MAC Football Scoreboard: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
Kent State 28, Ohio 6 Final
Northern Illinois 49, Eastern Michigan 7 Final
Ball State 31, Miami 24 Final
Bowling Green 21, Buffalo 7 Final
Central Michigan 42, UMass 21 Final
Game stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments.
Kent State 28, Ohio 6 Final Stats
Kent State applied the finishing touches to a perfect Mid-American Conference season with a 28-6 win over Ohio University during Saturday's Senior Day at Dix Stadium.
The MAC East Division title was already secure, but the Golden Flashes entered their regular-season finale playing for the chance to make more history. The victory made them the first East Division team to go a perfect 8-0 in MAC play since the Ben Roethlisberger-led Miami Redhawks of 2003.
Capturing a 10th consecutive win to finish a program-best 11-1 overall should also keep Kent State climbing the polls and the BCS Standings. The Golden Flashes began the week ranked No. 23 by the Associated Press and in the BCS.
For now, however, Kent State's focus is centered on just one goal.
"When the clock hit zero, it was all about Northern Illinois," said senior Kent State linebacker C.J. Malauulu.
The Golden Flashes will face Northern Illinois on Nov. 30 in Detroit's Ford Field when the two nationally-ranked teams meet in the Marathon Mid-American Conference Championship game. The battle will feature two teams with identical 11-1 overall records and 8-0 conference marks.
The only other MAC Championship Game featuring two ranked opponents (both by the AP) was played in 2003 when No. 13 Miami beat No. 20 Bowling Green.
"This was another great win for us," said Kent State coach Darrell Hazell. "Even though we didn't play as well as we would have liked to on offense, we came away with a big win and finished 8-0 in the conference, which has never been done before here. Our defense played phenomenally.
"But the biggest thing for me is how proud I am of our football team. All of the players and coaches in the locker room keep battling no matter what the circumstances are, and always come up on the right side."
Fitting on a day when Kent State celebrated the 19 players who were appearing in their final game in Dix Stadium, the Golden Flashes found an early spark from their senior class when Malauulu forced a fumble that senior safety Luke Wollet scooped up and returned 50 yards for the opening score with 13:02 to play in the first quarter.
Malauulu added a touchdown of his own just three minutes later when he returned an interception of Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton 33 yards. Blocks by seniors Luke Batton and Sidney Saulter cleared a path for Malauulu, who reached the end zone with a lunge for the left pylon.
"We like to come out hot and set the pace," said Malauulu. "We did that."
The two defensive scores sandwiched a 15-yard touchdown run by Trayion Durham as Kent State jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the game was even five minutes old.
Two more Kent State seniors sealed the victory in the fourth quarter when quarterback Spencer Keith fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Eric Adeyemi with 11:44 to play. Keith completed 9-of-20 passes for 170 yards in his final home game before a crowd of 18,230 at Dix Stadium.
"There are a couple of us who played as true freshman," said Keith, naming Wollet, kicker Freddy Cortez and left tackle Brian Winters. "We've done a great job of leading the team. Last year was disappointing, but we came back in the fall wanting to turn this whole program around."
The difference between last year's 5-7 campaign and this year's 11-1?
"We started making plays," said Keith.
Hazell said the Kent State locker room had enough talent to be dangerous on the day he took the job in December of 2010.
"The belief was not always there … and there wasn't always enough attention to detail," Hazell remembered.
While there was reason for hope when Kent State won four of its final games in 2011, Hazell didn't start to believe 2012 would be something special until Aug. 2, "our first day of camp when we turned out the lights, put on a tape and tried to do some visualization. There was a sense at that point in time, and it really came across that these guys got it."
The Golden Flashes have been making big plays ever since.
Kent State's most notable playmaker, Dri Archer, finished with just 53 yards on 13 carries and another 58 yards on two catches. But he also managed to return to the game after suffering a frightening ankle injury in the third quarter.
Playing despite a hip pointer that kept him from finishing last week's game at Bowling Green, Durham finished with 97 yards on 16 carries, including his touchdown at the 6:11 mark of the opening quarter.
Kent State's defense made life miserable for Tettleton, sacking the Bobcats quarterback a season-high eight times while taking advantage of the slew of injuries that have hit the Ohio offensive line. Dana Brown and Richard Gray got to Tettleton twice each, while Batton, Jake Dooley and Roosevelt Nix added single sacks. Mark Fackler and Zack Hitchens combined on another.
Ohio has lost 10 players from its starting 22 since opening day, including three offensive linemen who could not finish Saturday's game.
The Bobcats scored only on Matt Weller's field goals of 33 yards in the first quarter and 41 yards in the second quarter.
