MAC Football Scoreboard, Saturday, Oct. 20:
Bowling Green 24, UMass 0 Final
Northern Illinois 37, Akron 7 Final
Eastern Michigan 48, Army 38 Final
Pittsburgh 20, Buffalo 6 Final
Ball State 41, Central Michigan 30 Final
Kent State 41, Western Michigan 24 Final
Toledo 29, Cincinnati 23 Final
Game stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments.
Toledo 29, Cincinnati 23 Final Stats Postgame Notes
TOLEDO - Toledo scored touchdowns on special teams and defense, and added four field goals by Jeremiah Detmer to defeat No. 18 Cincinnati before a jubilant crowd of 24,124 at the Glass Bowl Saturday night.
The Rocket offense never found the end zone but made numerous big plays to set up Detmer's field goals. The real story of the game, however, was Toledo's defense. The Rockets did give up 478 yards of total offense but picked off UC quarterback Muncie Legaux twice and limited the Bearcats to just 23 points. The two biggest plays served as bookends for the game. Senior safety Jermaine Robinson went 75 yards for the score off an interception return in the first quarter, and sophomore reserve cornerback Jordan Haden snuffed out the Bearcats' last-ditch rally by picking off Legaux's pass with 23 seconds left in the game.
Toledo (7-1, 4-0 MAC) also came up big on special teams. Junior Bernard Reedy returned a kickoff 91 yards for the score late in the third quarter to give the Rockets the lead for good, 26-20. It was Reedy's third special teams TD in as many weeks.
Overshadowed a bit was another stellar performance by junior running back David Fluellen. Fluellen rushed for 161 yards, his fourth straight 100-yard game, and ran the ball nine times in Toledo's final drive, setting up Detmer's fourth and final field goal.
It was another big win for Toledo, which moved to 5-1 at home against top 25 teams. In recent years the Rockets have defeated Air Force (2011), Purdue (2010), Colorado(2009) and Michigan (2008). Toledo may also be moving into position for its first top 25 ranking since 2001.
The Rockets' defense made an immediate impact in the game, forcing Cincinnati into a three-and-out on its opening drive that set up a 43-yard field goal by Jeremiah Detmer. On the Bearcats' next possession, senior safety Jermaine Robinson picked off a Legaux pass and took it 75 yards for a touchdown to give UT a 10-0 lead. Detmer extended the Rocket lead to 13-0 with a 43-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Cincinnati (5-1) got it going in the second quarter on the strength of a 52-yard run from Ralph Abernathy that set up a two-yard score from Legaux to cut the lead to 13-7. A fumble by Cassius McDowell set the table to UC's next score, a 40-yard field goal by Tony Miliano. Detmer countered with a 47-yard field goal to extend Toledo's lead to 16-10. Miliano came right back with a 37-yarder to bring the Bearcats to within three at the half, 16-13.
Toledo had to settle for three points once more on its first possession of the second half, this time a 20-yard Detmer boot to put the Rockets up, 19-13. UT has first-and-goal from the two-yard line but failed on three tries to put it in the end zone.
Cincinnati took its first lead of the game, 20-19, when Damon Julian came back to catch a short Legaux pass for a 25-yard score with 2:08 to play in the third quarter. The lead didn't last long, however, as Reedy took the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for his second touchdown return in as many weeks, putting the Rockets back on top, 26-20.
Toledo's defense stood fast on Cincinnati's next drive, holding the Bearcats to three points. After UC's drive stalled, Miliano knocked down a 41-yard field goal with 11:30 to play to trim the lead to 26-23.
Toledo went three-and-out on its next drive, but its defense came up big again, forcing UC to punt with 7:35 to play. Then Toledo's offense went to work, putting together its most impressive drive of the night. The Rockets used 15 plays to soak up seven minutes of the clock, finishing with Detmer's fourth field goal, a 25-yarder, with 42 seconds left.
Cincinnati had one last chance, as Legaux completed a 21-yard pass to Anthony McClung to move to Toledo's 46-yard line. But his next pass was picked off by Haden, clinching the win and setting off an eruption by the Glass Bowl fans.
The Rockets will return to Mid-American Conference action at Buffalo next Saturday.
Bowling Green 24, UMass 0 Final Stats
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—There is only one word to describe the Bowling Green State University’s defensive performance at Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon: dominant. The Falcons defense only allowed 118 total yards, and also held the opponent under 100 yards rushing for the fourth straight game. The shutout was the first by a Falcon defense in eight years, with the last one coming in a 52-0 win over Western Michigan on November 6, 2004. The stellar defensive performance would lead to a 24-0 win on Saturday afternoon over UMass.
