akron's four-game winning streak matches last year's best stretch, the longest since the 1985 season ... the Zips win was keyed defensively by Rich Reliford, whose team-high 13 tackles included three goal-line stops ... Mike Hughes returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead at the time ... QB Butchie Washington passed for 242 yards, breaking the 200-yard barrier for the fourth straight game and fifth of sixth contests this season ... Washington's three TD passes, on 16-of-26 passing with no interceptions, was a career-high ... Washington's performance vaulted him into second place in the league in passing efficiency at 129.7 (81-of-155, 1,273 yards, 7 TDs, 5 int.) ... UA's Brandon Payne and Jimmie Gray are tied for fifth in the MAC in all-purpose yards per game at 122.3 and Payne is fourth in rushing (87.0) ... Dwight Smith's eight interceptions continues to lead the nation ... a win by NIU would match its win total of last year (5-6) ... UA has won the last two meetings, the most recent in 1996 (34-17) ... this is the first meeting with both teams as members of the MAC.

Marshall Thundering Herd (2-3) at Toledo Rockets (5-1), 7:00
Glass Bowl (26,428/artificial turf) Toledo, Ohio
The Coaches: Marshall-Bob Pruett (Marshall 1965) 52-7/fifth year; UT-Gary Pinkel (Kent State 1975) 68-37-3/10th year.
Series: UT leads 19-16-1.
UT's only loss this year was to Western Michigan (21-14) the team that beat Marshall last week (30-10) ... the Rockets have won two in a row by a combined score of 83-14 since their loss at WMU ... Marshall is 2-3 for the first time since 1987 and a loss would put them at their worse start for the first time since the 1983 team started 1-5 ... in UT's convincing 42-14 win at Eastern Michigan, Chester Taylor rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, boosting his league-leading total to 797 yards (132.8 ypg) and a MAC best 10 rushing touchdowns ... backup TB Antwon McCray joined Taylor in the 100-yard club with 106 yards against EMU ... Toledo's rushing game ranks second in the league with 237.3 ypg ... WR Mel Long, Jr. caught six passes for 33 yards to extend his consecutive games with a reception to a national leading 41 ... this game features the league leader in total defense (Toledo, allowing 268.5 ypg) against the league's leader in total offense (Marshall 441.2 ypg) ... the Rockets also boast of the MAC's leader in scoring offense (33.8 ppg) and scoring defense (allowing 11.2 ppg) ... the Thundering Herd counters with QB Byron Leftwich, the top rated passer in the MAC with a rating of 131.6 (107-of-182 for 1,327 yards, 10 TDs, 6 int.) ... Marshall WR Nate Poole (72.4) and Darius Watts (71.4) rank seventh and eighth, respectively, in receiving yards per game among league leaders ... since rejoining the MAC in 1997, Marshall has not lost more than one league game in a year ... Marshall has won the last three meetings, all played in Huntington ... the series, which began in 1938, ran continuous from 1954 through 1980, then the teams did not meet again until the 1997 MAC Championship game ... Marshall's last win in Toledo came in 1978, 17-0 ... UT's last win was in the 1980 game, 38-10 in Huntington at Fairfield Stadium ... the teams also met in the 1998 MAC Championship game and in a regular season game last year on ESPN's Thursday Night feature.

MAC Teams Idle This Week/Next Game on Oct. 14

Buffalo (1-5)/home vs. Ball State
Central Michigan (1-5)/at Ohio
Western Michigan (5-1)/home vs. Northern Illinois

MAC Record Watch (Career)

current players in bold
Receiving Yards
1.) 3,513 - Eugene Baker (Kent State) 1995-98
2.) 3,248 - Steve Neal (Western Michigan) 1997-2000
3.) 3,053 - Reggie Allen (Central Michigan) 1995-98
4.) 2,866 - Bryan Schorman (Central Michigan) 1995-98
5.) 2,679 - Steve Hunter (Bowling Green) 1982-85
6.) 2,507 - Mark Szlachclc (Bowling Green) 1982-85
7.) 2,491- Ron Heard (Bowling Green) 1986-89
8.) 2,389 - Justin McCareins (Northern Illinois) 1997-2000 9.) 2,319 - Nate Poole (Marshall) 1997-2000
10.) 2,268 - Jeff Groth (Bowling Green) 1975-78