Northern Illinois 49, Eastern Michigan 7 Final Stats
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Led by the one-two punch of quarterback Jordan Lynch and tailback Akeem Daniels, Northern Illinois cruised to a 49-7 victory over Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium Friday. The Huskies won their 11th straight game to finish the regular season 11-1 overall and 8-0 in Mid-American Conference play.
Daniels finished with a career-high 112 yards rushing on 12 carries with four touchdowns and Lynch rushed for 107 yards on 20 carries, and threw for 168 yards on 16-of-25 passing with one score to pace the Northern Illinois offense. Nine of Lynch's completions went to senior Martel Moore, who recorded his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season with 116 yards and a 43-yard touchdown catch.
NIU, ranked 24th by the Associated Press and 23rd in the USA Today Coaches Poll, reached 11 wins in the regular season for the first time in school history to match the Huskies' win total from each of the past two seasons. Northern Illinois takes a 16-game Mid-American Conference win-streak into the 2012 Marathon MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit next Friday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. CT. on ESPN2.
"It means a lot to be a part of history," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren. "Anytime you do something that has never been done, that's pretty special. The guys did a nice job executing today. We tried to get some guys some numbers, especially Martel with the 1,000-yard season. That's pretty rare around here."
Lynch extended his NCAA (FBS) record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games to 10 while accounting for 275 yards of total offense in the game. Lynch has been below the 100-yard mark in rushing yards only once this season, in the second game of the year versus Tennessee Martin. His 11 100-yard rushing games this season are a school single season record.
Northern Illinois took a 7-0 lead on Daniels' first touchdown run, a 25-yard jaunt, with 5:35 to play in the first quarter. Eastern Michigan responded with an 82-yard drive that consumed 5:13 on the clock to tie the score at seven on a 20-yard pass from Tyler Benz to Matt Boyd. It would be the last offensive highlight of the day for the Eagles.
Seconds later, Northern Illinois regained the lead as Tommylee Lewis returned the ensuing EMU kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 Huskie lead. The kickoff return score was the third of Lewis' career.
The Huskie defense controlled Eastern Michigan throughout the second and third quarters, limiting the Eagles (2-10, 1-7) to only 116 yards. EMU did not advance inside the Northern Illinois 41 until the final play of the third quarter.
Meanwhile, as a driving snowstorm blanketed the field in white and made for slippery and icy conditions, the Huskies used the running of Daniels and Lynch to march for an 80-yard score. Daniels went untouched up the middle for a 20-yard score to give the Huskies a 21-7 lead.
NIU added another score before halftime thanks in part to an illegal substitution penalty on EMU on a fourth down play. Given another set of downs, the Huskies took advantage as on fourth-and-one from the 43, Lynch hit Martel Moore who turned upfield for a score with 53 seconds left in the half. Northern Illinois took a 28-7 halftime lead.
Daniels added two more rushing touchdowns, of 19 and 16 yards, to record the first four-rushing touchdown game by a Huskie since Garrett Wolfe accomplished the feat versus Indiana State in 2006.
"I'm really happy for Akeem," Doeren said. "He's been getting better all year. He's been doing a lot of unselfish things - blocking for Jordan, and in our protection schemes - so to see him run like that and get in the end zone four times was great."
Freshman receiver Jacob Brinlee added the final score, an 11-yard run with 1:23 on the clock, to provide the final margin for the Huskies.
Ball State 31, Miami 24 Final Stats
OXFORD, Ohio -- An injury-depleted Ball State offense pounded its way to a 31-24 Mid-American Conference football victory Friday at Miami University in the final game of the regular season.
The Cardinals ground out 226 rushing yards and sophomore Jahwan Edwards ran for three touchdowns as Ball State matched the third-best win total in school history with nine. The Cardinals ended the regular season at 9-3 overall (6-2 MAC), while Miami closed its campaign at 4-8 (3-5 MAC).
"It was a gutsy win," Ball State coach Pete Lembo said. "I am so proud of our kids. We had a lot of adversity today but saw a lot of good things happen. I'm sure we will watch the film tomorrow and see some things we didn't like, but there were a lot of good things that happened today."
Ball State entered the contest with starting quarterback Keith Wenning out because of an injury and then lost fifth-year senior quarterback Kelly Page early in the third quarter with Ball State leading 21-14.
Enter true freshman walk-on Kyle Kamman, who saw the first action of his college career to bring the Cardinals home for the sixth straight win.
Ball State turned to Edwards and fellow running back Horactio Banks to pad its lead and then salt away the win. Three plays after Page left, Kamman handed off to Edwards, who rushed 17 yards for his third score to give Ball State a 28-14 lead with 8:37 left in the third period.
