MAC Football Saturday Scoreboard: Sept. 7th

Updated 9/7/2013

MAC Football Scoreboard:  Saturday, Sept. 7

Bowling Green 41, Kent State 22  Final
Penn State 45, Eastern Michigan 7  Final
Kentucky 41, Miami 7  Final
Ball State 40, Army 14  Final
Maine 24, UMass 14  Final
Central Michigan 24, New Hampshire 21  Final
Missouri 38, Toledo 23  Final
Baylor 70, Buffalo 13  Final
Akron 35, James Madison 33  Final
Ohio 27, North Texas 21  Final
Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23  Final
 
Game stories courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments.  Photo credit Bowling Green Athletic Communications.
 
 
Bowling Green 41, Kent State 22     Final     Stats
 
KENT, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University football team outscored Kent State 24-0 over the final 34:40 of the game, defeating the Golden Flashes 41-22 at Dix Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Orange and Brown outgained Kent State 341-59 in that time span, pulling away in a crucial, early season, Mid-American Conference matchup for the win. With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-0 on the young season, and will turn their attention to a game at Indiana next weekend.
  
The first half was a change of pace from what Falcon fans have come to know in the past few years, as both the Falcons and Golden Flashes traded offensive punches for the majority of the first 30 minutes.
  
The Falcons got the ball to begin the game, and wasted no time driving the length of the field for the first score of the game. On the drive, Travis Greene carried the ball six times for 48 yards, culminating in his first career touchdown—a one-yard scamper. The drive spanned 4:38, as the Falcons needed just nine plays to travel 77 yards for the score.
  
Kent State would come right back, as the Golden Flashes went five plays for 75 yards in just 2:35. KSU, who used a plethora of misdirection throughout the first half, would score on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Colin Reardon to Chris Humphrey. Then, the Flashes would throw an unexpected twist at the Falcons, as the holder Humphrey would take a direct snap and scamper into the end zone for the two-point conversion. Kent State led 8-7 midway through the first quarter.
  
That score would hold up through the remainder of the opening quarter, as both the Falcons and Golden Flashes traded punts on their second drives of the game.
  
Bowling Green would take over the ball at their own 11 yard line with 3:12 left in the first quarter. The Orange and Brown would move the ball 77 yards over the next seven plays, as they were in the red zone when the clock expired on the first quarter. Tyler Tate would cap off the drive with a 30-yard field goal, giving the Falcons a 10-8 lead at the time.
  
Once again, Kent State would respond to the Falcons' score, as the Golden Flashes offense would drive 10 plays over the next 5:01, capping off the 76-yard scoring drive with a 12 yard pass from Reardon to Casey Pierce. KSU led 15-10 after the extra point attempt was good by Anthony Melchiori.
  
The Falcons would answer the Kent State drive with their second consecutive scoring drive of the second quarter. On the drive, Matt Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 for 64 yards, while Andre Givens capped off the drive with a 3-yard run to give BGSU a 17-15 advantage.
  
Kent would score on the very next drive, as they once again answered the Falcons' touchdown with one of their own. Trayion Durham would cap off a six play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to once again give the Golden Flashes a lead, at 22-17.
  
That would be the final time Kent State would sniff the end zone, as the Orange and Brown defense dominated the final 34-plus minutes, allowing just 59 yards the rest of the way.
  
The Falcons would take the lead, and momentum, into halftime as Jared Cohen would pull in his first career touchdown pass with 54 seconds left. On the play, Johnson would roll to his right, finding Cohen on the back-shoulder throw. Cohen would secure the catch inside the one yard line, and as he fell out of bounds, would turn and touch the pylon for the touchdown.
  
The Falcons defense would return to their dominant form in the second half, as the Orange and Brown would force Kent State into five second half punts. The Golden Flashes would only enter Falcon territory one time in the second half, but the defense would force a fumble, and Ryland Ward would recover at their own 23.
  
The first time the Falcons had the ball in the second half, they promptly went 45 yards over 13 plays, a drive which spanned 6:19. Tate capped off the drive with his second field goal of the day, this time, a 41-yarder.
  
After a three-and-out by the stifling Falcon defense, the offense would burst Kent State's hopes of a comeback.
  
Facing a third-and-15 from their own eight yard line, Johnson would take the snap and find Ryan Burbrink in stride over the middle for a 92-yard touchdown pass. Following the extra point, the Falcons led 34-22.
  