In front of 10,846 fans at Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots) on Massachusetts’ homecoming game, the Falcons would use four interceptions and good special teams play to give the offense good field position much of the afternoon. Out of the 15 Minutemen drives, the Falcons forced a three-and-out or turnover on 11 of those drives. The defense also held the Minutemen to 1-16 on third down conversions.
The Falcon offense only mustered 282 yards of total offense, including just 94 on the ground.
The Falcons got on the board with 5:12 left in the first quarter, when Matt Schilz found Shaun Joplin on a slant for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Stephen Stein’s extra-point would be the final point scored in the first half.
After two straight pass interference penalties called on UMass in the third quarter, Schilz found Alex Bayer for a two-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Dwayne Woods would virtually end the game, intercepting a Mike Wegzyn pass and returning it 48 yards for a touchdown. The interception return was Woods’ second career touchdown.
Tyler Tate would add a 42-yard field goal with 10:11 to go in the game, giving the Falcons a 24-0 lead.
D.J. Lynch led the Falcon defense with 10 tackles. Gabe Martin had seven tackles on the afternoon, hitting the quarterback on multiple other occasions.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 5-3 overall, 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference. The Minutemen fall to 0-7, 0-4 MAC.
Bowling Green will return to Doyt L. Perry Stadium next Saturday, when they welcome the Eagles of Eastern Michigan to town. Kickoff is set for 3:30 in that contest.
Northern Illinois 37, Akron 7 Final Stats Postgame Notes
AKRON, Ohio Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 223 yards and two scores to lead the Huskies to a 37-7 victory over Akron at InfoCision Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
NIU won its seventh straight game to improve to 7-1 on the season, 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference, while Akron fell to 1-7, 0-4.
While Lynch directed the Huskie offensive machine, the NIU defense continued its dominance over MAC foes, holding Akron to just 199 yards of total offense on the day, including just 42 rushing yards on 37 carries. The Huskies recorded four sacks and 10 tackles for loss on the day.
"We won the line of scrimmage, that's where it starts," said NIU head coach Dave Doeren, who improved to 18-4 in two seasons as the Huskies' head coach. "We tackled well and our secondary covered well. Coach Niemann and Coach Nielsen had a good plan drawn up and the kids executed it."
Doeren was not as pleased with the Huskies' offensive execution, especially early, as NIU was held to four field goal attempts and just one touchdown through the first 28 minutes of play. Kicker Mathew Sims made two of the four threes in the first half, including a 39-yarder with 6:16 in the first quarter to put the Huskies ahead 3-0. On NIU's next drive, Lynch hit senior Martel Moore from nine-yards out to complete a four-play, 30-yard drive after Giorgio Bowers had given the Huskies the ball back by causing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return.
The score remained 10-0 until 4:47 of the second quarter as Sims missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. After NIU defensive end Sean Progar forced a fumble at midfield, the Huskies drove to the Akron 14, where Sims hit from 31 yards to give NIU a 13-0 edge.
Akron responded with its lone touchdown of the game, which was set up by a 34-yard completion from Dalton Williams to L.T. Smith to the NIU four-yard line. From there, Williams hit Jerrod Dillard for the touchdown, the first scored on the Huskie defense in six quarters, and NIU's lead was cut to 13-7 with 1:32 to play before halftime.
With Akron poised to take that momentum into halftime, the Huskie offense had other ideas. Lynch led NIU on a methodical drive, completing three passes for 29 yards to the Akron 28. After Akeem Daniels rushed for 10 yards and Lynch picked up three more, the junior quarterback made the play of the game by literally running over the Akron cornerback Avis Commack en route to the end zone. The play gave Northern Illinois a 20-7 lead and the halftime momentum was firmly on the Huskies' side.
NIU started the second half by driving for Sims' third field goal of the game. The junior hit from 29 yards at the 12:09 mark of the third quarter and the Huskies led 23-7.
Akron's second quarter touchdown would be the only score of the game for the Zips as they turned the ball over three times in the game, including once on Demetrius Stone's first interception o f the season which stopped a UA drive in the third quarter.
"Anytime you can go on the road and get a victory, it's something to be proud of," Doeren said. "The way our team played on defense, to hold them under 200 yards in the game is quite an accomplishment against a good passing offense. We have a good defensive front and our linebackers play downhill and when you have a good front seven, you can do some things defensively."
Northern Illinois put the ball in the end zone two more times to put the game away and allow the NIU second teamers to close out the game. With 1:30 to play in the third quarter, Lynch hit a wide-open Jason Schepler in the end zone for a 13-yard score. It was the senior's first catch of the season, and first catch since 2010 after missing last year with a knee injury.
