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Nick’s Picks for Week #2 - MAC Football
MAC Football Notes:
This Week’s MAC Schedule - Saturday, September 8
Ball State at Clemson
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 12:30 pm ET • Clemson, S.C. • Memorial Stadium (80,301); ACC Network • ESPN3; Series: Clemson leads 2-0
Notes: The Cardinals beat Eastern Michigan 37-26 win Aug. 30...Ball State opened the game with an 80-yard scoring drive...Cardinals set a school record with 36 first downs and ran 96 total plays, third best in school history...Team rushed for 329 yards in the win...RB Jahwan Edwards tied career-high with 3 TDs and career-best 200 yard effort. Clemson had 320 yards rushing and 208 yards passing...Clemson is now 58-0-1 all-time when it has at least 200 rushing and 200 passing in the same game...RB Andre Ellington’s 231 yards rushing rank as the fifth most in a single game in Clemson history and the most since C.J. Spiller in 2009 vs. Georgia Tech.
Nick’s Pick: Clemson 33 – Ball State 17
Comment: The Cards should hang tough with the Tigers but in the end Clemson’s superior speed will win out.
Illinois State at Eastern Michigan
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 1:00 pm ET • Ypsilanti, Mich. • Rynearson Stadium (30,200) Comcast Sports Net Chicago • Stream live on mac-sports.com; Series: Tied 12-12-6
Notes: Illinois State beat Dayton 56-14 in the opener and rose to No. 18 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 Poll and to No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Poll...The 42-point margin of victory was the highest in a season-opener since the Redbirds defeated West Virginia Tech 59-10 to begin the 2000 campaign...RB Cameron Hunt set personal bests totaling 120 yards on 14 carries. Eagles lost 37-26 at Ball State on Aug. 30...QB Alex Gillett accounted for nearly 70% of the offense with 81 yards rushing and 186 yards passing and 3 TDs...LB Bryan Pali had a career-best 17 tackle effort...Gillett ranks tied for fourth in EMU history with 33 career passing TDs...Gillett now has 28 career starts at QB, which is tied with Charlie Batch for third-best in school history.
Nick’s Pick: Eastern 28 – Illinois State 24
Comment: These are the kind of games the Hurons/Eagles would lose prior to Ron English arriving. The game will be close but Eastern will prevail.
Southern Illinois at Miami
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 1:00 pm ET • Oxford, Ohio • Yager Stadium (24,286) ESPN3; Series: First Meeting
Notes: SIU lost the opener 49-28 at Eastern Illinois...Southern Illinois surrendered a school record seven touchdown passes in a 49-28 loss to Eastern Illinois...The Salukis’ six turnovers were the most committed since 2003. Miami returns 17 starters and 49 letter winners from last year’s team that finished 4-8...QB Zac Dysert ranks among all-time career best MAC QBs, including: 12th in career completions (795); 13th in career attempts (1,245); 13 th in passing yards (8,833); and tied for 22nd with 49 TD passes (49).
Nick’s Pick: Miami 56 – Southern Illinois 17
Comment: This is the kind of feel-good game the RedHawks need after getting blasted by Ohio State and having Boise State coming on the docket.
Indiana at UMass
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 3:30 pm ET • Foxboro, MA • Gillette Stadium (68,756) ESPN3; Series: First Meeting
Notes: Indiana opened the season with a 24-17 victory over Indiana State...Hoosiers had five sacks and seven tfl in the win...Indiana converted 10-of-20 and held the Sycamores to 3-of-12 on third down...QB Tre Roberson completed 11 passes to seven receivers for 87 yards on third down, converting eight for first downs. UMass suffered a 37-0 loss to UConn on Aug. 30...UMass was shutout for the first time since Sept. 30, 1995, at Rhode Island - a span of 199 games...Mike Wegzyn made his first career start at QB and was 9-for-22 for 56 yards...Senior LB Perry McIntyre led all players with 12 tackles, including six solos.
Nick’s Pick: Indiana 28 – UMass 10
Comment: IU struggled against Indiana State which means most MAC teams would beat the Hoosiers this year. UMass is quite to the level of “most MAC teams” yet.
Michigan State at Central Michigan
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 3:30 pm ET • Mt. Pleasant, Mich. • Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255); ESPNU; Series: Michigan State leads 5-3
Notes: The Spartans opened with a 17-13 win over Boise State on Aug. 31...Michigan State held Boise State to 37 rushing yards and 206 yards of total offense...Spartans have won 23 of their last 28 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season...RB Le’Veon Bell set career highs for attempts (44), rushing yards (210), receptions (6), receiving yards (55) and all-purpose yards (265). Central Michigan opened with a 38-27 win over SE Missouri State....Team rushed for 324 yards and RB Zurlon Tipton had a career-high 180 yards and 3 TDs...Chips committed zero penalties in the win...WR Cody Wilson extended his consecutive reception streak to 30 games.
