MAC Football Scoreboard: Saturday, Sept. 28:
Northern Illinois 55, at Purdue 24 Final
Illinois 50, Miami 14 Final
Bowling Green 31, Akron 14 Final
Ball State 31, Toledo 24 Final
North Carolina State 48, Central Michigan 14 Final
Buffalo 41, UConn 12 Final
Kent State 32, Western Michigan 14 Final
Game stories courtesy of MAC Athletic Communication Departments.
W. LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Northern Illinois University Huskies became the first Mid-American Conference team to defeat two Big Ten teams in one season and improved their record to 4-0 on the season with a dominating 55-24 win over Purdue Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Quarterback Jordan Lynch started the game by completing 14 of his first 15 passes, including 11 straight. He finished the first half with 16 completions in 20 attempts for 195 yards and three touchdowns as the Huskies led 27-10 at the break.
For the game, Lynch completed 18-of-25 for 207 yards and three scores and added 35 rushing yards on nine carries with one touchdown.
NIU forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, and scored on a 62-yard interception return by safety Jimmie Ward and a 99-yard kickoff return by Tommylee Lewis in the second half to thwart any chances of a Purdue comeback.
“I was impressed with our offense, and our defense played a great game,” said NIU Head Coach Rod Carey. “We are a good defense and played a great game today. Offensively, we executed our game plan. Jordan can throw the football and there shouldn’t be any questions about that. He hit a lot of different receivers. We got everybody playing time so it was a good day.”
Behind the precision passing of Lynch, Northern Illinois scored on its first five possessions of the game. Kicker Mathew Sims earned the first NIU points of the game with a 44-yard field goal, before Lynch hit Da’Ron Brown from 15 yards out for the first of Brown’s two TDs on the day. Sims made it 13-7 with 13:39 to play in the second quarter and after the NIU defense forced Purdue into a three-and-out, Lynch hit sophomore Juwan Brescacin for 41 yards to the Boilermaker 26-yard line. Five plays later, the duo hooked up for a four-yard touchdown and a 20-7 NIU lead.
After Dechane Durante made the first of his two interceptions on the day to stop a Purdue drive at the NIU 21 and returned the ball 50 yards to the Purdue 29, Lynch hit Brown from 17 yards out for the 27-7 Huskie lead. Durante ended the Boilermakers’ next drive as well, intercepting quarterback Rob Henry in the end zone.
Purdue managed a 47-yard field goal before halftime, but the Huskies led 27-10.
Lewis quickly quashed any Purdue comeback hopes as he took the opening kickoff back 99 yards for a score. The Riviera Beach, Fla., speedster weaved through his blockers before getting into the clear and went untouched for his fourth career kickoff return touchdown.
The teams traded punts. Trailing 34-10, Purdue began a drive on its 35, but on the fourth play from the NIU 40, Ward read the out route, secured the ball, and tiptoed down the sideline before cutting across the field for the first interception return touchdown of his career. Ward also led the Huskies with nine tackles on the day.
“I’m happy for Jimmie Ward,” Carey said. “We said we’ve got to have seniors play like seniors and he’s playing his best ball. Our defense was opportunistic and made things happen.”
Purdue scored on its next possession with freshman quarterback Danny Etling hitting Cameron Posey from 16 yards out to complete an eight-play, 75-yard drive. The Huskies then used tailbacks Cameron Stingily and Keith Harris, Jr. to ground out an 11-play, 67-yard drive that consumed 4:27 on the clock. Lynch went the final seven yards for the score and a 48-17 Huskie lead.
Lynch played the first drive of the fourth quarter before exiting in favor of back-ups Matt McIntosh and Drew Hare. McIntosh led a 47-yard touchdown drive and hit tight end Tim Semisch from 18 yards out for his first touchdown pass of the year and NIU’s final points of the game.
Purdue scored once more to provide the final 31-point margin, tying the biggest win by a MAC team over a team from the Big Ten Conference in league history.