"We had two plays in specifically for Schep this week, but that wasn't one of them," joked Doeren. "I'm happy for him; he does so much for our run game that we wanted to get him in the end zone. "
Lynch closed out the scoring with a nifty 35-yard run on fourth-and-two as he spun and then outran the Zips' defenders to the end zone.
With the win, NIU's seniors became the winningest class in school history with 36 victories. Their win surpassed the total compiled by the 2011 class.
Northern Illinois takes on Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich. next Saturday.
Eastern Michigan 48, Army 38 Final Stats
YPSILANTI, Mich. — A high-powered Eastern Michigan University offense led the Eagles to a 48-38 non-conference football win over a visiting Army team here Saturday, Oct. 20, on Band Day in Rynearson Stadium. For the Eagles it was their first win of the season against six losses while also their first over a non-conference NCAA FBS school since a 31-10 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, Sept. 10, 2005.
Eastern Michigan piled up 577 yards in total offense, 369 though the air and 208 on the ground.
Eagles redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Benz threw for five touchdowns to tie for second in the EMU single-game record book with Andy Schmitt and his 369 passing yards is the 18th best in school history. Benz completed 19-of-31 passes.
Eastern Michigan sophomore running back Bronson Hill rushed for 185 yards on 26 carries with one touchdown while senior tight end Garrett Hoskins hauled in seven passes for 158 yard and a score.
Army, now 1-6 overall, was led by quarterback Trent Steelman who rushed 16 times for 212 yards with two touchdowns. Army recorded 478 yards in total offense.
The EMU offense exploded for two quick scores to post a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, both on touchdown throws from Benz.
The first touchdown of the game came on EMU's first possession with Green hauling in a 39-yard strike from Benz. Dylan Mulder added the PAT kick with 13:34 showing on the clock.
Eastern added seven more points at the 9:30 mark of the first when Benz connected with Hoskins for a one-yard reception with Mulder adding the PAT.
Army then came back with 10 unanswered points of its own, the first a 42-yard field goal by Daniel Grochowski with 5:44 left in the first quarter followed by a 55-yared run by Malcolm Brown with just 58 ticks left in the first quarter. Grochowski added the PAT kick.
The Eagles halted that Army run, with Hill snatching a 41-yard touchdown pass from Benz with 11:33 left in the second quarter.
Not to be denied, Steelman used a great fake to race 73 yards for right tackle for a touchdown run to cut the EMU lead to 21-17, with 10:49 remaining in the second quarter.
The Army defense then came up with a big play to halt a potential EMU score, picking off a Benz pass on their own one-yard line and returning it 65 yards to the EMU 34.
The EMU defense then had a big play of its own, with safety Alex Bellfy recovering a Steelman fumble on the Eastern seven-yard line.
Benz made up for his own red-zone mistake, directing an offensive drive of 93 yards in 11 plays, culminating on a one-yard touchdown pass from Benz to tight end Christian Menet on a fourth-and-goal call with just 13 seconds remaining in the first half. Mulder's PAT kick made it 28-17 at the half.
The Eagles opened the third-quarter scoring on a 34-yard field goal by Mulder at the 5:45 mark for a 31-17 EMU advantage.
The Black Knights responded just 11 seconds later on a 75-yard Steelman run from scrimmage for a touchdown. Grochowski's PAT kick cut EMU's lead to seven, 31-24.
Eastern answered that touchdown with one of its own, this time on an 11-yard pass from Benz to Ryan Brumfield at the 14:21 mark of the fourth quarter. Mulder's PAT kick made it EMU 38, Army 24.
The Eagles' Hill raced 42 yards for another touchdown with 11:59 and Mulder's PAT kick gave the home squad a 45-24 lead.
Army would cut the deficit to 14, 45-31, with 7:18 left in the game on a nine-yard Trenton Turrentine run.
Eastern closed out its scoring on a 23-yard Mulder field goal with 4:26 remaining in the game.
Army finished its scoring on a 35-yard pass from second-string quarterback A.J. Schurr to Anthony Stephens with just 2:10 left in the game.
The visitors would then take advantage of an on-sides kick to get the ball back ¬¬but EMU would stop that threat on four straight stops to finish the game with a 48-38 victory.
Eastern Michigan will hit the road for a pair of Mid-American Conference cross-divisonal games, playing at Bowling Green, Oct. 27, and at #25 Ohio, Nov. 1.
Pittsburgh 20, Buffalo 6 Final Stats
BUFFALO, NY – Playing without a number of key starters, the University at Buffalo football team dropped a 20-6 decision to Pittsburgh at a soggy UB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Even without running back Branden Oliver and leading receiver Alex Neutz, the Bulls outgained Pittsburgh in total offense and had nine more first downs.