Nick’s Pick: Michigan State 44 – Central 7
Comment: MSU looked very good against Boise State and now take a short travel north to Mount Pleasant; the Spartans have superior talent and physicality.
Toledo at Wyoming
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 4:00 pm ET • Laramie, WY. • War Memorial (33,500)
Series: Wyoming leads 1-0
Notes: Toledo suffered a 24-17 OT loss at Arizona...Rockets converted 10-of-15 third-down opportunities in the first half but was 0-for-8 on third downs the remainder of the contest....Freshman WR Alonzo Russell’s 59-yard touchdown reception was the first of his collegiate career and finished with three catches for 71 yards. Wyoming opened with a 37-17 loss to Texas...Junior WR Robert Herron had an 82-yard catch and run for a TD, a career-long reception....Herron had 173 yards receiving, setting a new career mark, and it also was his second career 100-yard receiving day...QB Brett Smith’s 276 passing yards marked the fifth time in his career he has eclipsed the 250-yard mark in a game.
Nick’s Pick: Wyoming 28 – Toledo 27
Comment: Likely another heartbreak hotel game for the Rockets in an evenly matched-up contest; expect this game to go down to the wire.
Morgan State at Buffalo
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 6:00 pm ET • Buffalo, N.Y. • UB Stadium (29,013)
Time Warner Cable Sports Net • Stream live on mac-sports.com; Series: Tied 1-1
Notes: Morgan state opened with a 30-27 win in OT over Sacred Heart...Junior DB Joe Rankin recorded six tackles, had three breakups and returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter...Junior DB Kenneth Ridley posted eight tackles and had an interception in the first overtime. Buffalo opened with a 45-23 loss at No. 6 Georgia...Bulls posted a 94-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter and was Buffalo’s longest since driving 98 yards for a score against Akron last season....RB Branden Oliver’s 111 yards rushing was his ninth career 100-yard rushing game.
Nick’s Pick: Buffalo 45 – Morgan State 16
Comment: UB needs a game like this; Morgan State is playing the first of two straight MAC contests.
Akron at Florida International
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 6:00 pm ET • Miami, Fla. • FIU Stadium (20,000); Series: FIU leads 1-0
Notes: The Zips suffered a 56-14 loss to Central Florida...QB Dalton Williams made his first career start and was 30-50 passing for 245 yards and 2 TDs...His 30 completions were fifth best in program history and 50 attempts were fourth most...NG
Cody Grice led the team in tackles with 8 in the opener, as Grice made his first career start after switching from fullback during spring practice. FIU lost a 46-26 decision at Duke...RB Kedrick Rhodes set a career-high in receiving yards with 115 yards...Rhodes became the first Panther to eclipse the 100-yard rushing and receiving mark in a single game...QB Jake Medlock threw for a career-high 348 yards with a 139.6 QB rating.
Nick’s Pick: FIU 41 – Akron 21
Comment: It’s a sad state for the Akron program when FIU has far superior talent & speed; Terry Bowden will change that; just not this year.
Idaho at Bowling Green
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 7:00 pm ET • Bowling Green, Ohio • Doyt L. Perry Stadium (24,000); ESPN3 • BCSN • Stream live on mac-sports.com; Series: Tied 1-1
Notes: Idaho lost 20-3 to Eastern Washington in the opener...Junior college transfer WR Najee Lovett had 8 receptions for 105 yards against Eastern Washington, the most catches by an Idaho receiver since Mike Scott pulled in eight at Texas A&M slightly more than one year ago. Bowling Green suffered a 27-14 loss at Florida...Falcons opened the scoring in both halves with rushing touchdowns...First scoring drive was a 12-play, 89-yard scoring drive...Florida held the advantage in total yards 365-327...QB Matt Schilz threw for 204 yards and his 24 completions were delivered to six different receivers.
Nick’s Pick: BGSU 37 – Idaho 17
Comment: The Falcons were very impressive in their loss at Florida and should win by a very comfortable margin this weekend.
Eastern Illinois at Western Michigan
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 7:00 pm ET • Kalamazoo, Mich. • Waldo Stadium (30,200); ESPN3; Series: Eastern Illinois leads 1-0
Notes: Eastern Illinois opened with a 49-28 win over Southern Illinois...QB Jim Garoppolo’s 5 TD passes tie him for third most in a single game in EIU history...WR Erik Lora’s 13 receptions are the most by an EIU receiver since the wide out caught ten in 2010 at UT Martin. The Broncos suffered a 24-7 loss at Illinois in the opener...Rover Johnnie Simon matched a career-high 18 tackles, his eight career double digit tackle performance...WMU’s defense held Illinois to 248 total yards...True freshman Jaime Wilson led the team with 8 receptions and one touchdown in his first collegiate performance.