Just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, the offense would put the game away, as William Houston found the end zone from one yard out for a 41-22 Bowling Green lead. The touchdown run from Houston was his fourth of the season.
  
The Bowling Green offense was dominating on Saturday, racking up 576 yards of total offense. The offensive output for the Falcons was the most during the Dave Clawson era, surpassing their 572-yard total against Morgan State in 2011.
  
The Falcons will now turn their attention to Indiana University, who they'll play in Bloomington, Ind. next Saturday at noon. The game, which will be played at IU's Memorial Stadium, will be aired nationally on ESPNU.
 
 
Penn State 45, Eastern Michigan 7     Final     Stats
 
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Eastern Michigan dropped its first game of the 2013 campaign, 45-7, to Penn State University Saturday afternoon, Sept. 7, in non-conference action at Beaver Stadium. Losing in its first contest away from Rynearson Stadium, the Eagles fall to 1-1 on the season.  EMU held on to the football, not turning it over once all afternoon while the EMU defense forced two turnovers, including an 11-yard fumble return by Hunter Matt for the Eagles' only score of the game.
 
Penn State (2-0) racked up 574 yards on the ground compared to 183 total yards for EMU. Quarterback Tyler Benz completed 17-of-26 passes for 115 yards, including finding tight end Tyreese Russell eight times for 73 yards. The number of receptions and yards were both career highs for the EMU junior. On the ground, Bronson Hill carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards to lead the EMU rushing attack.
 
PSU freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg led the Nittany Lions throughout the contest, going 23-of-33 through the air for 311. The Penn State ground game tallied five touchdowns on the afternoon, including two from Bill Belton who rushed nine times for 108 yards. Teammate Akeel Lynch also recorded 108 yards rushing on 13 carries.
 
The Eagles controlled field position early, driving 30 yards on their opening drive before pinning the Penn State at its own 12-yard line. Following a holding penalty on PSU, the Green and White defense forced a three-and-out. A Demarius Reed punt return to the Penn State 33-yard line set the EMU offense up with a short field.
 
However, the Eagles were unable to gain a first down and were forced to set up a 45-yard field goal. As Dylan Mulder was ready to attempt the kick, holder and backup quarterback Mark Iannotti fumbled the snap, the Eagles were unable to get the attempt off, turning the ball over on downs to Penn State.
 
Benz connected on his first seven passes of the game, helping Eastern move the ball downfield. As the Eagles crossed midfield, a deep ball hit the ground followed by a pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage, forcing EMU to punt the ball back to Penn State.
 
After not allowing a first down on Penn State's first two drives, the EMU defense picked up right where it left off. As Hackenberg dropped back to pass on the first play of the drive, the PSU freshman lost the ball, allowing Matt to scoop and score from 11 yards out. The first career touchdown for the sophomore linebacker gave the Eagles a, 7-0, lead with 4:01 to go in the first quarter.
 
Matt's fumble return was the first touchdown recorded by the EMU defense since Pudge Cotton's pick-six last year at Purdue, Sept. 15, 2012. It was the Eagles first fumble return for a touchdown since Derrick Hunter took the ball 80 yards the other way against Ohio, Oct. 13, 2007, in a 48-43 loss to the Bobcats.
 
The Nittany Lions wasted no time responding to the Eastern touchdown. Hackenberg led his team 67 yards down the field in six plays to tie the contest up, 7-7. The PSU quarterback's 43-yard connection with Allen Robinson set up a two-yard touchdown run by Zach Zwinak with 1:41 left in the opening quarter.
 
Penn State overtook the lead on its next drive, a similar one that went 68 yards in 6 plays. Following an EMU three-and-out, Bill Belton led the Nittany Lions to the end zone, rushing three times for 24 yards on the drive, including a five-yard scamper to give PSU a seven-point advantage, 14-7.
 
The Eagles tried to answer the PSU score. On third-and-long, Benz scampered 16 yards up the middle for a first down, the second longest run of his career. Hill followed that with a powerful 13-yard rush of his own. However, Benz fumbled a snap before throwing back-to-back incomplete passes to set up a 42-yard field goal for Mulder. This time, the snap and hold were successful, but Mudler's attempt sailed wide right as the deficit remained at seven.
 