Head Coach Jeff Quinn's mantra has always been "Next Bull In" and that has never been tested more than this season as starter after starter has been lost to injury.
Freshman Devin Campbell rushed for a game-high 104 yards on 19 carries for his second 100-yard game in Oliver's absence. He became the first true freshman in the Bulls' Division I-A history to go over 100 yards in a game twice in a season.
Without the services of Neutz, John Dunmore filled in admirably. The sophomore receiver had seven catches for 72 yards. Prior to last week's game at Northern Illinois, the Syracuse native didn't have a catch in his career.
Buffalo's defense held quarterback Tino Sunseri, Pitt's fourth all-time leading passer, to just 128 yards passing. It was by far his lowest output of the season. His previous low was 239 yards against Youngstown State.
The defense was led by Khalil Mack who tied a career high with 12 tackles. Derek Brim, filling in for injured starting safety Witney Sherry, had a career-high seven tackles (all solo) and added a tackle for loss).
After being forced to punt on its first possession, Pittsburgh converted field goals the next two times it touched the ball to take a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With the Bulls in Pittsburgh territory, early in the second quarter, the Panthers came up with a key turnover as Jason Hendricks picked off an Alex Zordich pass to end the UB threat. Pittsburgh was able to convert the turnover into a touchdown as nine plays later Rushel Shell found the end zone from four yards out.
Trailing 13-0, the Bulls battled back late in the half. An 11-play, 55-yard drive resulted in a 27-yard Patrick Clarke field goal that cut the lead to 13-3 with 4:16 left in the second quarter.
The defense stepped up and forced a Pittsburgh 3-and-out to regain possession with less than a minute left in the half. Buffalo capitalized as Clarke drilled a 41-yard field goal with just 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter to cut the Pitt advantage to 13-6 at the break.
Ray Graham scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 6:29 left in the third quarter to put the Panthers ahead, 20-6. The Bulls put together some long drives, but just couldn't put any more points on the board and lost by the 13-point margin.
Zordich finished the day 23-of-41 for 165 yards through the air and added 79 yards rushing. His 23 completions and 41 attempts were both career highs. He spread the ball around to six different receivers. Devon Hughes had five catches, Campbell had four and Cordero Dixon had three grabs.
Buffalo had 334 yards of total offense compared to 254 for Pittsburgh.
"We had our opportunities and we had our chances, we didn't capitalize in terms of scoring," Quinn said. "We outgained them in total yards, but let's face it, it's about putting points on the board and we weren't able to do that. We had our moments out there tonight. I was proud of the way our kids competed. There's not a kid in that room that didn't desire to win that football game tonight."
Buffalo (1-6) will remain home and host Toledo next Saturday at UB Stadium.
Mount Pleasant, Mich. - The Ball State football team (5-3, 3-2 MAC) claimed a 41-30 win over Central Michigan (2-5, 0-3 MAC) Saturday evening at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Sophomore running back Jahwan Edwards ran for 128 yards, marking his third 100-yard game of the season and the fifth of his career. Junior quarterback Keith Wenning threw for 231 yards with three touchdowns and ran for another score.
"It was a pretty solid game and a good road win," Ball State coach Pete Lembo said. "We don't make a big deal out of road games. We just stay focused on the task at hand."
Barrington Scott, who added for 99 yards rushing, caught one of Wenning's touchdowns and also scored one on the ground. His 7-yard touchdown grab from Wenning was one of three second-half scores for the Cardinals.
Steven Schott's second field goal of the day, a 32-yarder with three minutes left, gave Ball State a 41-23 edge before Central Michigan scored a late touchdown on its final possession.
"The last field goal was huge, and we made some great defensive stops late in the game," Lembo said. "You have to play 60 minutes every game. These games are never over."
Ball State built a 24-10 halftime advantage on the strength of touchdown runs from Scott and Wenning, a 40-yard Schott field goal, and a Wenning touchdown pass to Willie Snead. The Snead score came with just 10 seconds remaining in the half.
With Central Michigan driving in Ball State territory in the third quarter and looking to cut into the lead, senior defensive tackle Brandon Newman came up with a big play for the Cardinals. Newman sacked Chippewa quarterback Ryan Radcliff and forced a fumble that teammate Nathan Ollie returned into Central Michigan territory.
That play set the Cardinals up for a drive that ended with a 5-yard Wenning touchdown pass to tight end Zane Fakes, extending the advantage to 31-10. From there, Ball State's lead never shrunk to fewer than 14 points.
