MAC Football Scoreboard Saturday, November 3:
Buffalo 27, Miami 24 Final
Western Michigan 42, Central Michigan 31 Final
Kent State 35, Akron 24 Final
Northern Illinois 63, UMass 0 Final
Game stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments.
Buffalo 27, Miami 24 Final Stats
BUFFALO, NY – Patrick Clarke drilled a 47-yard field goal as time expired to lift the University at Buffalo football team to a 27-24 win over Miami (OH) at UB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was a great win for a team that had been so close to victory many times this season.
"I couldn't be more proud of those guys in that locker room. They are a very resilient group, " head coach Jeff Quinn said. "It's a long overdue feeling for our program and it will go down in the history books as one of the best endings to a football game here at UB."
Filling in for an injured Alex Zordich, Joe Licata made his first career start at quarterback on Saturday afternoon. The redshirt-freshman finished 13-of-24 for 127 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
While most of the points were scored in the second half, Buffalo's defense shined in the first half. The Bulls allowed the RedHawks only 83 yards of total offense. Miami struck first with a 29-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Clarke answered with a 49-yarder to knot the game at 3 with 4:42 left in the second quarter. The 49-yard field goal tied Clarke's career long. The game remained 3-3 at the half.
The second half turned into a shootout as the teams combined to score 45 combined points. The Bulls struck first when Branden Oliver plunged in from five yards out to put the Bulls up 10-3 with 9:49 left in the third quarter. Oliver had a big day for the Bulls as he rushed for 199 yards on 32 carries. It was his 12th career 100-yard rushing game – tying him with James Starks for second in school history.
Miami answered right back as they marched 72 yards on nine plays and Zac Dysert connected with Nick Harwell on a 10-yard pass to tie the game at 10.
On the ensuing possession, Licata found Neutz on a crossing pattern and the junior receiver sprinted 43 yards for a touchdown to give the lead right back to the Bulls, 17-10, with 4:08 left in the third quarter.
Miami again answered the call on its next possession and drove 75 yards on 13 plays. Dysert found Harwell again, this time from one yard out to the tie the game at 17.
Licata threaded a perfect pass between two defenders to Fred Lee from 21 yards out to put the Bulls ahead, 24-17, with 5:36 left in the game. The key play of the drive occurred three plays earlier when the Bulls were lined up for a field goal. Tony Daniel scooped up low snap and rolled to his right. He was able to complete a 10-yard pass to Alex Dennison who made an acrobatic catch for the first down.
Miami was able to drive 65 yards on its last possession, converting a pair of fourth downs along the way. When Dysert completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Harwell the game was tied with 23 seconds left.
Freshman Devin Campbell came up big on the ensuing kickoff as he took the return a career-best 47 yards to the Miami 35-yard line. After Oliver scampered for five yards, the stage was set for Clarke. The freshman kicker drilled the 47-yarder through the uprights to give the Bulls their first ever last second regulation win via a field goal in their Division I-A era.
"I was ready to go, I was just ready to get my chance at the game winner," Clarke said of the game-winning kick. "My team had faith in me. I knew if I had the chance, I would come through for the team. As soon as I kicked it, I knew it was good."
Dysert, who passed Ben Roethlisberger as Miami's all-time leading passer in the game, was held in check for much of the afternoon by an aggressive UB secondary. While Dysert did finish with 242 yards passing and three touchdowns, the Bulls defense had season-high eight pass breakups in the game – one more than their previous four games combined. Leading the way was redshirt-freshman Marqus Baker who had a career-best four pass breakups. Derek Brim, starting his third straight game, had another standout performance. The former walk-on had a career-high 10 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
The Bulls were relentless with the pressure all day, totaling seven tackles for loss. Steven Means had two tackles for loss, including a sack. Lee Skinner had 1.5 sacks and Colby Way joined in on a sack as well.
Buffalo will cap off their four-game homestand next Saturday when it hosts Western Michigan at 3:30 pm.
Western Michigan 42, Central Michigan 31 Final Stats
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -A fourth quarter unlike any other this season was the key to Western Michigan defeating CMU, 42-31, on the road for the first time since 2002 and for only the second time since 1973.
The Broncos entered the final frame trailing 23-14 but 257 yards of offense and 28 points were enough to get the job done, but it was a special teams play that sealed the deal. We will get to that in a minute.
Trailing 31-28, the Broncos took over at their own 33-yard line. Tyler Van Tubbergen, who again threw for over 300 yards (362 on 23-for-33 passing) focused on his senior receiver Eric Monette. The hometown kid, playing his first snaps in this rivalry, had a career day culminating with this drive. TVT and Monette connected four times for 71 yards on the drive.
