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2010 MAC Football Picks - Week #2 Preview & Picks
Top MAC Performers from Week #1
MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE...BY THE NUMBERS....
This Week’s MAC Schedule
Thursday, September 9
*Central Michigan at Temple, 7 pm ET (ESPNU)
Saturday, September 11
Gardner-Webb at Akron, Noon ET
*Eastern Michigan at Miami, 3:30 pm ET (SportsTime Ohio)
Kent State at Boston College, 3:30 pm ET (ESPNU)
Liberty at Ball State, 7 pm ET
* Toledo at Ohio, 7 pm ET
North Dakota at Northern Illinois, 7 pm ET
Nicholls State at Western Michigan, 7 pm ET
Bowling Green at Tulsa, 7 pm ET
Buffalo at Baylor, 7 pm ET
*Mid-American Conference game
Central Michigan (1-0, 0-0 MAC) at Temple (1-0, 0-0 MAC)
Thursday, September 9, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Philadelphia, Pa. • Lincoln Financial Field (68,532); ESPNU • Announcers: Anish Shroff, Jay Walker
Series: Central Michigan leads 2-0
Notes: Central Michigan returns 41 letter winners, including 12 starters (6 offense/ 6 defense)…CMU finished the season ranked No. 23 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll…CMU has posted a winning record in each of the last five seasons, the longest current stretch in the MAC…CMU has gone to four consecutive bowl games. Temple returns 56 letter winners, including 16 starters (9 offense/7 defense)...Temple posted records of 9-4, 7-1 MAC (Co-East Div. Champs) and visit to the EagleBank Bowl (L, 21-30 UCLA)…Picked as preseason favorite to win MAC East & MAC Championship Game…Pierce returns after breaking the school’s rushing records for a freshman.
Luke’s Lock: Central 28 – Temple 24
Comment: This may be a preview of the MAC title game…until someone beats the Chips, they are still the MAC champs.
Gardner-Webb (1-0, 0-0 Big South) at Akron (0-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • Noon ET • Akron, Ohio • InfoCision Stadium Summa Field (30,000) All-MACcess Live Streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: First Meeting
Notes: The Runnin’ Bulldogs went 6-5 in 2009 and return 17 starters and 49 total letter winners…Only game vs. FBS competition this season...0-2 all-time vs. the MAC…Picked to finish fifth in the Big South Preseason Poll while tying with Liberty for the most players placed on the Preseason All-Conference Team with eight. First-year Head Coach Rob Ianello inherits a Zips team that returns 17 starters (6 offense/8 defense/3 specialists) from last year’s club that went 3-9, 2-6 in the MAC...Last year, freshman LB Brian Wagner ranked 7th in FBS with 11 tackles per game (132 total)...RB Alex Allen granted sixth year of eligibility and had a team-best five TDs last year.
Luke’s Lock: Akron 28 – G-W 14
Comment: This is a game the young Zips need after getting pushed around by Syracuse last week; don’t expect a blow out though.
Eastern Michigan (0-1, 0-0 MAC) at Miami (0-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 3:30 pm ET • Oxford, Ohio • Yager Stadium (24,286)
SportsTime Ohio • All-MACcess Live Streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Miami leads 16-4
Notes: EMU returns 44 letter winners and 12 starters (6 offense/6 defense) from last year’s team that went 0-12, 0-8 MAC...Secondary features DB Ryan Downard, who has totaled nine INT in three years and DB Marty Cardwell ranked second on last year’s team with 105 tackles, as the Eagles led the MAC in pass defense (150.5 ypg) in 2009. The RedHawks return 20 starters (11 offense/9 defense) from last year’s squad that posted a 1-11, 1-7 MAC record...QB Zac Dysert threw for 2,611 yards in 2009, third highest total in MAC history by a freshman...Jerrell Wedge averaged 1.54 tackles for loss per game in 2009 (18.5 total tackles for loss), which tied for eighth in FBS.
Luke’s Lock: Miami 24 – EMU 20
Comment: Expect a close ball game with both teams needing a win here to build positive momentum after good efforts last week that followed dismal 2009 seasons each.
Kent State (1-0, 0-0 MAC) at Boston College (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 3:30 pm ET • Boston, Mass. • Alumni Stadium (44,500)
ESPNU • Announcers: Pam Ward, Danny Kanell
Series: Boston College leads 2-0
Notes: KSU returns 49 letter winners, including 16 starters (9 offense/7defense) from last year’s, 5-7, 4-4 in the MAC…KSU enters the 2010 season with the active FBS career leaders in interceptions (S Brian Lainhart, 15) and rushing yards (RB Eugene Jarvis, 3,426)…QB Spencer Keith set KSU freshman records with 2,147 yards and 14 TDs in 2009. The Golden Eagles went 8-5 in 2009 and return 13 starters plus 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Herzlich, who missed the 2009 season with a form of bone cancer...Boston College was picked to finish third in the ACC Atlantic Preseason Poll...Opened with a 38-20 win over Weber State.
Luke’s Lock: Boston College 30 – Kent State 17
Comment: This game may actually be close; the first two contests between these two schools were not. BC is not the same program they were a few years ago.
