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2010 Nick’s Picks – MAC Preview & Review (Week #7)


MAC & Team Notes:

  • The MAC went 0-4 in non-conference games last week getting outscored 199-44.
  • The MAC now stands 6-30 in FBS non-conference games this year and 8-2 against FCS teams; overall the MAC is just 14-32 in non-conference contests to date.
  • Western Michigan will travel to South Bend this Saturday, Oct. 16 at 2:30 pm ET and make the first visit by a MAC team against Notre Dame. The contest will be televised on NBC.
  • MAC home teams were the victor in three of the four conference games last weekend. Kent State, Northern Illinois and Ohio all earned conference wins, while the lone road victor was Western Michigan with a 45-16 victory at Ball State.
  • Kent State defeated Akron, 28-17, to win the Wagon Wheel and did so in front of the third-largest crowd in Dix Stadium history as 24,221 fans witnessed the Flashes’ victory over the rival Zips. Kent State’s defense continued to lead the way with a season-high five turnovers and seven sacks and held the Zips to only 62 yards rushing, marking the fourth time this season to hold an opponent under 100 yards rushing.
  • In addition to Kent State ranking first in the nation in run defense, the MAC also features two teams in the top 25 in total defense. The Golden Flashes’ rank 14th in the nation in total defense (284.2 ypg) and Buffalo (312.6 ypg) ranks 25th in the country in that category.


Player Notes:

  • NIU’s Chandler Harnish led the Huskies to their third consecutive win as he accounted for 282 yards of total offense as he was 15-of-20 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns, and 71 yards on the ground. Running back Chad Spann added 100 yards rushing and one touchdown.
  • Ohio quarterback Phil Bates accounted for 191 yards of total offense as he rushed for 142 yards and two scores and also converted a 47-yard touchdown connection to wideout Donte Foster; Ohio rushed for a season-high 257 yards, while quarterback Boo Jackson threw for three scores,
  • Western’s Alex Carder led the team in rushing and passing with 265 yards through the air (17-for-29) and one score and 66 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. Western Michigan rushed for a season-high 209 yards and defensively forced five turnovers and turned them into 24 points.
  • Central Michigan outgained Virginia Tech 401-394 yards of total offense and ran 31 more offensive plays than their Hokie counterparts. Chippewas quarterback Ryan Radcliff was 21-of-48 passing for 266 yards and three touchdowns and one interception and wide receiver Jerry Harris finished with a career-high 101 yards receiving on five receptions and his first two touchdown receptions of his career.
  • Akron WR Jeremy LaFrance had a team-high 75 yards receiving on six catches in a 28-17 loss at Kent State. LaFrance also converted a fake field goal for a 10-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to cut the deficit, 21-17.
  • Bowling Green WR Kamar Jorden collected a team-high eight receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-25 losing effort at Ohio.
  • Toledo WR Eric Page had a season-high 11 receptions and 120 yards receiving in a 57-14 loss at Boise State. Page also added a 41-yard kickoff return in the contest.
  • Kent State WR Sam Kirkland recorded his second 100-yard receiving game of the season with five receptions for 109 yards in a 28-17 win over Akron.


This Week’s MAC Schedule ~ Saturday, October 16

* Miami at Central Michigan, Noon ET (ESPN Plus/ESPN Game Plan/ESPN3.com)

* Bowling Green at Temple, 1:00 pm ET (All MACcess)

*Eastern Michigan at Ball State, 1:00 pm ET (All MACcess)

* Akron at Ohio, 2:00 pm ET (All MACcess)

Western Michigan at Notre Dame, 2:30 pm ET (NBC)

* Buffalo at Northern Illinois, 3:30 pm ET (All MACcess)

* Kent State at Toledo, 7:00 pm ET (All MACcess)


Nick’s Picks for Week #7


Miami (3-3, 2-0 MAC) at Central Michigan (2-4, 1-2 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • Noon ET • Mount Pleasant, Mich. • Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255); ESPN Plus/ESPN Game Plan • Announcers: Michael Reghi, Doug Graber

Series: Miami leads 11-10-1

The RedHawks lead the MAC with a +4 turnover differential...Miami is off to a 2-0 start in MAC play for the first time since 2007...Miami ranks eighth in the nation in time of possession (33:12) and tied for 12 th in red zone defense (68%)...WR Armond Robinson ranks 15th in the nation in total receiving yards (484). The Chips begin a stretch of playing three of their next four games at home...Central Michigan ranks 18th in the nation in pass offense (286.7 ypg)...WR Cody Wilson ranks 17th in the nation in total receiving yards (484) and QB Ryan Radcliff ranks sixth in the country in total passing yards (1,703).