As the Nittany Lions marched down the field again, the EMU defense forced a mistake out of the young Hackenberg. On a play-action pass from the EMU 25-yard line, Hackenberg threw into double coverage, the ball was tipped around, and Mycal Swaim came up with the first interception of his career to get the ball back to the Eagles.
 
Penn State closed out the half with a 39-yard field goal, and EMU headed in the locker room trailing by 10, 17-7.
 
The Eagles managed 139 yards in the first half, recording 93 through the air courtesy of Benz going 12-18. Hill led the EMU rushing attack with 38 yards on 11 carries. Eastern did not turn the ball over in the game's first 30 minutes, while the defense forced two turnovers, including Matt's 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
 
The Nittany Lions tallied 265 total yards in the first half, including 207 from the arm of Hackenberg. Hackenberg's favorite receiver was Brandon Felder who made five catches for 51 yards. He also hooked up with Robinson four times for 70 yards.
 
The EMU defense started the second half strong, forcing Penn State to punt on three straight drives. However, the offense struggled to get anything going. PSU controlled field position, eventually beginning a drive at the EMU 33-yard line. The Eagles forced a third-and-24 after back-to-back sacks by Matt and Pat O'Connor, but Penn State converted the yardage in two plays, including a fourth-and-four. Following the fourth down conversion, Zwinak found a hole on the left side, crossing the goal line to give Penn State a 24-7 lead that it would take into the fourth quarter.
 
 
Kentucky 41, Miami 7     Final     Stats
 
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Miami University’s football team dropped a 41-7 decision at the University of Kentucky in Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats improved to 1-1 on the season, while the RedHawks moved to 0-2.
 
Kentucky quickly jumped out to a 17-0 lead. The Wildcats scored their first touchdown just under two minutes into the game off a Jalen Whitlow 9-yard run. With Kentucky threatening with first down on the 4-yard line, Miami staged a strong red-zone stand and forced the Wildcats’ Joe Mansour to kick a 22-yard field goal at the 7:58 mark of the first quarter. Kentucky took a 17-0 lead off a 48-yard touchdown pass from Maxwell Smith to Jonathan George at 5:54.
 
Miami put its first points on the board when senior linebacker Collin Boucher forced a fumble on a punt return at the Kentucky 6-yard line. Senior linebacker Chris Wade scooped up the ball and plowed into the endzone at the 3:20 mark of the opening quarter. Sophomore Kaleb Patterson’s extra point put the RedHawks within 10 points, 17-7.
 
Just over a minute later, Kentucky’s Smith hit Javess Blue on an 88-yard touchdown reception. Mansour’s PAT extended the Wildcat lead to 24-7 with 1:58 to go in the first quarter. UK tacked on one more touchdown in the first half, scoring on a Raymond Sanders 5-yard run at 10:10 in the second quarter. Mansour’s extra point handed the Wildcats a 31-7 lead, which they carried into halftime.
 
After a scoreless third quarter, Kentucky added 10 points in the fourth quarter off a 21-yard field goal by Mansour at the 14:15 mark and a 56-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Jeff Badet at 11:53 to push its lead to 41-7.
 
Senior defensive back Dayonne Nunley led all players with eight tackles, including a game-high seven solo stops.
 
Miami is idle next weekend before hosting Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 21 in the 118th meeting in the Battle for the Victory Bell. Game time will be announced next week. Check MURedHawks.com for the time update.
 
 
Ball State 40, Army 14     Final     Stats  
 
Ball State’s football team defeated Army, 40-14, Saturday afternoon in Scheumann Stadium to improve to 2-0 on the season.
 
The win marks the third straight year Ball State has defeated the Black Knights under head coach Pete Lembo, and marked Ball State’s first 2-0 start since 2008. 
 
“If you would have told me we would win our first three games against Army – a team that runs the triple option and is a very difficult group to get ready for – I would have told you that would be a bit of a dream.  We tried to stay balanced today.  It was good to see some shorter throws turn into bigger plays.  We are able to respond to big plays by the opponent.  The offense comes out and responds well.”
 
Ball State, which defeated Illinois State 51-28 in the season opener, has scored 91 points in its first two games, marking the most points scored by the Cardinals in the first two games of a season in school history.
 
“We were without two of our veteran players and some of our younger guys were forced to step up,” Lembo says.  “That makes it even more satisfying.  The way we do things 365 days a year, we get the next guy ready and we do what we do.  We believe in each other and we are working hard to improve our depth.”
 