Carey didn’t want to talk about history after the game as his thoughts already started turning toward the Huskies’ MAC opener at Kent State next Saturday.
“We’re 4-0, but in 24 hours, we’ll be 0-0,” Carey said. “I don’t believe in defending anything, we have to go out and get it and that starts [Sunday].”
Illinois 50, Miami 14 Final Stats
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—Miami University scored two second-half touchdowns, but could not overcome a potent University of Illinois offense as the Fighting Illini topped the RedHawks on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, 50-14.
Miami (0-4) scored its first second-half touchdown of the season with 2:09 to go in the third quarter when senior quarterback Austin Boucher found redshirt freshman wide receiver Rokeem Williams in the end zone with a 6-yard pass. The RedHawks drove 75 yards on nine plays.
In the fourth quarter, freshman running back Grant Niemiec plowed into the end zone from 1 yard out to cap a nine-play, 41-yard drive for the second RedHawk touchdown.
They were the first touchdowns as RedHawks for both Williams and Niemiec. Sophomore kicker Kaleb Patterson connected on both extra-point attempts.
Bolstered by 29 second-quarter points, Illinois (3-1) built an early 43-0 advantage. After the two RedHawk touchdowns, the Fighting Illini capped their scoring with a 6-yard rushing touchdown with 7:09 to go in the game.
As a team, Miami amassed a season-high 250 yards of total offense. Redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Gearing led all players with 81 yards rushing, while Boucher tallied 95 yards passing.
The Miami defense came up with a pair of interceptions for the second straight week.
Junior defensive back Brison Burris picked off Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase on the Miami 14-yard line and returned it 27 yards with 4:51 to go in the first quarter, thwarting the Fighting Illini’s second drive of the game. Following Miami’s first score of the game, freshman linebacker TJ Williams intercepted a pass by Reilly O’Toole on the Illinois 41-yard line with 1:25 to go in the third quarter.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Nate Gerbus led all players with 10 tackles.
Miami returns home next weekend, hosting Central Michigan in its Mid-American Conference opener as part of Family Weekend on the Oxford campus. Kickoff for the October 5 game is set for 1 p.m.
Bowling Green 31, Akron 14 Final Stats
The Bowling Green State University football team fell behind by 11 points after the first quarter but shut out the University of Akron during the final three frames of a 31-14 victory on Saturday (Sept. 28) afternoon at Doyt L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The crowd of 13,262 at today's game was restless early, as the Falcons struggled out of the gate. Bowling Green punted after just three plays on their opening drive, and Akron used the opportunity to take the lead. After a controversial pass interference call on Cameron Truss on Akron's third play from scrimmage, the Zips' Kyle Pohl threw deep down the right sideline to a wide open L.T. Smith. Smith raced into the end zone for a 51-yard score and an early 7-0 Akron lead.
It appeared that the Falcons would answer emphatically on their next possession. Travis Greene ran for 14 and 32 yards on consecutive carries, then two Matt Johnson passes gave BGSU a first down at the Zips' 12. The drive stalled there, and Tyler Tate kicked a 29-yard field goal to close the gap to 7-3.
Akron answered right back, however, with a little assistance from BGSU. They reached the Falcon 25 but were faced with a 3rd-and-5. Pohl's pass was incomplete, but Gabe Martin was called for holding and negated the play. Four plays later, Pohl ran a keeper to the left for a three-yard touchdown and a 14-3 Akron lead.
The two teams exchanged punts on the next six possessions until 4:53 remained in the first half. It was on that final punt, by Akron, when the game turned once and for all. Akron had driven to the Bowling Green 36 and faced a 4th-and-10. Pohl came out as if Akron was going to go for it, but (after a BGSU timeout) he attempted a pooch punt. The punt went directly to the right and out of bounds and traveled just one yard upfield, and it gave the Falcons a first down at their own 35.