The Edwards' TD was his 14th of the season and moved him to third on Ball State's single-season list.
Less than six minutes later, the Cardinals drove 65 yards on 12 plays, culminating in a Steven Schott 27-yard field goal to put Ball State ahead 31-14 with 1:56 left in the third stanza.
Miami made a late rally, scoring on a Zac Dysert pass to Jamire Westbrook and then getting a field goal from Kaleb Patterson with 3:44 left to cut Ball State's lead to 31-24. The Cardinals' defense held in the red zone to hold the RedHawks to the field goal and keep Ball State ahead by a touchdown.
The Cardinals' offense then picked up a key first down on a 16-yard run from Banks before punting with 30 seconds left in the game. Miami muffed the punt and Ball State recovered to seal the victory.
Edwards finished with 98 yards on 18 carries, coming up two yards shy of his sixth straight 100-yard game, and Banks added 80 yards on 22 carries.
"We knew we had to run it, and they knew we were going to run it," Lembo said. "We had to control the ball and take time off the clock. We did a great job of that in the second half."
Page ran for 53 yards of his own and threw for 137 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. He led Ball State on an eight play, 47-yard drive that culminated with an Edwards' five yard touchdown run on the Cardinals' first possession of the game.
Miami evened the score, 7-7, on a 3-yard run by Dawan Scott, but the Cardinals closed out the first-quarter scoring on a Page 18-yard scoring pass to Jack Tomlinson to take a 14-7 lead. It marked Tomlinson's first TD catch of the season and the ninth of his career. It was the third TD pass in two games for Page and the 14th of his career.
With 6:46 to go in the second quarter, Edwards rushed in from two yards out for his second touchdown of the game to give the Cardinals a 21-7 lead after the Schott extra point. Schott's point after marked his 30th in a row and moved him into a tie for the sixth longest streak in Ball State history. Schott earlier this season ended a streak of 55 consecutive extra points made, which stands as the second best streak in school annals.
The Cardinals followed up the touchdown with an onside kick, recovered by placekicker Scott Secor. Ball State took over on its own 47-yard line, but could not capitalize. Scott Kovanda, one of the three finalists for the Ray Guy Award which goes to the nation's most outstanding punter, pinned Miami on the 7-yard line, one of three times in the game he pinned the RedHawks inside the 20.
Two possessions later, the RedHawks closed the gap to 21-14 with 23 seconds left in the half on a 34-yard pass from Dysert to Scott.
Dysert led the Miami offensive attack, finishing the game 26-of-40 through the air for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
Ball State's nine-win season is the sixth in school history. The Cardinals won their final five MAC games and their final four road contests.
Bowling Green 21, Buffalo 7 Final Stats
The Bowling Green State University football team concluded the 2012 regular season on a positive note by notching a 21-7 victory over the University of Buffalo on Friday (Nov. 23) at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The Falcons rode to victory on the backs of a stifling defense that did not allow Buffalo into the red zone until the fourth quarter and gave up only one drive of more than 23 yards.
BGSU recorded a season-high seven sacks, which were split among six defenders. Chris Jones improved his season total to 12.5 sacks, while Dwayne Woods earned his first two sacks of 2012. As a team, Bowling Green now has 37 sacks for a net loss of 271 yards.
The Bulls were held to only two first downs and 24 yards in the first quarter, which helped overcome a sluggish start by the Falcon offense. After recording their first sack of the day, ending Buffalo's second drive, BGSU went on a 15-play, 78-yard drive but were held without points when Buffalo blocked a Tyler Tate field goal attempt.
After a very quick three-and-out by Buffalo, the Falcons embarked on their first scoring drive of the day. Quarterback Matt Schilz deftly mixed four completions with runs by John Pettigrew, and the 12-play, 68-yard drive culminated with a one yard touchdown run by Pettigrew. The touchdown came on fourth-and-goal.
Buffalo moved into BGSU territory in two plays to start their next drive, but after an initial first down, the Orange and Brown defense sacked Bulls' quarterback Joe Licata twice in three plays. On fourth-and-three, Jones sacked Licata and jarred the ball loose. The fumble was recovered by Cameron Truss and was Buffalo's only turnover of the day.
Five plays later, Shaun Joplin made an acrobatic catch of a Schilz pass over the middle. Joplin evaded a tackle attempt and raced for a 44-yard touchdown, which was his fourth of the season. The extra point gave BGSU a 14-0 second quarter lead.
