Western Michigan Clinches MAC Championship Berth

Updated 11/6/1999
(Oct. 30) - The Western Michigan Broncos (7-2, 6-0) secured a berth in the 1999 Mid-American Conference championship football game with a 24-10 win over Akron (6-3, 4-2) Saturday afternoon at the Rubber Bowl, and with a Northern Illinois (4-5, 4-2) loss at Marshall (8-0, 5-0). WMU can finish no worse than in a tie for first place in the MAC West Division with NIU, but would win the tiebreaker by virtue of its win earlier this year over the Huskies.

WMU's Tim Lester became the MAC's all-time leader in passing yards with 10,482 yards, adding 373 yards and two touchdown passes versus the Zips by completing 29-of-48 passes. Lester's scoring passes both went to Corey Alston from 41 and 48 yards out. The Zips only touchdown came on a 77-yard pass play from Butchie Washington to Lavell Bailey in the third quarter that cut the WMU lead to 13-10.

Marshall ran its overall winning streak to 12 and its home winning streak to 29, both the longest in the nation. The Herd's Chad Pennington completed 26-of-33 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Llow Turner chipped in with two touchdowns and 104 rushing yards. NIU was limited to three field goals by Kent Baker in seeing its four-game winning streak snapped.

In other MAC action, Ohio (4-5, 4-2) won its second game in a row with a 37-25 triumph at Ball State (0-8, 0-5). Two touchdowns in a 10-second span gave the Bobcats the late victory. Raynald Ray caught a 54-yard pass from Dan Jenkins with 1:02 left in the game for a 29-25 Bobcat lead. Seconds later Greg Baskin returned an interception 27 yards to clinch the win. Brian Conn threw two touchdown passes for BSU. Ohio's Joe Sherill paced the Bobcat running game with 122 yards on 16 carries.

Kent (2-7, 2-4) routed Buffalo (0-8, 0-7) 41-20 thanks to a productive game from quarterbcak Jose Davis. Davis passed for four touchdowns and ran for another while completing 24-of-34 passes for 296 yards. UB's Joe Freedy completed 10-of-18 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Drew Haddad, the MAC's leading receiver, caught two of those TD passes from 51 and seven yards.

Bowling Green (3-6, 2-5) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 31-7 win over Central Michigan (2-6, 1-4). Andy Sahm threw two first-half TD passes and Joe Alls ran for 134 yards on 29 carries. CMU scored its lone points on a 40-yard pass from Pete Shepherd to David Hannah.

Despite four touchdown passes by Mike Bath, the Miami RedHawks (5-3, 4-1) dropped a non-conference game to Cincinnati (3-5) 52-42. Travis Prentice added his 73 career touchdown and 68th career rushing touchdown for Miami. Prentice is four rushing touchdowns away from the NCAA record held by Ricky Williams.

Louisiana Tech's (6-2) Tim Rattay threw for 508 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Toledo (3-5, 2-3) 34-17 at the Glass Bowl. The game was tied 10-01 at the half before Tech scored 17 consecutive points. UT's Chester Taylor closed the gap to 27-17 with a 27-yard TD run.

Central Florida's (3-5) Vic Penn passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 31-6 win over Easter Michigan (3-5, 3-2) in Orlando. The Eagles' points came on 31 and 37-yard field goals by Todd Starnes.

This Week's Schedule
November 6, 1999

Akron @ Miami, 1 p.m.*
Ball State @ Eastern Michigan, 12:15 p.m.*
Hofstra @ Buffalo, noon/FOX New York
Toledo @ Central Michigan, noon*
Marshall @ Kent, 2 p.m.*