From that point, Bowling Green scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions. For the first score, they drove the 65 yards in ten plays. The possession was capped when Johnson completed a pass over the middle to Shaun Joplin. Joplin juggled the ball but eventually caught it and ran into the end zone for a 22-yard score. Akron meekly ran out the final 1:41 in the first half to take a 14-10 lead to the locker room.
The Zips punted after just three plays to start the second half, and Bowling Green was right back in the end zone 11 plays later. In a 69-yard drive that took 6:20 off the game clock, a superb mix of Greene runs and Johnson passes steadily moved the ball to the Akron 2-yard line. William Houston then came in and added the two-yard touchdown run to his arsenal and gave BGSU a 17-14 lead.
Akron actually managed a first down on the ensuing drive but then had to punt again after just four plays. A very short 22-yard punt allowed Bowling Green to take over at their own 40, and it took the team just six plays to navigate the 60 yards to the Akron end zone. On 2nd-and-10 from the Akron 30, Johnson went back to pass and immediately had to scramble. He whirled around and somehow saw Greene. He found enough momentum to shovel Greene the ball, and Greene weaved his way through the defense for a 30-yard touchdown. When the third quarter ended, the Falcons led 24-14.
The Zips finally put together a drive and threatened to close the gap again. However, on 3rd-and-goal from the 1, Pohl's pass to Anthony Ritossa was knocked down by Gabe Martin. Robert Stein's 17-yard field goal attempt then clanked off the left upright, and BGSU was able to keep their ten-point margin.
The Falcons closed out the scoring after a 13-play, 80-yard drive that sapped eight minutes out of the fourth quarter. Andre Givens had a highlight-reel 18-yard run that went from sideline to sideline, but Greene saw nine carries on the drive for 37 yards. That included the final 11, when Greene ran right up the middle for the game's final score and the ultimate 31-14 victory.
Bowling Green was outgained 134-66 in the first quarter but reversed that to 330-162 over the final three quarters. Overall, BGSU had a 396-296 edge in yards. They also dominated time of possession (again) by a 36:03-23:57 margin. The Falcons were also 9-for-14 on third downs and 4-for-5 in the red zone, while allowing Akron to go just 6-fo4-13 and 1-for-2 in the same situations.
It should also be emphasized that BGSU's only red zone "failure" was on the final drive of the game, when the team intentionally ran out the clock. Bowling Green is now 22-for-26 in the red zone this season; opponents are only 8-for-17.
Johnson had another outstanding passing day for Bowling Green. He completed 18 out of 24 passes for 229 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Also, while he was sacked six times in the second half, he did not suffer a single sack during the game's final 30 minutes. Joplin was Johnson's favorite target, as he caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Greene caught four balls, including a touchdown, and accounted for 71 yards. Ryan Burbrink, Chris Gallon and Alex Bayer each had three receptions.
Greene was the game's leading rusher with 142 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Greene's game total, in 28 touches, was 213 yards and two scores. He led BGSU to a 167-97 edge in rushing yards.
On defense, Aaron Foster led the way with ten tackles, including one of the team's three tackles for loss.
For Akron, Kyle Pohl had 37 passing attempts and completed 22 of those for 199 yards and a touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown and 26 yards on six carries. He was just two yards shy of Akron's leading rusher, Jawon Chisholm, who had only nine carries and 28 yards.
L.T. Smith led Zips' receivers with five catches, 89 yards and a touchdown. Jerrod Dillard also had five catches for 50 yards.
Akron's defense had two players with nine tackles and two others with eight. They had six sacks and seven total tackles for loss. The Zips also had two forced fumbles but could not recover either. C.J. James (3), Albert Presley (2) and Nico Caponi (1) had the sacks for Akron.
Akron's loss drops their record to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-American Conference. They host the Ohio Bobcats next weekend.