Receptions
1.) 229 - Eugene Baker (Kent State) 1995-98
2.) 203 - Steve Neal (Western Michigan) 1997-2000
3.) 184 - Reggie Allen (Central Michigan) 1995-98
4.) 183 - Bryan Schorman (Central Michigan) 1995-98
5.) 182 - Mark Szlachclc (Bowling Green) 1982-85
6.) 176 - Steve Hunter (Bowling Green) 1982-85
7.) 172 - Nate Poole (Marshall) 1997-2000
8.) 171 - Don Fair (Toledo) 1969-71
9.) 166 - Justin McCareins (Northern Illinois) 1997-2000
10.) 158 - Reggie Thornton (Bowling Green) 1986-89

Touchdown Passes
1.) 100 - Chad Pennington (Marshall) 1997-99
2.) 87 - Tim Lester (Western Michigan) 1996-99
3.) 63 - Brian McClure (Bowling Green) 1982-85
4.) 57 - Jose Davis (Kent State) 1997-99
5.) 52 - Ryan Huzjak (Toledo) 1993-96
6.) 49 - Brad Tayles (Western Michigan ) 1989-92
7.) 46 - Ryan Henry (Bowling Green) 1992-95
t-8.) 45 - Mike Bath (Miami) 1997-2000
t-8.) 45 - Jay McDanagh (Western Michigan) 1993-95
t-10.) 44 - Chris Wallace (Toledo) 1995-98
t-10.) 44 - Sam Ricketts (Miami) 1995-98

Touchdown Receptions
1.) 35 - Eugene Baker, Kent State (1995-98)
2.) 27 - Ronnie Redd, Bowling Green (1991-94)
3.) 26 - Steve Neal, Western Michigan (1997-2000)
4.) 25 - Randy Moss, Marshall (1997)
5.) 24 - Brian Oliver, Ball State (1991-94)
6.) 23 - Justin McCareins, Northern Illinois (1997-2000)
7.) 22 - Jim Swierczek, Marshall (1951-53)

Coaching Victories
Wins Coach/School/Year

1.) 110 Herb Deromedi/Central Michigan/1978-93
2.) 108 Bill Hess/Ohio /1958-77
3.) 77 Doyt Perry/Bowling Green/1955-64
4.) 68 Gary Pinkel/Toledo/1991-2000
5.) 66 Trevor Rees/Kent State University/1951-63
6.) 64 Bill Mallory/Miami/1969-73/NIU/1980-83
7.) 62 Al Molde/Western Michigan/1987-96
8.) 60 Paul Schudel/Ball State/1985-94
9.) 59 Gary Blackney/Bowling Green/1991-2000
10.) 59 Randy Walker/Miami/1990-98

MAC Double-Doubles
Mike Bath, Miami at Ohio State (236 passing yards, 105 rushing yards)
Robbie Mixon, Central Michigan vs. Akron (164 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards)

MAC Top Ten Performances This Year

Rushing Yards
1.) 203, Robert Sanford, WMU at Marshall
2.) 188, Brandon Payne, Akron vs. Miami
3.) 187, Anthony Jones, BSU at Miami
4.) 164, Robbie Mixon, CMU vs. Akron
5.) 159, Robert Sanford, WMU vs. Indiana State
6.) 156, Chester Taylor, Toledo vs. Eastern Illinois
7.) 152, Chester Taylor, Toledo vs. Central Michigan
8.) 149, John Gibson, Bowling Green vs. Akron
9.) 143, Thomas Hammock, NIU vs. Central Florida
10.) 141, Chester Taylor, Toledo at Penn State

Passing Yards
1.) 378, Byron Leftwich, Marshall vs. Buffalo
2.) 364, Walter Church at Temple
3.) 358, Mike Bath, Miami at Vanderbilt
4.) 332, Jeff Welsh, WMU vs. Ohio
5.) 276, Mike Bath, Miami vs. Kent State
6.) 262, Joe Freedy, Buffalo at Ohio
7.) 261, Derrick Vickers, CMU vs. Kent State
8.) 259, Joe Freedy, Buffalo vs. Connecticut
9.) 258, Butchie Washington, Akron at Ohio
10.) 250, Walter Church, EMU vs. Central Florida

Receiving Yards
1.) 198, Kenny Christian, EMU at Temple
2.) 189, Justin McCareins, NIU at Auburn
3.) 150, Justin McCareins, NIU at Ball State
4.) 143, Lanier Washington, Marshall vs. Buffalo
5.) 138, Jurron Kelly, Kent State vs. Bowling Green
t-6.) 134, Ty Buxton, Miami at Vanderbilt
t-6.) 134, Sly Johnson, Miami at Vanderbilt
8.) 131, Lavel Bailey, Akron cs. Central Florida
9.) 130, Ty Buxton, Miami vs. Ball State
10.) 123, Jake Schifino, Akron vs. Miami