Army opened the game with a touchdown not even one minute into the contest before the Cardinals scored 37 unanswered points to take the game in a commanding fashion.  After falling behind early, Ball state scored on every possession but one in the first half to take a 27-7 halftime advantage over Army.
 
Senior quarterback Keith Wenning completed 23-of-32 passes for 325 yards with two touchdowns, and he has now accounted for seven TDs in the first two games – five passing, two rushing.  With the 325 yards passing, Wenning topped the 300-yard passing mark for the eighth time in his career and has surpassed the 300-yard plateau in the first two games of 2013.
 
With Jahwan Edwards out for the game with an injury, Horactio Banks rushed 17 times for 51 yards and two scores, while true freshman Teddy Williamson managed 13 rushes for 58 yards.
 
Jamill Smith, who scored on an eight-yard touchdown reception from Wenning at the 4:29 mark of the first quarter to make it a 14-7 game, tallied five catches for 83 yards.  Willie Snead tallied five catches for 64 yards, while Jordan Williams had four receptions for 77 yards.  Zane Fakes was the recipient of Wenning’s second TD pass when he caught an 11-yard reception for a score in the third quarter that gave the Cardinals a 37-7 lead.
 
Defensively, the Cardinals were led by Zack Ryan, who tallied 11 tackles.  Michael Ayers and Nathan Ollie registered eight tackles apiece, while Ollie added one sack.  Quinton Cooper and Aaron Hepp both had fumble recoveries on the day, while Jeffery Garrett tallied the second interception of his career.
 
For the day, placekicker Scott Secor was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including a career long 47-yarder at 12:57 in the second quarter.  It was the first time Ball State connected on four field goals in a game since Steven Schott went 4-for-4 against Eastern Michigan, Nov. 5, 2011.
 
Ball State will travel to North Texas Saturday for its first road contest of the season before opening Mid-American Conference action at Eastern Michigan Sept. 21.  The Cardinals return home Sept. 28, when they host Toledo at 3 p.m. in Scheumann Stadium.
 
 
Maine 24, UMass 14     Final     Stats
 
FOXBORO, Mass. - Marcus Wasilewski passed for 264 yards to lead Maine to a 24-14 win over Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.  UMass (0-2) got strong play from receiver Tajae Sharpe, who established career highs with 11 catches for 85 yards, including his first touchdown as a Minuteman in the fourth quarter.
 
Linebacker Ed Saint-Vil led the Minutemen defense with 14 tackles and a pass break up. Joe Colton also recorded double digits with 11 stops.  Maine (2-0) had 514 yards of total offense as it picked up it's second ever win over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.
 
UMass received the opening kick and rode the momentum of a 41-yard return by Trey Dudley Giles en route to a quick 7-0 lead. The Minutemen needed just four plays before Mike Wegzyn found Bernard Davis in the middle of the end zone for the score. The initial drive took just 83 seconds.
 
On the ensuing possession, Maine appeared ready to answer the score after a throw-back pass to a wide open Justin Perillo gave the Black Bears a first down at the five yard line. But the drive ended on the next play when Jovan Santos-Knox picked off Wasilewski in the end zone for his first career interception.
 
The Black Bears got on the board when they recovered a muffed punt at the UMass 40 following their next possession. The 10-play drive was capped by a 26-yard Sean Decloux field goal.
 
Maine's Ricky Stevens broke off a 35-yard scoring run five minutes into the second quarter to put the visitors ahead 10-7. 
 
Maine added to it's lead late in the third when Zedric Joseph scored from a yard out to complete a 12 play, 68-yards march that amassed more than five minutes. Wasilewski scored from 39 yards out on a quarterback draw with 1:18 left in the third.
 
The Minutemen snapped Maine's 24-0 run with 11:10 to play when sophomore A.J. Doyle tossed a touchdown pass to Sharpe for an 8-yard strike.
 
 
Central Michigan 24, New Hampshire 21     Final     Stats     Postgame Notes
 
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Redshirt freshman Ron Coluzzi drilled a 27-yard field goal as time expired to lift Central Michigan to a thrilling, come-from-behind 24-21 win over New Hampshire (0-1) on Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The kick completed a rally that saw the Chippewas score 17 points in the game’s fourth quarter.
 
Redshirt freshman Cooper Rush led the fourth quarter rally as the Chippewas with a pair of touchdown passes to sophomore Andrew Flory and junior Titus Davis.
 