Bowling Green's victory gives the Falcons a 4-1 record overall and a 2-0 mark in the MAC. Their next game is next Saturday (Oct. 5) at home against Massachusetts. The game is BGSU's homecoming, and game time is 3:30 p.m.; the game will be televised online by ESPN3.
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State’s football team tallied a 31-24 victory over Mid-American Conference West Division rival Toledo Saturday in Scheumann Stadium to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Rockets fall to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in conference action.
“We told the guys two things Sunday -- one was we had a home game this week and number two was we needed to go out and have a good Tuesday practice,” third-year head coach Pete Lembo says. “We had a decent week of preparation. We have guys practicing harder with a little more focus, a little more detail and a little more sense of urgency. Usually what you see out on the field is a byproduct of that. “
This marks Ball State’s first 2-0 league start since 2008, and a seventh straight league win dating back to the 2012 season.
“We came out and started really strong on both sides of the ball,” Lembo says. “We did some good things on special teams early in the game. We tackled really well, especially in the first half. They leaned on us a little bit in the second half but it was still pretty good keeping things in front of us.”
After opening the game with a two-yard Jahwan Edwards touchdown run, Ball State becomes the only team in the country to score a touchdown on its opening drive in all five games this season. Edwards added another rushing TD in the second quarter to give Ball State a 17-10 lead over Toledo, and a third score with three minutes remaining in the game for a three touchdown game and a 31-24 Ball State advantage. It marked the seventh career multiple TD game for Edwards and his fifth career game with three scores.
In a game that came down to the fourth quarter, Toledo tied the game 17-17 with 14:56 to play when Terrance Owens threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Alonzo Russell.
Ball State answered quickly to take the lead after Wenning ran the ball in for seven yards to put the Cardinals back on top 24-17 with 12:11 to play in the game. The Rockets quickly scored again to knot the game at 24-24 at the 6:20 mark, but Ball State would march down the field allowing Edwards to run in a four yard game winning score with 3:01 left on the clock.
We wanted to win the fourth quarter because we knew we would be in a really tight game,” Lembo says. “We were able to get some really good kickoff returns in the second half after a bunch of touchbacks. We had a lot of big conversions. It just seemed like our receivers did a nice job of getting to the sticks, knowing when they were at the sticks and then going down.”
Wenning enjoyed his fifth straight 300-yard plus passing game of the season and became just the second Ball State player ever to surpass 9,000 yards in total offense for a career. Wenning completed 27-of-38 passes for 335 yards and is one of only two Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks in the country to record five 300-yard passing games this season.
Edwards rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries with three scores, while Horactio Bangs managed 50 yards on 10 rushes. Wenning added one rushing touchdown on the day.
Jamill Smith led the Cardinals with 11 receptions for 99 yards, while Willie Snead added seven catches for 131 yards. Jordan Williams managed six catches for 92 yards for Ball State.
Defensively, Brian Jones led the Cardinals with 13 tackles, while Ben Ingle managed 11 tackles. Kenneth Lee added eight tackles with one sack and one interception, while Jonathan Newsome tallied seven tackles and one forced fumble. Zack Ryan tallied seven tackles and one fumble recovery on the day.
The Cardinals travel to Virginia Saturday for its last non-conference contest of the season. The game will kickoff at noon in Scott Stadium. The Cardinals will return to Scheumann Stadium, Oct. 19 for homecoming game against Kent State beginning at 3 p.m.
North Carolina State 48, Central Michigan 14 Final Stats
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes each had long scoring runs during North Carolina State's four-touchdown second quarter, and the Wolfpack routed Central Michigan 48-14 on Saturday. Thornton finished with 71 yards and his 29-yard scoring run came shortly before Dayes' 42-yard TD for N.C. State -- which scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.
D.J. Green returned an interception 37 yards for the first score and Rashard Smith brought a punt back 67 yards for a TD to help N.C. State (3-1) build a 35-0 halftime lead.
Pete Thomas was 14 of 20 for 244 yards with a late 80-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood. He also capped the Wolfpack's big second quarter by running eight yards for a score.