Liberty (1-0, 0-0 Big South) at Ball State (1-0, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Muncie, Ind. • Scheumann Stadium (22,500) All-MACcess Live Streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: First Meeting
Notes: The Flames went 8-3 in 2009 and return 14 starters and 43 total letter winners…Only game against FBS competition this season...Liberty was picked to finish first in the Big South Preseason Poll and carry a #19 FCS ranking…Junior QB Mike Brown was named the Big South Preseason Player of the Year. Ball State returns 17 starters (10 offense/7 defense) and 47 letter winners from last year’s team that went 2-10 and 2-6 MAC…Senior RB MiQuale Lewis rushed for a school-record 301 yards against Eastern
Michigan last year...Senior K Ian McGarvey led the MAC by making 18-of-21 field goal attempts.
Luke’s Lock: Ball State 27 – Liberty 20
Comment: The Flames will give the Cardinals all they can handle.
Toledo (0-1, 0-0 MAC) at Ohio (1-0, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Athens, Ohio • Peden Stadium (24,000)
All-MACcess Live Streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Toledo leads 30-19-1
Notes: The Rockets have 41 returning letter winners on their roster, including 14 starters (7 offense/ 7 defense) off last year’s 5-7 team…WR Eric Page led the nation’s freshman with 82 receptions and 1,159 yards in 2009…Rockets play seven bowl teams, including a trip to No. 4 Boise State…Four of Toledo’s first six games are on the road. The Bobcats return 13 starters (7 offense/6 defense) from last year’s squad that went 9-5, 7-1 MAC and earned a visit to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (L, 17-21 Marshall)...LB Noah Keller’s 155 tackles led the MAC last season...LaVon Brazill is a threat on punt returns as his 3 TDs led FBS last year.
Luke’s Lock: Ohio 27 – Toledo 17
Comment: The Rockets have dominated this series over the past 25 years and have not lost to OU since the mid-1980s. That will change this weekend.
North Dakota (0-1, 0-0 Great West) at Northern Illinois (0-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • DeKalb, Ill. • Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium (24,000) All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: North Dakota leads 1-0
Notes: The Fighting Sioux went 6-5 in 2009 and return 14 starters (6 offense/8 defense)… North Dakota was picked to finish 5th in the Great West Preseason Poll…Opened with a 45-0 loss at Idaho. NIU returns 49 letter winners, including 17 starters (6 offense/11 defense)…Last year, NIU went 7-6, 5-3 MAC, and earned a bid to the 2010 International Bowl (L, South Florida, 27-3)…RB Chad Spann rushed for a MAC-best 19 TDs in 2009, which tied the school-record.
Luke’s Lock: NIU 33 – North Dakota 7
Comment: NIU will return to their ground-chuck offense and build some much needed depth in the process.
Nicholls State (0-1, 0-0 Southland) at Western Michigan (0-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Kalamazoo, Mich. • Waldo Stadium (30,200) All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: First Meeting
Notes: The Colonels went 3-8 in 2009 and return nine starters (5 offense/4 defense)…Nicholls State was picked to finish 8th in the Southland Conference Preseason Poll…Punter Patrick Dolan was named to the Preseason Southland 1st Team. Offensive lineman Brandon Ward and defensive back Bobby Felder made the 2nd Team. The Broncos return 15 starters (8 offense/7 defense) from last year’s squad that finished 5-7, 4-4 MAC...Western Michigan offense must replace QB Tim Hiller, school’s career leader in total offense (11,220 yds.) and fourth in MAC history; and RB/KR Brandon West, who set the NCAA all division record for career all-purpose yardage (7,764).
Luke’s Lock: Western 52 – Nichols St 17
Comment: A Bronco blow-out.
BGSU (0-1, 0-0 MAC) at Tulsa (0-1, 0-0 Conference USA)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Tulsa, Okla. • H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000) Series: Tulsa leads 1-0
Notes: The Falcons return eight starters (4 offense/4 defense) off a team that finished 7-6, 6-2 MAC and received an invitation to the Humanitarian Bowl (L, 43-42, Idaho)...Freshman QB Matt Schilz opened the season under center for the Falcons. The Golden Hurricane went 5-7 in 2009 and return nine starters (5 offense/4 defense)…Tulsa has three wide receivers on their roster who have had a 1,000 yard season…Special teams should be a strength for Tulsa this year as K Kevin Fitzpatrick and P Michael Such both made the Conference USA First Team as did PR Damaris Johnson.
Luke’s Lock: Tulsa 44 – BG 27
Comment: Tulsa has an excellent offense and the Falcons will not be able to keep pace; this will not be 63-7 thumping like the last time these two teams met in Mobile, AL.
Buffalo (1-0, 0-0 MAC) at Baylor (1-0, 0-0 Big-12)
Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)
Series: Baylor leads 1-0
Notes: First year Head Coach Jeff Quinn inherits a Buffalo program that went 5-7 and 3-5 in the MAC…UB returns 14 starters (6 offense/eight defense)…Senior DB Davonte Shannon became the first UB player to garner three straight first-team All-MAC selections in 2009…Last year ranked third in the MAC in offense (405.5) and defense (342.7). The Bears went 4-8 in 2009 and return 12 starters (7 offense/5 defense) and 47 letter winners…2010 will also mark the return of 2008 Freshman All-American QB Robert Griffith III, who suffered a season ending knee injury in the third game of the 2009 season…Baylor was picked to finish 6th in the Big 12 South Preseason Poll.
Luke’s Lock: Baylor 28 – Buffalo 20
Comment: This is a BCS team that a good MAC team can beat; Buffalo will have a shot against a talented but not daunting Bear team.