"I challenged our team at halftime and they responded," said CMU head coach Dan Enos. "Our defense held New Hampshire to eight points in the second half which was a real positive and obviously our offense got on track due in large part to our freshman quarterback Cooper Rush."
 
"You have to give Cooper credit because it’s a tough thing being a backup quarterback and not knowing if you are going to play, then getting thrown into a tough game in the pouring rain. It’s almost unfair to do to guys, but you find out about their character. I also give a lot of credit to our freshman kicker Ron Coluzzi who did a great job when his team needed him and he delivered a big kick."
 
The Chippewas trailed 21-14 after a 20-yard strike to Flory with 12:16 to play in the contest and tied the game at 21 when Rush hit Davis wide open down the middle of the field for a career-long 97-yard touchdown reception.
 
Rush came off the bench in the second quarter to make his collegiate debut and finished the game 19-for-32 with 326 yards and three touchdowns.
 
An penalty following Davis’ 97-yard touchdown gave the Wildcats possession at the Central Michigan 49, but sophomore Kavon Frazier recovered a fumble forced by sophomore Justin Cherocci at the CMU 24 to set up the game-winning drive.
 
CMU took over with 4:24 to go and three-straight carries by sophomore Saylor Lavalli, including a 42-yard scamper, moved the Chippewas into New Hampshire territory. Facing a 3rd-and-15 following a Wildcats sack, Rush found Davis for 17 yards to keep the drive alive and set up the eventual game-winning kick by Coluzzi.
 
The first half was all Wildcats as CMU struggled to find rhythm in the offense. New Hampshire jumped out to an early six-point lead in the first quarter but failed on a two-point conversion.
 
The Wildcats outscored the Chippewas 7-0 in the second quarter and headed to halftime with a 13-0 lead.  

 
The Chippewas defense answered in the second half only allowing eight points in the fourth quarter. Linebackers Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton led CMU with 13 and 12 tackles respectively.
 
 
Missouri 38, Toledo 23     Final     Stats     Postgame Notes
 
COLUMBIA, MO – The Toledo Rockets stood toe-to-toe with Missouri, outgaining the SEC foe by three yards (387-384) but coming up on the short end of the scoreboard, 38-23, on Saturday at Faurot Field. With the loss, the Rockets fall to 0-2 on the season, both losses to SEC opponents (24-6 loss to Florida last week).
 
Senior running back David Fluellen had a big game, gaining 111 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving, while setting his career high with 10 receptions. Sophomore Alonzo Russell added seven catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. Senior QB Terrance Owens completed 26-of-41 passes for 262 yards and one score but was nicked for three interceptions. Junior LB Junior Sylvestre paced the defense with a career-best 13 tackles.
 
Toledo  trailed at the half, 17-9, though the game was nearly even in total yardage, with Missouri (2-0) holding a slight 207-188 edge. Mizzou got on the scoreboard first on a 35-yard field by Andrew Baggett on its first possession. On its opening possession, Toledo drove 69 yards before the drive stalled, settling for a 24-yard field goal by junior PK Jeremiah Detmer to tie the score at 3-3.
 
The Tigers then drove 75 yards in eight plays, culminating in a one-yard TD run by Henry Josey to put the home team up 10-3 with 5:58 left in the first quarter. UT’s Detmer whittled down the lead with a pair of second-quarter field goals from 46 and 41 yards to make the score 10-9 with 4:57 to play in the half. Detmer’s third field goal of the day was set up by a 29-yard punt return by senior WR Bernard Reedy to the Missouri 26-yard line.
 
Mizzou pushed the lead out to 17-9 with 1:14 left in the half on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard TD pass from James Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham. The Rockets missed out on a great opportunity to counter when Owens was intercepted in the end zone on third-and-goal from the three-yard line on the final play of the half.
 
Toledo was on the move again to start the second half, driving to the Missouri 22-yard line. before defensive end Markus Golden grabbed a ball that squirted out of Owens’ hands as he attempted a short pass. Golden rambled 70 yards for the score to put Mizzou up 24-9.
 
The Rockets rebounded, thanks to a UM celebration penalty following the touchdown that allowed Reedy to return the kickoff 59 yards to the Missouri 38-yard line. Four plays later, Owens ran it in from four yards to cut the lead to 24-16.
 