Cooper Rush threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Titus Davis on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Chippewas (1-4), but also was intercepted three times.
Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore added a 38-yard touchdown run for Central Michigan -- the only Mid-American Conference team to beat new Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren during his successful two-year run at Northern Illinois.
But the Chippewas didn't advance further than the N.C. State 21 during the decisive first half. The Wolfpack finished by outrushing Central Michigan 239-94 and holding a 483-259 advantage in total yardage.
Thornton, who was suspended for the season opener following an offseason arrest, wasn't listed on the two-deep roster issued earlier in the week by coach Dave Doeren.
Still, he entered as the Wolfpack's most efficient rusher this season, taking his only carry of the year 21 yards for a touchdown against Clemson last week.
This time, his scoring burst up the middle with 11:08 left in the half started N.C. State's big second quarter and put the Wolfpack up 14-0.
Dayes then capped the Wolfpack's next drive with his long scoring run -- and at that point, they outrushed the Chippewas 174-3.
The Wolfpack's other touchdown in the return game came on Central Michigan's first possession after Dayes' touchdown.
Smith fielded Richie Hogan's punt at his own 33 and broke first toward the right sideline, then back across the field for the touchdown.
That gave the Wolfpack TDs in all three phases in the same game for the first time since a victory over Liberty in 2011, according to STATS.
Thomas then scored on a keeper with 3:46 left in the half to cap the Wolfpack's 28-point second quarter and put them up 35-0.
Green got things started for N.C. State with the team's first interception of the season on Central Michigan's second play from scrimmage, leaping to snag Rush's throw and running untouched into the end zone.
Buffalo 41, UConn 12 Final Stats
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo football team dominated the visiting Connecticut Huskies in every facet of the game in a 41-12 victory at a sun-drenched UB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. A second straight 20,000+ crowd witnessed the Bulls offense score a season-high 41 points and a UB defense force four turnovers.
“It’s a program builder,” head coach Jeff Quinn said of his team’s win. “In all three phases it was a complete performance. I was really impressed with our front seven defensively to put pressure on their quarterback. Our kids fed off it, and without a doubt every single player on that field was ready to go out there and prove that they could beat a very good football team in UConn.”
Today's win was just the second over a BCS automatic qualifying program in school history and the first since the Bulls defeated Rutgers in 2002.
The defense held the Huskies to 220 total yards and set the tone early when, on the third play of the game, Adam Redden stripped UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer of the ball and recovered it himself at the Huskies’ 8-yard line. Five plays later, Joe Licata found Mason Schreck in the endzone for a 5-yard touchdown pass and the Bulls quickly led 7-0. It was Schreck’s first career touchdown.
After UConn answered with a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3, the defense struck again as Najja Johnson intercepted a pass and raced 33 yards to the endzone for his first career touchdown and the Bulls led 14-3 after the first quarter.
Licata hooked up with Alex Neutz on a 54-yard connection to set up the offense for another score. Branden Oliver capitalized when he plowed his way into the endzone on a 5-yard run to put the Bulls ahead, 21-6.
Up 21-6, it was time for the special teams to get in on the act. Colby Way blocked a UConn field goal attempt and Johnson scooped it up and returned it to the Connecticut 36-yard line. Six plays later, Licata connected with Neutz from 22 yards out to extend the UB lead to 28-6.
The Huskies got a touchdown late in the half to cut the UB advantage to 28-12 at the break.
Buffalo’s defense completely dominated UConn in the second half, holding the Huskies to just 27 yards of total offense and two first downs.
UB kicker Patrick Clarke provided all of the scoring in the second half as he drilled a 49-yard field goal and a career-long 50-yard field goal on consecutive possessions to extend the Bulls lead to 34-12.
The cherry on top came when Licata hit Fred Lee in stride on a 36-yard passing play early in the fourth quarter to give the Bulls a 41-12 edge.