To start the second half, the Bulls earned only one first down on their first two drives. On BGSU's second possession, the Falcons took eight plays to score their final points of the game. Pettigrew ran five times for 32 yards to start the drive, then caught two Schilz passes for eight more yards. Schilz capped the 47-yard drive with a seven-yard keeper on second-and-goal to give Bowling Green a 21-0 lead.
Buffalo's only points of the day came early in the fourth quarter, when they cashed in a two-play, 19-yard drive after a BGSU turnover. A four-yard Alex Dennison run and Patrick Clarke extra point provided the final 21-7 margin.
For the game, the Falcons' offense earned 310 yards on 72 plays. The team rushed for 82 yards, while Schilz passed for 228. The defense limited Buffalo to 197 yards and only 29 on the ground. The Bulls produced 129 of their 197 yards in the fourth quarter.
Schilz was 18/30 for 228 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Pettigrew led BGSU rushers with 29 carries for 93 yards and three receptions for 31 yards. Chris Gallon had five catches for 65 yards, while Joplin had three for 77. Ryan Burbrink also contributed three receptions.
Buffalo's Licata was 13/30 for 168 yards. Devin Campbell led Buffalo running backs with 26 net yards. Alex Neutz had six catches for 92 yards.
Thanks to the victory, Bowling Green improves to 8-4 and 6-2 in Mid-American Conference play. The eight wins are the most for the Falcons in the regular season since the team also went 8-4 in 2007. Buffalo's loss drops the Bulls to 4-8 and 3-5 in the MAC.
Central Michigan 42, UMass 21 Final Stats
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Central Michigan reached .500 and gained bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2009 season with a 42-21 win over UMass (1-11, 1-7 MAC) on Friday at Gillette Stadium.
Junior running back Zurlon Tipton powered the Chippewas to their sixth win of the season, rushing for 185 yards on 25 carries, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game, and four touchdowns. With 19 touchdowns on the ground, Tipton is now tied for second in CMU single-season history.
Back-to-back CMU touchdowns in the span of 33 seconds late in the third quarter and two second half interceptions proved to key to the game’s outcome.
Central Michigan (6-6, 4-4 MAC) answered a second half opening UMass scoring drive, using primarily the legs of Tipton to knot the game at 21-21. Tipton rushed for 57 yards on the key scoring drive, finishing it off with a three-yard scamper. Senior safety Jahleel Addae then intercepted UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle two plays into the Minutemen’s ensuing possession and returned it to the nine-yard line. One play later, Tipton slipped his way to the end zone for his third touchdown of the game, pushing CMU ahead, 28-21.
The momentum continued to swing CMU’s way on UMass’ next drive, as junior safety Avery Cunningham intercepted Doyle and returned it to the Minutemen 32-yard line. Freshman running back Saylor Lavallii earned the Chippewas their third two-touchdown lead at 35-21 when he plunged in from the six-yard line for his second touchdown on the ground in as many games.
Tipton would then put the game safely away with a 61-yard scoring dash midway through the fourth quarter.
After the Chippewa defense forced a turnover on downs near midfield early on UMass opening possession of the game, Tipton quickly got CMU on the scoreboard with a one-yard touchdown run, capping a 10-play, 48-yard drive.
The CMU defense stopped the ensuing UMass drive, setting up the Chippewas at their own 23-yard line. Thanks in part to a heavy dose of Tipton, Central Michigan moved the ball down to the Minutemen five-yard line where Radcliff connected with tight end Connor Odykirk for a touchdown, upping its lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter. The receiving touchdown was Odykirk’s second in two weeks.
UMass cut the CMU lead in half at 14-7 when, following a Radcliff interception deep in Chippewa territory by safety Darren Thellen, running back Michael Cox dove in from one-yard out with 9:23 remaining the first half.
Later in the second quarter, UMass looked to be driving for a game-tying score but sophomore cornerback Jason Wilson picked off Minutemen quarterback A.J. Doyle in the end zone. The interception was Wilson’s second of the year. However, CMU could not move the ball and was forced to punt.
UMass was the recipient of some good fortune on the ensuing drive when a third down pass by Doyle looked to be incomplete but was deflected by one Minutemen receiver to another. Jordan Broadnax advanced the ball to the CMU eight-yard line and two plays later the game was tied at 14-14 when Doyle found tight end Rob Blanchflower open in the end zone for the score just before halftime.
Should Central Michigan receive a postseason invitation, it would be the Chippewas’ seventh bowl appearance since gaining Division I status. CMU has previously appeared in the California Raisin Bowl (1990), the Las Vegas Bowl (1994), the Motor City Bowl (2006, 2007, 2008), and the GMAC Bowl (2010), posting a 2-4 record.