Toledo’s defense forced Tigers to punt on a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, giving the Rockets good field position their own 40-yard line.  Six plays later, Owens hit Alonzo Russell for a 41-yard pass on third-and-one to cut the lead to one, 24-23.
 
Missouri extended the lead back out to eight points, 31-23, with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Josey scoring from one-yard out on the final play of the third quarter. The Tigers closed out the scoring with an eight-yard TD run with 10:29 to play.
 
 
Baylor 70, Buffalo 13     Final     Stats
 
WACO, TX – Alex Neutz had six catches for a career-best 197 yards and a touchdown in a 70-13 loss at #23 Baylor on Saturday afternoon. However, the only thing hotter than the 120-degree temperature on the field, might have been the Baylor offense. The Bears rolled up 781 yards of total offense which featured lightning-quick scoring drives. Baylor had nine touchdown drives of less than two minutes each.
 
The Bulls got off to a great start. On the first play of the game, a flea flicker resulted in a 54-yard hookup between Joe Licata and Alex Neutz. Seven plays later, Branden Oliver ran up the middle for a one-yard touchdown to give the Bulls a 7-0 lead.
 
However, the lead was short lived as the Bears struck quickly the first three times they touched the ball to take a 21-7 lead. Buffalo did respond with a four-play 60-yard scoring drive, capped by a Licata to Neutz 14-yard touchdown pass. After the extra point was blocked, UB trailed 21-13 with 2:11 left in the first half.
 
But it was all Baylor after that. The Bears scored the next five times they touched the ball and added a fumble return for a touchdown to take a 56-13 lead at the half.
 
Neutz's 197 yards receiving was the third best single game effort in school history. He finished 21 yards shy of the school record of 218 set by Joe D'Amico against Cortland in 1981. The only other UB player to have a better receiving day in UB's Division I-A era was Andre Forde who had 202 receiving yards against Ohio in 2002.
 
Baylor made an effort to run the majority of its plays away from Khalil Mack, who was coming off being named the National Defensive Player of the Week after his standout performance against Ohio State. The senior linebacker finished with just four tackles in the game.
 
Tomarris Bell had a career-high seven tackles to lead the Bulls. Okoye Houston, Nick Gilbo and Witney Sherry each finished with five stops. Jake Stockman had a pair of tackles for loss, including a sack in game.
 
Licata played just the first half and went 10-of-16 for 214 yards a touchdown and an interception. Anthone Taylor was the Bulls top rusher with 39 yards on the ground.
 
Lache Seastrunk rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns and Bryce Petty finished 13-of-16 for 338 yards and threw for two scores to lead Baylor.
 
"We learned a lot from these first two weeks. We went after the best in the country and we wanted to see how we measured up against them," head coach Jeff Quinn said. "Last week I felt better. This week we didn't come close to feeling the way I thought we could hold up against Baylor. They are deserving to be one of the top five teams in my opinion right now."
 
 
Akron 35, James Madison 33     Final     Stats
 
AKRON, Ohio – Akron utilized a two-quarterback system to combine for 287 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air in a 35-33 victory over James Madison in its home opener at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field on Saturday night.
 
The Akron defense sealed the win with a stop on a James Madison two-point conversion attempt with 5:18 remaining and a fourth-down stop of the Dukes' final drive at the Akron 27-yard line as time expired.
 
Nick Hirschman and Kyle Pohl each threw two touchdown passes to rally the UA offense after a scoreless first quarter that saw the Dukes race out to a 13-0 lead in the first eight minutes.
 
James Madison opened the game with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that featured a balanced attack with seven rushes and seven passes. Dae'Quan Scott scored the game's first points on a three-yard screen pass from Michael Birdsong, but the Zips' defense spoiled the two-point conversion attempt that followed.
 
Hirschman came off the bench early in the second quarter for Akron (1-1) and ran for a one-yard score on a QB sneak with 8:42 left in the second frame, capping off a 13-play, 77-yard drive to put the Zips on the board.
 
After a James Madison (1-1) turnover, Hirschman found Zach D'Orazio in the endzone on a two-yard toss less than a minute before halftime, giving UA its first lead of the season at 14-13. The junior QB would finish the night with 144 yards on 6-of-10 passing.
 
JMU took back the advantage with a 45-yard field goal at the 7:38 mark of the third quarter. Hirschman answered less than a minute later, connecting on a 68-yard touchdown strike to sophomore receiver Andrew Pratt (three catches for 118 yards) that put Akron back on top at 21-16.
 