Nick’s Pick: Central 30 – Miami 24

Comment: This game was THE MAC rivalry in the late 1970s and early 1980s; both teams are hoping to spring their 2010 fortunes forward with a win to rebound their season.



Bowling Green (1-5, 0-2 MAC) at Temple (4-2, 1-1 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 1:00 pm ET • Philadelphia, Pa. • Lincoln Financial Field (68,532); All MACcess web streaming via www.mac-sports.com

Series: Bowling Green leads 7-3

The Falcons had their best rushing effort of the year with 137 yards on the ground last week at Ohio...WR Kamar Jorden had eight receptions for 129 yards and two scores against the Bobcats...Jorden also ranks sixth in the nation with 554 total receiving yards...LB Dwayne Woods ranked tied for fourth in the country with 73 tackles. Temple plays two of the next three games at home (vs. Bowling

Green, at Buffalo, vs. Akron)...RB Matt Brown added a 25-yard rushing touchdown at Northern Illinois...Temple ranks third in the MAC in rushing offense (161.0 ypg)...Seven of Temple’s 2010 opponents participated in postseason play the previous year.

Nick’s Pick: Temple 41 – BGSU 21

Comment: The Owls are made after last week’s loss at NIU and will take out their frustrations against a very young Falcon team.



Eastern Michigan (0-6, 0-3 MAC) at Ball State (2-4, 1-1 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 1:00 pm ET • Muncie, Ind. • Scheumann Stadium (22,500); All MACcess web streaming via www.mac-sports.com

Last week QB Alex Gillett was 10-of-20 passing for 99 yards at Vanderbilt...Eastern Michigan ranks sixth in the MAC in total offense with 304.5 ypg...Eagles rank fourth in the MAC in punt return average (10.0 avg.) and third in net punting average (37.7 avg.). After hosting Eastern Michigan this Saturday, Ball State will travel to Toledo and Kent State for the next two...DE Robert Eddins

ranks tied for 24th in the nation with 5.0 sacks...S Sean Baker ranks tied for 22nd in the nation with three interceptions.

Nick’s Pick: Ball State 28 – Eastern 27

Comment: This is Eastern’s last chance at a victory in 2010.




Akron (0-6, 0-2 MAC) at Ohio (3-3, 2-1 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 2:00 pm ET • Athens, Ohio • Peden Stadium (24,000); All MACcess Web Streaming via www.mac-sports.com

Series: Ohio leads 13-12-1

Akron ’s LB Brian Wagner recorded a game-high 11 tackles at Kent State

and marked his second consecutive double-digit tally (13 vs. Northern Illinois)...WR Jeremy LaFrance scored on a 10-yard run on a fake field goal attempt at Kent State...Akron is in a stretch of playing four of five games on the road. The Bobcats are 28-6 when taking a lead into halftime since 2005 under Frank Solich...Had a season-high 257 yards rushing against Bowling Green last week...Ohio has outgained three consecutive opponents on the ground...Bobcats are tied for 18th in red zone offense at 89%...since 1998, Ohio is 45-14 when scoring at least 28 points.

Nick’s Pick: Ohio 34 – Akron 16

Comment: The Zips are staring straight into an 0-12 season.



Western Michigan (2-3, 1-1 MAC) at Notre Dame (3-3, Independent)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 2:30 pm ET • South Bend, Ind. • Notre Dame Stadium (80,795); NBC

Series: First Meeting

The Broncos rank 23rd in the nation in passing offense (274.2 ypg) and 22nd in time of possession (31:46)...QB Alex Carder ranks 25th in the nation with 258.0 passing yards per game...DB Lewis Toler ranks tied for eighth in the country with seven passes defended...WR Jordan White ranks sixth in the nation in receptions per game (107). ND Improved to 3-3 on the year with a 23-17 win over Pittsburgh...QB Dayne Crist recorded a career-best 12 consecutive completions against Pitt...Notre Dame red zone defense, of 19 trip opponents have made in the red zone only seven have resulted in TDs, and just three TDs on their opponents last 11 drives.