The signature play was a 31-yard completion down the near sideline over the defender to put the ball at CMU's 24. On the next play Monette's number was called again, sneaking into the end zone to give WMU a 35-31 lead.
Now to the big special teams play. On the ensuing kick off, with 2:51 on the clock, CMU return man Courtney Williams hits the pile and Rontavious Atkins finds him, strips the ball and Lewis Toler, who had five tackles on the day, came away with the ball. Facing third-and-five at the CMU 42, Dareyon Chance closed the door with the longest rush of his career, 42 yards to the house.
Chance finished with 111 yards on 19 carries, his third 100-yard rushing game of the season. He is now 170 yards from reaching 1,000 for the season. Monette registered his second-straight 100-yard game, breaking loose for a career high 11 catches for a career high 196 yards.
WMU's first two scores of the quarter came on TVT to Justin Collins hook ups. The first came from 28 yards out and the second came from 22 yards out. Those were the only two catches of the day for Collins and both were for scores.
Western Michigan took a lead into halftime for the sixth time this season on the strength of the defense holding CMU to maily field goals in the first half. Three drives went deep into WMU territory but the Chippewas managed just two field goals, another attempt was blocked by Freddie Bishop.
Trailing, 6-0, TVT found Blake Hammond on a seam route for 55 yards and WMU's opening score. Hammond, who had two grabs for 75 yards, shed two tackler on the way to the longest reception of his career. Van Tubbergen scored his third rushing TD of the year, running untouched for 18 yards to pay dirt to put WMU up 14-6 with 8:28 to go before the break.
CMU's lone TD came due to a TVT interception while under extreme pressure. Zurlon Tipton, who finished with 112 yards on the ground, scored from a yard out to make the score 14-13 in favor of the Broncos at halftime.
The Chippewas built its nine-point lead by scoring 10 straight points in the third. Ryan Radcliffe, who had 383 yards on 26-for-41 passing, looked for and found Titus Davis 10 times for 208 yards. It is the first opposing receiver to reach 200 yards since Jabari Arthure had 223 on Oct. 6, 2007.
Western Michigan snapped its three-game skid with this win and have its sights set on its third-straight season being bowl eligible. The next test will be come in the form of the Broncos' final road game of 2012 at Buffalo on Nov. 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Kent State 35, Akron 24 Final Stats
A defensive turnaround in the second half and the one-two punch of Trayion Durham and Dri Archer in the running game helped Kent State escape with a 35-24 rivalry win over the University of Akron on Saturday at Dix Stadium.
With their seventh victory in a row, the Golden Flashes improved to 8-1 overall and maintained sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference with a perfect 5-0 league mark. Just as importantly, they made sure the Wagon Wheel Trophy would stay in Kent for a third consecutive year.
"All of these wins are good," said Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell. "This is special obviously when you play a crosstown rivalry. But they are all good."
This win may have been special, but it sure didn't come easy against an Akron team that fell to 1-9 overall and 0-6 in MAC play.
After a humbling first half that saw Akron score on every possession and take a 24-14 lead into the break, the Golden Flashes' defense rebounded to force five punts, a turnover on downs, a fumble and finally a game-ending concession on the Zips' eight second-half drives.
"We stepped back (at halftime). Took a breather," said defensive end Jake Dooley. "We took it on ourselves and said they can't score on us in the second half."
Akron didn't score after the break, and thanks in large part to Dooley. The senior dropped Akron runners for no gain on third-and-one early in the fourth quarter and then again on fourth-and-one with three minutes to play as Kent State was clinging to a four-point lead.
"They made great adjustments at halftime … and took control in the second half," said Akron head coach Terry Bowden.
The other side of the football figured things out a little earlier for Kent State. After going pass-first and failing to score on their two first-quarter drives, the Golden Flashes returned to what they do best. Archer finished with 126 yards on 11 carries, including a 30-yard reverse for a touchdown that gave Kent State the lead for good at 28-24 with 59 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Durham bulled his way to another 107 yards and three touchdowns on his 24 carries. The power back continued what is becoming a habit by getting more than he needed on a pair of late fourth-down. He scored from six yards out in the third quarter when the team needed less than a yard to move the chains, then clinching the win with 38 seconds remaining in the game with a 15-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one. Both fourth downs were pitch plays to the left.
Add in a four-yard keeper by quarterback Spencer Keith in the second quarter and Kent State combined to score five rushing touchdowns during a 261-yard day.