The Dukes went ahead 24-21 on a seven play, 61-yard drive at the 4:00 mark of the third quarter. Pohl later returned and gave Akron the lead at 28-24, courtesy of a three-yard TD pass to D'Orazio. The drive was part of the sophomore QBs 14 completion effort that produced 143 yards and two touchdowns.
 
James Madison cut the deficit to one on a 29-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, but the Zips separated themselves again when Jerrod Dillard caught a 24-yard pass from Pohl with 8:19 left in the game. One more JMU touchdown at the hands of Birdsong made it 35-33, a lead that Akron would ride out through the final minutes and a last-ditch Dukes' drive.
 
Johnny Robinson led the Akron defense with 10 tackles and Malachi Freeman added eight stops and two pass break-ups.
 
 
Ohio 27, North Texas 21     Final     Stats
 
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University football team (1-1) used two fourth-quarter field goals from sophomore kicker Matt Green to surge past visiting North Texas, 27-21, in the Bobcats' home opener Saturday evening in Peden Stadium.
 
With the score knotted at 21 with 12:51 to go in the game, the Bobcats put together lengthy drives of 55 and 62 yards to set up field goals of 38 and 22 yards to give Ohio the lead. An interception from senior safety Xavier Hughes (Germantown, Md.) sealed the victory for Ohio with 1:02 left in the game.
 
The contest was witnessed by 24,511 fans, the fifth-largest crowd to ever pack Peden Stadium.
 
Junior wide receiver Chase Cochran (Lebanon, Ohio) posted a game-high 103 receiving yards on six catches, including a touchdown grab, to lead the Ohio offense, while senior tailback Ryan Boykin (Woodstock, Ga.) rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries and hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass to pace the `Cats rushing attack.
 
Senior tailback Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) added 84 yards on 14 carries, while senior wideout Donte Foster (Guthrie, Okla.) grabbed six passes for 59 yards. Senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) threw for 239 yards and two scores and completed 63 percent (19-30) of his passes on the night.
 
Sophomore corner Jovon Johnson (Solon, Ohio) led the Bobcat defense after returning an interception for a touchdown and recovering a fumble in the first half. Junior safety Josh Kristoff (Pickerington, Ohio) compiled a team-high 10 tackles for Ohio.
 
The `Cats held a 442-299 edge in total yards for the contest, including a 203-104 edge on the ground.
 
Ohio also won the turnover battle (+1) against the Mean Green. The Ohio offense exploded out of the gate, as Tettleton took the opening snap and rifled a 75-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Chase Cochran (Lebanon, Ohio). It marked Ohio's longest completion from scrimmage so far this season and the 10th longest pass play in program history.
 
The Bobcats forced a three-and-out from North Texas on the team's first drive, but a fumble by Ohio punt returner Travis Carrie (Antioch, Calif.) gave North Texas possession at their 48-yard line. From there, the Bobcat defense took over, as redshirt senior Nic Barber (Newark, Ohio) forced a fumble from NT tailback Reggie Pegram. The fumble was recovered by Johnson and the `Cats took over at their own 27-yard line.
 
After two Bobcat three-and-outs and another from North Texas, the Mean Green tied the score at seven after penetrating the Ohio defense with a 10-play, 46-yard drive late in the first quarter. The Mean Green utilized the Wildcat offense to move into the red zone, then utilized three rushes for 15 yards by tailback Antoinne Jimmerson to reach the end zone for the score.
 
Ohio responded quickly and efficiently with a 10-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that lasted more than five minutes and gave the `Cats a 14-7 lead. More than half of those yards (40) came on the ground, as Boykin and redshirt freshman Jake Schany (Blair, Neb.) each provided scampers of 10-or-more yards for the `Cats. The lengthy drive was capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tettleton to Boykin.
 
The Bobcats immediately added to their lead, as Jovon Johnson added to his superb first half by picking off North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson and returning it 42 yards for a touchdown to give Ohio a 21-7 lead with 12:34 to go in the second quarter.
 
After a nine-play North Texas drive that stalled at the Ohio 44-yard line, the Bobcats put together a 57-yard march down the field that included a 24-yard pass from Tettleton to Foster and a 26-yard run from Blankenship. However, the `Cats could not convert, as Green just missed a 40-yard field goal attempt with 2:34 to go in the first half. The Bobcats entered intermission holding a 14-point edge (21-7).
 