Newman's play was one of four sacks and two turnovers created on the day by the Ball State defense, which also got an interception from cornerback Quintin Cooper in the first quarter.
Radcliff finished the game with 339 yards passing and three touchdowns to lead Central Michigan offensively, while Zurlon Tipton ran for 126 yards and a score.
The Ball State football team returns to non-conference action next Saturday when it plays at Army with a noon kickoff.
Kent State 41, Western Michigan 24 Final Stats
Kent State continued the dramatic turnaround of its football culture with a 41-24 Homecoming victory over Western Michigan on Saturday at Dix Stadium.
Validation of the program's transformation came in the game's last 15:48 as the Golden Flashes scored 24 unanswered points and turned a scary game through three quarters into a comfortable victory. With the win, the Flashes improved to 6-1 overall and became bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. They are also one of just four remaining undefeated teams in Mid-American Conference play at 4-0.
Past Kent State teams would have found it difficult to battle back from the frustration created by two quick Western Michigan touchdowns to open the third quarter.
With a little more than five minutes to play in the third, the Flashes' defense looked tired. They trailed for the first time all day after the second of two one-yard touchdown runs by Antoin Scrivin gave the Broncos a 24-17 lead. And their offense was trotting back onto the field after fumbling away their previous possession.
If long-time fans were mumbling "same old Kent State," that wasn't the feeling on the Kent State sideline. These are the new Golden Flashes – a team that has rattled off 10 wins in its last 12 games dating back to a 1-6 start to last season, its first under head coach Darrell Hazell.
"Last year if we were down 24-17, I think everyone is looking around waiting for someone to make a play," said senior safety Luke Wollet. "This year, everyone wants to be the guy who makes that play. That's one of the reasons we are having this success."
There was no shortage of playmakers in Saturday's comeback.
The Flashes answered the last of Scriven's scores with a long touchdown march, moving the ball primarily through the air as Western Michigan's defense stacked the box in anticipation of a Dri Archer and Trayion Durham-led ground attack.
Freshman Josh Boyle capped the drive in the closing minutes of the third quarter with a diving catch in the end zone of a 17-yard lob from quarterback Spencer Keith.
"That answer by the offense after (Western Michigan) had scored was huge," said Hazell. "It flipped the momentum again and allowed us to gain serve at that point in time. And then the defense got rolling again and got us the ball back quickly."
After the first three-and-out of the day forced by Kent State's defense, the Flashes' offense switched to a ground attack, re-claiming the lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by Dri Archer with 12:35 to play in the fourth quarter. The score arrived just one play after Durham rumbled forr 33 yards on third-and-one. Durham finished the day with a career-best 124 yards on 24 carries, including a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Archer added 62 yards on 10 carries, highlighted by a 22-yard scoring run early in the first quarter.
Just a little more than a minute later, kicker Freddy Cortez booted his second field goal of the day – a 43-yarder into the teeth of the wind to give the Flashes a two-score lead at 34-24. Cortez finished the day tied with NFL star Joshua Cribbs as Kent State's all-time leading scorer with 246 points. A congratulatory "tweet" from Cribbs awaited him in the locker room.
All of these scoring drives were made possible by a defense that finally started to figure out how to slow down a no-huddle, up-tempo attack like Western Michigan's by the end of the third quarter.
"Your backs are against the wall, and there are only a couple things you can do," said linebacker Luke Batton. "You can fight back or you can cower down."
Batton fought back with two game-changing plays. His tip of a Tyler Van Tubbergen pass early in the fourth quarter was intercepted by teammate Dana Brown. The pick set the stage for the Cortez field goal.
With 6:32 to play, Batton sealed the win with an 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown. When fellow linebacker C.J. Malauulu popped Western running back Brian Fields at the line of scrimmage, the ball shot backwards like it was fired out of a cannon. Batton picked it up in stride, the broke four tackles on his serpentine route to the end zone.
Leon Green's interception in the closing minutes handed Western Michigan its sixth turnover of the afternoon and set off a wild celebration on the Kent State sideline.
The Flashes players had avoided talking about becoming bowl eligible. But in the back of their minds, they knew a chance for the program's first bowl berth in 40 years was getting closer.
"We don't talk a whole lot about that to be honest with you," said Hazell. "We talk more about MAC championships because if you take care of that everything else takes care of itself. But there is a calmness in the locker room with these guys. There is a confidence and a calmness, and I think that has a lot to do with their preparation, their trusting each other and their really believing in each other."
Kent State goes on the road next week to face undefeated Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 7-0 for the second time in the last six seasons and just the fifth time in 143 years of football at the school.