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2010 MAC Football Picks - Week #3 Preview & Picks
Top MAC Performers from Week #2
This Week’s MAC Schedule – All Games Saturday, September 18
Ball State (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at Purdue (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • Noon ET • West Lafayette, Ind. • Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500) Big Ten Network
Series: Purdue leads 7-0
Notes: 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 last year. Purdue finished 5-7 last year and lost at Notre Dame in the opener, 23-12 and defeated Western Illinois, 31-21 last Saturday...After moving from QB to safety and finally to wide receiver, fifth-year senior Keith Smith was the Big Ten’s leading pass catcher in 2009 (91-1,100 yards, 6 TDs) and has had at least one reception in all 25 games.
Nick’s Pick: Purdue 37 – Ball State 14
Comment: The Boilermakers are a much better team and will have little trouble with the Cardinals who have lost the magic that Brady Hoke built.
Connecticut (1-1, 0-0 Big East) at Temple (2-0, 1-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • Noon ET • Philadelphia, Pa. • Lincoln Financial Field (68,532) ESPN Plus/ESPN Game Plan • Announcers: Michael Reghi, Doug Graber
Series: Temple leads 7-4
Notes: UConn lost at Michigan, 30-10, in the opener and defeated Texas Southern 62-3 in Week 2...RB Jordan Todman rushed for a career-high 105 yards at Michigan...Since 2002, UConn has posted a 19-26 road record, and in road non-conference games in that span the Huskies are 16-10, including winning eight of the last 11 contests. 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.
Nick’s Pick: UConn 16 – Temple 13
Comment: These games are always close and very physical contests. After two straight close wins the Owls luck runs out against a good Huskie team that always seems to beat MAC teams.
Kent State (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at Penn State (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • Noon ET • State College, Pa. • Beaver Stadium (107,282) ESPN or ESPN2 • Announcers: Bob Wischusen, Brian Griese
Series: Penn State leads 2-0
Notes: KSU returns 49 letter winners, including 16 starters (9 offense/7 defense) 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. PSU opened with a 44-14 win over Youngstown State and lost at No.
1 Alabama 24-3 in Week 2...Since 2005, Nittany Lions are 52-13 (.800) and tied for 7th with West Virginia in the nation in winning percentage in the last five years...Sr. RB Evan Royster posted second 1,000-yard season in ‘09 and is on pace to become Penn State’s career rushing yds.
Nick’s Pick: Penn State 31 – Kent State 7
Comment: KSU has the talent to keep this game close but they continue to have troubling turnovers that will kill them against a team as talented as Penn State.
NIU (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at Illinois (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • Noon ET • Champaign, Ill. • Memorial Stadium (69,249)
Big Ten Network
Series: Illinois leads 3-0
Notes: 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. The Illini lost in the opener at Missouri, 23-13 and defeated Southern Illinois 24-3 in Week 2...RB Mike Leshoure ran for 112 yards on 20 carries against Mizzou, marking his fourth career 100-yard rushing game...LB Ian Thomas tied his career high with 13 tackles against Mizzou, equaling the 13 stops he racked up against the Tigers last year.
Nick’s Pick: Illinois 30 – NIU 20
Comment: Entering into the season this publication thought this would be a win for NIU but thus far the Huskies do not at all resemble the MAC title contender they were predicted to be.
Ohio (1-1, 0-1 MAC) at Ohio State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • Noon ET • Columbus, Ohio • Ohio Stadium (102,329)
Big Ten Network
Series: Ohio State leads 6-0
Notes: 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. The Buckeyes opened with a 45-7 win over Marshall and defeated Miami (Fla.) 36-24 in Week 2...The 529 yards of total offense against Marshall were the most in a season opener under Jim Tressel and the most in an opener since Sept. 5, 1998, in a 34-17 win at West Virginia... Ohio State is 53-5 at Ohio Stadium since the start of the 2002 season.
Nick’s Pick: Ohio State 28 – Ohio 10
Comment: After last week’s big win over Miami (FL) how much will the Buckeyes be into this game?