"That's their gampelan," said Bowden. "We kind of solved (Durham) until he walked in on the outside. We never solved (Archer). You can't solve speed. He was always one step ahead. They have a plan. They are very patient on offense and very opportunistic on defense."
Kent State's defesne led the nation with 27 forced turnovers at the start of the day. It came up with just one on Saturday when defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix forced a fumble that linebacker Luke Batton recovered near midfield early in the third quarter. Three plays later, Archer followed an escort service led by Keith and left tackle Brian Winters into the end zone on his 30-yard reverse.
"Their whole defense flowed the other way except for one cornerback and one safety," said Archer, whose 16 touchdowns ranks third all-time in a single season for Kent State. "Winters blocked the cornerback and Keith took out the safety. They put both guys on the ground. You expect that out of a big lineman like Winters, but usually not by your quarterback."
Keith also had another efficient game as a passer and a field general, consistently checking into the right plays at the line while also completing 14-of-19 passes for 103 yards.
Akron quarterback Dalton Williams enjoyed a big day, throwing for 312 yards while completing 31-of-41, including a pair of touchdown passes to Dalton Williams to give the Zips a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Jawon Chisholm added 115 yards on 16 carries for the Zips. He picked up 50 of those yards on a second-quarter touchdown run that put Akron ahead 21-7 with 7:29 to play before the half.
A 32-yard field goal by Robert Stein on the half's final play to give Akron its 24-14 lead at the break.
"A lot was said at halftime," said Hazell. "Both coordinators were talking about scheme and about things they need to do differently and better. What I said is this is what championship runs are all about. The next 30 minutes."
Kent State outscored Akron 21-0 over those final 30 minutes.
Kent State goes on the road to play Miami University on Nov. 10 and Bowling Green on Nov. 17 before hosting Ohio University to close the regular season on Nov. 23.
Northern Illinois 63, UMass 0 Final Stats
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois put together a workmanlike performance on offense, defense and special teams to earn its ninth straight victory, 63-0, over Mid-American Conference newcomer Massachusetts Saturday at Huskie Stadium.
NIU improved to 9-1, 5-0 in the MAC, while UMass fell to 0-9, 0-5. The Huskies extended their school-record home winning streak to 20 games, and won their 14th straight Mid-American Conference game dating back to last season. Northern Illinois also recorded its first shutout in 53 games, since a 37-0 victory over Eastern Michigan on Sept. 27, 2008.
"I saw a lot of good things," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren, who improved to 20-4 as the Huskies' head coach. "I'm excited about the win. We didn't want to look past UMass. Their team played hard and their coaches coached hard. I thought the guys played really well and what I was hoping to happen [a big win], happened."
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who left the game after the first series of the first half with NIU leading 42-0, ran for 157 yards on 15 carries with a 57-yard touchdown run, and completed 15-of-19 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 10.2 yards per play.
Aside from Lynch, Huskie freshmen recorded five of Northern Illinois' nine touchdowns on the day. Tailback Keith Harris Jr. scored on runs of one and two yards, and back-up quarterback Matt McIntosh recorded the first three touchdowns of his career with a pair of touchdown runs - of one and seven yards - and a six-yard scoring pass to freshman Angelo Sebastiano.
Four Huskies scored rushing touchdowns as NIU piled up 332 yards on the ground, while Lynch and McIntosh, along with receiver Jamison Wells, completed 20-of-26 passes for 278 yards and three scores. Wells completed a 44-yard pass to Juwan Brescacin on a receiver pass for the longest pass of the day. The Huskies converted on nine-of-11 turnovers and scored eight times on nine trips inside the red zone.
Brescacin, another freshman, caught four passes for 82 yards, just behind sophomore Tommylee Lewis' six catches for 86 yards.
Defensively, the Huskies forced four turnovers, including three fumbles while holding UMass to 267 total yards and an average of 3.2 yards per play. Junior safety Dominique Ware, who started in place of injured starter Jimmie Ward, made eight tackles to lead Northern Illinois as the Huskies played without three of its starting defensive backs. The NIU defensive line combined for four sacks as Anthony Wells, Donovan Gordon, Alan Baxter and Sean Progar each had one. Overall, Northern Illinois tallied 10 tackles for losses of 39 yards.
UMass was one-of-six on fourth down conversions in the game and reached the Huskie red zone just one time.
Northern Illinois is off next Saturday and will play Toledo in Huskie Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the annual "Black Out Game". The game will be televised on either ESPNU or ESPN2 and kickoff at 8 p.m. (CT).