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2011 MAC Football Picks - Week #11 Preview


MAC Notes:

  • Tuesday night’s epic 63-60 NIU victory over Toledo set several team and league records. The offensive explosion set several conference and team single-game records. Both teams combined for 17 touchdowns, which set a MAC single-game record and 123 combined points, which ranked second highest in MAC history and the most for a regulation game. The 1,121 combined yards ranked ninth most in conference history. Northern Illinois kick returner Tommylee Lewis became only the 13th player in FBS history to return two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game as he scored on back-to-back kickoff returns to open the game. Huskies quarterback Chandler Harnish threw six touchdown passes, which tied for second most in MAC history and school history. Toledo wide receiver Eric Page tied a single game record with five touchdown receptions (5, Randy Moss, 1997) and tied the school record with four others.

  • Ohio’s Donte’ Harden finished with a school-record 322 all-purpose yards (184 rushing, 75 receiving and 63 return yards) and scored a pair of touchdowns in a 35-31 win over Temple last Wednesday. Harden’s 184 yards rushing was also a career-best. His 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the Bobcats’ longest scoring touchdown this season.

  • NIU’s Chandler Harnish threw six touchdown passes, the second-most in MAC history, and hit Perez Ashford with the game-winning throw with 19 seconds left, to lead Northern Illinois to a thrilling 63-60 shootout victory. Harnish completed 17-of-26 passes for 265 yards and six scores, and rushed 16 times for 133 yards to account for 398 yards of total offense.

  • Temple running back Bernard Pierce is one of the most explosive backs currently in college football. After nine games, Pierce has rushed for 1,035 yards on 203 carries and 19 touchdowns for an average of 115.0 yards per game. Pierce ranks tied for second in the nation with 19 rushing touchdowns, tied for third in the country in scoring (12.7 ppg) and 15th in rushing (115.0 ypg).

  • Ball State WR Torieal Gibson tallied seven catches for 142 yards and one touchdown in Ball State’s 33-31 win at Eastern Michigan. Gibson’s touchdown catch came on a 94-yard pass play with 9:38 to play in the first quarter and set a Rynearson Stadium record for longest pass play.

  • Kent State QB Spencer Keith led Kent State to its biggest offensive output (422 total yards) of the season in a 24-21 win over Central Michigan. Keith completed 17-of-31 passes for season high 281 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

  • Eastern Michigan QB Alex Gillett completed 12-of-17 passes for 196 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in a 33-31 loss to Ball State. Gillett also led the team with 126 yards rushing on 18 carries, as the team tallied 501 total yards of offense.

  • Central Michigan WR Titus Davis had a career game with 10 receptions for 192 yards and two scores in a 24-21 loss at Kent State. Titus set career highs for receptions, yards and touchdowns while posting the fifth highest single-game receiving yardage total in Central Michigan history.


…Nick’s Picks went 4-1 last week and now stand at 65-20 on the season…


This Week’s MAC Schedule

Tuesday, November 8

  • Northern Illinois at Bowling Green, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2 HD)
  • Western Michigan at Toledo, 8:00 pm ET (ESPNU HD)

Wednesday, November 9

  • Miami at Temple, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN HD)

Thursday, November 10

  • Ohio at Central Michigan, 7:30 pm ET (ESPNU HD)

Saturday, November 12

  • Buffalo at Eastern Michigan, 1:00 pm ET (mac-sports.com)
  • Kent State at Akron, 2:00 pm ET (SportsTime Ohio/ESPN Game Plan/ESPN3)  


Nick's Picks:


Northern Illinois (6-3, 4-1 MAC) at Bowling Green (4-5, 2-3 MAC)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 • 8:00 pm ET • Bowling Green, Ohio • Doyt L. Perry Stadium (24,000)

ESPN2; Series: Bowling Green leads 10-6

Nick’s Pick: NIU 45 – BGSU 35

Comment: Will this be an encore performance for the Huskies as they return to NW Ohio for the second consecutive Tuesday? When the Huskie offense gets humming like they did last week at Toledo they are unstoppable within the MAC.


Western Michigan (5-4, 3-2 MAC) at Toledo (5-4, 4-1 MAC)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 • 8:00 pm ET • Toledo, Ohio • Glass Bowl (26,248)

ESPNU; Series: Toledo leads 37-28

Nick’s Pick: Toledo 44 – Western 40

Comment: How will the Rockets respond to yet another let down in a big game. Going back to last season’s Little Caesars/Motor City Bowl and UT has lost four games in the past ten months in games they should have won and yet floundered in the final seconds of big games. Western is the league’s true Jeckle & Hyde team so who knows which Bronco team will get off the bus at the Glass Bowl.



Miami (4-5, 3-2 MAC) at Temple (5-4, 3-3 MAC)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 • 8:00 pm ET • Philadelphia, Pa. • Lincoln Financial Stadium (68,532); ESPN Series: Temple leads 4-2

Nick’s Pick: Miami 26 – Temple 22

Comment: The RedHawks are starting to look like the MAC champs they are…while Temple is doing their normal late season fade against the divisional teams with a bowl bid and MACC title game bids on the line.


Ohio (6-3, 3-2 MAC) at Central Michigan (3-7, 2-4 MAC)

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • 7:30 pm ET • Mount Pleasant, Mich. • Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255); ESPNU; Series: Central Michigan leads 21-4-2

Nick’s Pick: Ohio 28 – Central 20

Comment: The Bobcats often play to the level of their competition and historically struggle against the Chips. Look for a tight game again this week for OU and if there is an upset this week in the MAC this will be the game.

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Buffalo (2-7, 1-4 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (5-4, 3-2 MAC)

Saturday, November 12, 2011 • 1:00 pm ET • Ypsilanti, Mich. • Rynearson Stadium (30,200); Streamed Live via www.mac-sports.com ; Series: Eastern Michigan leads 4-0

Nick’s Pick: Eastern 27 – Buffalo 23

Comment: The Eagles dropped a heartbreaker last week against Ball State and can still taste being one step closer to bowl eligibility. Their last bowl game was in 1987; their last winning season was 1995. Buffalo has been a hard luck team all season.


Kent State (3-6, 2-3 MAC) at Akron (1-8, 0-5 MAC)

Saturday, November 12, 2011 • 2:00 pm ET • Akron, Ohio • InfoCision Stadium--Summa Field (27,881); SportsTime Ohio • ESPN Game Plan • ESPN3; Series: Akron leads 30-21-2

Nick’s Pick: Kent State 23 – Akron 17

Comment: KSU performed last week against Central Michigan in way most had thought would be playing all season. Akron’s offense is painful to watch. Ironically, both offenses rank 12 th and 13 th respectively in the MAC. The difference is defense where Kent State has a significant advantage. Historically in the last decade Akron has been able to win this local rivalry even when they are the underdog. This may be the Zips last chance at a victory for the remainder of 2011.




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