Despite North Texas holding an eight-minute edge in time of possession, the `Cats out-gained the Mean Green in total yardage (220-170) in the half and held the visitors to an 0-for-7 mark on third down attempts.
 
The Ohio offense relied heavily on the ground prowess of Blankenship in the third quarter, as the senior tailback provided 34 of the team's 94 yards of offense in the period. However, the `Cats could not score in the quarter, as Ohio's best scoring opportunity - a 57-yard drive midway through the period - stalled at the North Texas 19-yard line after Ohio failed to convert a fourth-and-one play.
 
The Mean Green took over on offense with 6:33 to go in the third quarter and started an eight-play, 56-yard scoring drive that tied the game at 21. The drive ended with a six-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Darnell Smith.
 
For the second time in the game, Ohio came right back and scored after North Texas put the ball in the end zone. This time, the `Cats put together a 55-yard drive - highlighted by a 26-yard pass from Tettleton to senior Matt Waters (Council Bluffs, Iowa) - that set up a 38-yard field goal from Green. The score gave Ohio a 24-21 lead with 8:08 to go in the fourth quarter.
 
After the Ohio defense forced a key three-and-out by North Texas, the `Cats put together a clock-killing drive that ultimately earned the Green & White the victory. The drive included an acrobatic 23-yard catch by Cochran that culminated in Green's 22-yard field goal. The Hughes interception on the ensuing North Texas drive clinched the victory for Ohio.
 
 
Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23     Final     Stats
 
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan fell in the 2013 Bronco football home-opener Saturday night, suffering a 27-23 loss to Nicholls in front of a crowd of 24,163 at Waldo Stadium.
 
Western Michigan got behind 14-0 in the first quarter and trailed 21-9 at halftime. The Broncos held the Colonels to just two field goals the rest of the game, but fell short offensively.
 
Senior running back Brian Fields ran for three touchdowns and 111 yards, while fellow senior Dareyon Chance rushed for 126 yards. Fields became the first Bronco running back to record three rushing touchdowns in a game since Brandon West accomplished the feat against Toledo in 2009. It was Chance’s fifth career 100-yard rushing game and the third for Fields.
 
Senior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen got the start under center, returning to the field this week after making an early exit due to injury in the season-opener last week at Michigan State. He completed 24 of 43 passes and was intercepted twice.
 
Nicholls starting quarterback Kalen Henderson was carted off the field with just over a minute left in the first half and did not return to the game. He rushed for 87 yards, one touchdown, and was 8-for-11 passing for 159 yards in the air. Tuskani Figaro replaced Henderson and threw for 55 yards and ran for another 74.
 
Defensively, Western Michigan was led by senior linebacker Johnnie Simon with a team-high 11 tackles. Senior linebacker Kyle Lark registered 10.
 
Nicholls took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind an eight-yard touchdown run by Marcus Washington and a one-yard Henderson keeper. The Broncos broke onto the scoreboard with 13:41 left in the second quarter on a 42-yard field goal by Andrew Haldeman, his first field goal of the season.
 
Western Michigan then put together an eight-play, 72-yard drive, capped by a two-yard Fields touchdown with 6:53 left in the half. The snap on the PAT was bobbled and the Broncos only came away with six, cutting the deficit to 14-9.
 
The Broncos followed the drive with a perfectly executed on-side kick, catching the Colonels off guard. Freshman Corey Davis made the recovery, smothering the ball at the WMU 48-yard line. It would go down as a missed opportunity however, as Van Tubbergen was picked off three plays later.
 
On the first play after the interception, Nicholls’ Erik Buchanan hauled in a 42-yard pass and was tackled at WMU’s four-yard line. Washington punched the ball in on the ground to put the score at 21-9 in Nicholls’ favor.
 
Fields opened the third quarter with his second touchdown of the game, a 13-yard run, as Western Michigan pulled within five, 21-16. Fields found the end zone for a third time in the game, a nine-yard run, with 3:13 left in the third to give WMU its first lead of the game, 23-21.
 
Two fourth-quarter field goals put Nicholls back in front, 27-23.
 
Western Michigan had a final drive with 1:44 remaining, but an interception at the goal line by Josh Dewey with 33 seconds left sealed the win for the Colonels (1-1-0).