Colorado State (0-2, 0-0 MTW) at Miami (1-1, 1-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 3:30 pm ET • Oxford, Ohio • Yager Stadium (30,000)
Ohio News Network • All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Notes: CSU began the season with a 24-3 loss vs. Colorado and suffered a 51-6 loss at Nevada in Week 2...Colorado State embarks on its first road trip to the state of Ohio in 40 years, since a 24-14 loss in the 1970 season finale at Toledo...Rams also look for its first road victory in more than a year, since a resounding 23-17 win at Colorado on Sept. 6, 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.
Nick’s Pick: Miami 26 – Colorado State 17
Comment: A decade ago these two of the best non-BCS programs in the country, time has not been kind to either program. Look for the Miami “whammy” to hit hard and beat the Rams in Oxford.
Central Michigan (1-1, 0-1 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (0-2, 0-1 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 4:00 pm ET • Ypsilanti, Mich. • Rynearson Stadium (30,200) All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Central Michigan leads 54-27-6
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. The Eagles return 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.
Nick’s Pick: Central 27 – Eastern 23
Comment: The Eagles always seem to play the Chips close; expect a real dog-fight this weekend again.
Toledo (1-1, 1-0 MAC) at Western Michigan (1-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Kalamazoo, Mich. • Waldo Stadium (30,200) All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Toledo leads 36-28-0
Notes: 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 #4 Boise State…Four of Toledo’s first six games are on the road. 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).
Nick’s Pick: Toledo 28 – Western 27
Comment: Can there be a must win this early in the season? There is for both teams in this game; an early loss in the MAC west would be devastating for either team right now; the Rockets are trying to break a four-year losing streak to the Broncos.
Marshall (0-2, 0-0 Conf. USA) at Bowling Green (0-2, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Bowling Green, Ohio • Doyt Perry Stadium (24,000) Buckeye CableSystem • Announcers: Greg Franke, Tom Cole • All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Bowling Green leads 20-8
Notes: Marshall welcomes back 41 letter winners and 13 starters from last year’s team that went 7-6 and an appearance in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (W, 21-17, Ohio)...Marshall features one of the nation’s top linebackers in senior Mario Harvey, a 2009 First-team All-Conference USA selection recorded 117 tackles, 8.5 tfl and 7.0 sacks last year. 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, 43-43, Idaho)...Freshman QB Matt Schilz opened the season under center for the Falcons.
Nick’s Pick: BGSU 23 – Marshall 20
Comment: After last week’s devastating home loss to rival WVU; can the Herd recovery? Hard to tell but Coach Clawson will not let his Falcons start the season 0-3.
UCF (1-1, 0-0 Conf. USA) at Buffalo (1-1, 0-0 MAC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • UB Stadium (29,013)
Time Warner Cable SportsNet • All-MACcess live streaming via www.mac-sports.com
Series: Central Florida leads 6-1
Notes: UCF began the season with a 38-7 win over South Dakota (SD beat Minnesota last week) and then lost to North Carolina State, 28-21, in Week 2...KR Quincy McDuffie had a 93-yard return for a touchdown vs. North Carolina State and was the second of his career...WR Kamar Aiken had 22 yards receiving against North Carolina State and now has 1,500 for his career. 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).
Nick’s Pick: Buffalo 21 – UCF 17
Comment: This is more of a hunch since the Golden Knights historically do not play well up north.
Akron (0-2, 0-0 MAC) at Kentucky (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 18, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Commonwealth Stadium (67,606)
Fox Sports Net/ESPN Game Plan • Announcers: Bob Rathbun, Tim Couch
Series: First Meeting
Notes: 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. KU Won their opener, 23-12 at Louisville and defeated Western Kentucky 63-28 in Week 2...Kentucky has won 16 consecutive regular season non-conference games...Kentucky’s 466 yards of total offense at Louisville was the most since gaining 488 yards in the 2009 opener vs. Miami (Ohio).
Nick’s Pick: Kentucky 45 – Akron 13
Comment: This could get ugly; if the Zips can’t beat Gardner Webb at home how can they compete against a SEC team on the road?