Nick’s Pick: Notre Dame 37 – Western 24

Comment: The Broncos have a nice opportunity at gaining some national attention against a good but not great ND team.



Buffalo (2-3, 1-0 MAC) at Northern Illinois (4-2, 2-0 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 3:30 pm ET • DeKalb, Ill. • Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium (24,000); All MACcess web streaming via www.mac-sports.com

Series: Northern Illinois leads 5-1

Buffalo defense ranks 25th in the nation in total defense (312.6 ypg)...Buffalo defense also ranks 11th in the country in pass efficiency defense (102.59 rating), tied for 12th in third down efficiency (30%) and tied for 17th in red zone defense (71%)...WR Marcus Rivers ranks tied for 23rd in the country in receiving yards per game (84.8 avg.). Northern Illinois ranks 12th in the nation in rush offense (236.2) and RB Chad Spann ranks 19th (107.0 ypg)...QB Chandler Harnish ranks 13th in the nation in pass efficiency (162.74)...In the middle of playing three consecutive games at home (31-17 win over Temple, vs. Buffalo, vs. Central Michigan).

Nick’s Pick: NIU 24 – Buffalo 17

Comment: Buffalo has had two weeks to prepare for this game, expect a close game.


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Kent State (2-3, 1-1 MAC) at Toledo (3-3, 2-0 MAC)

Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 7:00 pm ET • Toledo, Ohio • Glass Bowl (26,248)

All MACcess web streaming via www.mac-sports.com

Series: Toledo leads 22-21

Kent State has held an opponent under 100 yards rushing in four of five games this year and rank first in the country in rush defense (59.60 ypg)...Freshman DL Roosevelt Nix recorded 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble vs. Akron last week...Kent State ranks 14th in the nation in total defense (284.2 ypg). Toledo plays the next two games at home (Kent State, Ball State)...LB Archie Donald ranks 15th in the nation with 61 tackles...WR Eric Page ranks 19th in the country with 6.7 receptions per game (40 total) and 21st in total receiving yards (471)...Page had a season-high 11 receptions and 120 yards at Boise State last week.

Nick’s Pick: Toledo 23 – Kent State 20

Comment: The Rockets have yet to win a home game in 2010; both defenses are much improved.


> Buy Akron apparel & hats online through VanDelay Sports!


Nick’s Picks had a rough Week #6 going 7-1 and now stand 47- 14 YTD


Nick’s Pick: NIU 21 – Temple 20

Actual Score: NIU 31 – Temple 17

Comment: Without Pierce, Temple is not a MAC champ contender. NIU may be seeing the Owls again in December’s MACC game.


Nick’s Pick: Ball State 28 – Western 21

Actual Score: Western 45 – Ball State 16

Comment: We just cannot figure out these two teams this year.


Nick’s Pick: V-Tech 35 – Central 16

Actual Score: V-Tech 45 – Central 21

Comment: Central trailed 21-7 at the half and had two missed FGs that could have had them at 21-13 at intermission; second half was all Hokies.


Nick’s Pick: Ohio 22 – BGSU 17

Actual Score: Ohio 49 – BGSU 25

Comment: Surprisingly high scoring affair.


Nick’s Pick: Kent State 24 – Akron 10

Actual Score: Kent State 28 – Akron 17

Comment: KSU finally beats their neighbor, just the third time in the last fourteen outings.


Nick’s Pick: Cincy 33 – Miami (O) 24

Actual Score: Cincy 45 – Miami (O) 3

Comment: Miami was no match against the Bearcats – again.


Nick’s Pick: Vandy 31 – Eastern 13

Actual Score: Vandy 52 – Eastern 6

Comment: Eastern is #120 out of 120 IA/FBS teams.


Nick’s Pick: Boise State 42 – Toledo 10

Actual Score: Boise State 57 – Toledo 14

Comment: The Rockets got to see a real nationally championship team up close and personal, Boise pulled out a full bag of trick plays too.




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