Nick’s Pick: Western 30 – Eastern Illinois 26
Comment: EIU has given MAC teams fits through the year and usually play any conference foe tough going back to the days of Tony Romo at QB. Expect a close game.
New Mexico State at Ohio
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 7:00 pm ET • Athens, Ohio • Peden Stadium (24,000) ESPN3; Series: Ohio leads 1-0
Notes: NMSU opened with a 49-19 win over Sacramento State...Sophomore QB Andrew Manley and sophomore WR Austin Franklin led the Aggie offense with career-high performances....Manley finished with a career-high 367 passing yards and three touchdowns on a 14-of-22 showing through the air, while Franklin recorded a career-high 236 receiving yards and a pair of TDs. Ohio defeated Penn State 24-14 in opener, the first-ever win over Nittany Lions...Ohio outgained Penn State 499-352...QB Tyler Tettleton threw for a game-high 324 yards, the third 300-yard game of his career...Tettleton completed a pass to ten different receivers...Junior RB Beau Blankenship finished with a career-best 109 yards rushing.
Nick’s Pick: Ohio 30 – NMSU 20
Comment: The Bobcats cannot fall asleep against and inferior opponent after such a big win.
Tennessee-Martin at Northern Illinois
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 7:00 pm ET • DeKalb, Ill. • Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium (24,000); ESPN3; Series: First Meeting
Notes: UTM earned a 20-17 win over Memphis in the opener...K Cody Sandlin nailed a 43-yard field goal with four seconds left for the victory...Marked the first victory for the program over an FBS opponent. The Huskies suffered a 18-17 loss to Iowa...The Northern Illinois defense held Iowa to 268 yards and six sacks...QB Jordan Lynch made his debut as Huskie starting QB and rushed for 119 yards and threw for 54 yards, including a 73-yard TD run...Lynch collected 173 total yards of offense...Loss snaps a nine-game consecutive win streak, which was the longest current streak in FBS.
Nick’s Pick: NIU 31 – UTM 19
Comment: UTM is riding high after their first win over a FBS in school history while NIU is still stinging from their 1-point loss to a Big Ten team they should have beaten.
Kent State at Kentucky
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 7:30 pm ET • Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (67,606); ESPN3 • Comcast Sports South; Series: Kentucky leads 6-0
Notes: The Golden Flashes beat Towson 41-21 on Aug. 30...Kent State recorded six turnovers in a game for the first time since 2008...Golden Flashes scored 27 points in the opening half for the first time since 2010...Dri Archer’s 98 yard kickoff return for a TD tied for second longest in program history...K Freddy Cortez made 2-of-3 field goals and has made 36 of his last 48 attempts. Kentucky suffered a 32-14 loss to Louisville in the opener... Kentucky was 7-of-13 on third downs, the team’s best performance since its 9-of-15 vs. Georgia on Oct. 23, 2010... Kentucky’s 24 first downs were the most since 26 at Tennessee on Nov. 27, 2010...Wildcat offense totaled 373 yards, its best since totaling 398 yards last season vs. Ole Miss on Nov. 5, 2011.
Nick’s Pick: Kentucky 23 – Kent State 21
Comment: If he Golden Flashes are ever going to beat a “name” team this is the time, place and moment to do it. UK is ripe for the picking, we’ll see if KSU can finally close the deal against a BCS school.
Last Week Nick’s Picks Went 11-1
Nick’s Pick: UCF 31 – Akron 13
Actual Score: UCF 56 – Akron 14
Nick’s Pick: Ball State 27 – Eastern 24 (double OT)
Actual Score: Ball State 37 – Eastern Michigan 26
Nick’s Pick: Central 48 – S.E.M.S. 16
Actual Score: Central 38 - S.E.M.S. 27
Nick’s Pick: Kent State 19 – Towson 13
Actual Score: Kent State 41 – Towson 21
Nick’s Pick: UConn 37 – UMass 16
Actual Score: UConn 37 – UMass 0
Nick’s Pick: Georgia 49 – Buffalo 10
Actual Score: Georgia 45 – Buffalo 23
Nick’s Pick: Ohio State 38 – Miami 14
Actual Score: Ohio State 56 – Miami 10
Nick’s Pick: Ohio 14 – Penn State 10
Actual Score: Ohio 24 – Penn State 14
Nick’s Pick: Western 27 – Illinois 23
Actual Score Illinois 24 – Western 7
Nick’s Pick: Florida 30 – BGSU 12
Actual Score: Florida 27 – BGSU 14