Redden followed up his standout performance against Stony Brook with another great game. The senior safety/linebacker had 2.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. As a team, the Bulls had nine tackles for loss and a season-high five sacks. Beau Bachtelle had one of the most productive games of his career with five tackles and two sacks. Khalil Mack had eight tackles, including 1.5 for loss in the game. Lee Skinner had a team high 10 tackles for the Bulls.
Along with Johnson, the Bulls also got interceptions from Cortney Lester and Nick Gilbo.
Oliver was back in the lineup for the Bulls and had 90 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Licata finished 10-of-19 for 177 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. Lee was a Licata’s favorite target as he finished with three catches for 51 yards.
One of UB’s many unsung heroes on Saturday was Tyler Grassman. The Bulls’ punter took over kickoff duties and drilled six touchbacks.
“I was very proud of the way those kids handled themselves,” Quinn said. “Now what we have to do is learn from it, build, and continue to grow and get better. I think we’re in a good place right now and our players are really excited about where they’re at.”
Buffalo will next host Eastern Michigan next Saturday at noon at UB Stadium.
Kent State 32, Western Michigan 14 Final Stats
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Trayion Durham bulled his way to 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Dri Archer reached the end zone for the first time in 2013 as Kent State ended a 25-year drought at Western Michigan with a 32-14 win at Waldo Stadium on Saturday night.
The Golden Flashes hadn't won in Kalmazoo since 1988.
"This was a big win for us in a tough place to play," said Paul Haynes, who notched his first Mid-American Conference win as head coach at Kent State. "The last time we won here, Ronald Reagan was president and I was a sophomore in college. We talked about putting all three phases of the game together this week … and we did that."
Durham's big day was highlighted by scoring runs of 5 yards late in the first quarter and 1 yard late in the third quarter, along with a 65-yard rumble to set up a game-sealing 40-yard field goal by Anthony Melchiori in the closing minutes.
Archer added another 73 yards on six carries, but he scored his first touchdown of the year on a 31-yard pass from Colin Reardon with 6:15 to play in the second quarter. The score was one of Archer's four catches for 48 yards. Kent State ran the swinging gate to tack on a 2-point conversion throw from Chris Humphrey to long snapper Chad Bushley and take a 15-7 lead into halftime.
"It was nice to get back out there with my teammates," said Archer, who missed three of the season's first five games to an ankle injury, and played only sparingly in the other two. "After I made contact on my first play, I knew I was going to be good for the rest of the game. The touchdown was a great throw by Colin."
Reardon helped the Golden Flashes put the game away in the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass to tight end Casey Pierce. The 7-yard throw put Kent State ahead 29-14 with 8:25 to play.
Reardon finished the night with 176 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 17-for-30 passing. The freshman quarterback also ran for 44 yards on 11 attempts.
Defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix, cornerback Dylan Farrington and safety Luke Wollet led a Kent State defense that authored its finest game of the season.
Nix paced the Golden Flashes with eight tackles while Farrington and Wollet both intercepted Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen.
"We did a good job of getting off of the field on third down," said Wollet. "Our corners did a great job all day of pressing and their receivers struggled getting off of the ball.
Van Tubbergen completed 11-of-23 pases for 159 yards with his lone touchdown coming on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Schaefer early in the third quarter to briefly cut Kent State's lead to 15-14. As they did after both scores by Western Michigan (0-5, 0-1 MAC), the Flashes answered with a touchdown drive of their own.
Western Michigan running back Brian Fields (106 yards, 19 carries) scored the Broncos' first points on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter, tying the game at 7-7 just minutes before Reardon and Archer put Kent State into the lead for good with their 31-yard touchdown connection.
Kent State (2-3, 1-1 MAC) returns to action on Oct. 5 when it hosts Northern Illinois on homecoming. The game is a rematch of last year's Mid-American Conference Championship Game.
"This is a big week for us coming up," said Haynes.