Another week in the Mid-American Conference has come and gone. As divisional play begins, the idea of who might top the standings for the next few weeks is beginning to take shape. Western Michigan defeated Toledo thanks to a fake spike, Central Michigan is off to its best start in 11 seasons and Bowling Green continues to struggle on the field.
Check which teams climbed in the rankings and which ones fell in this week’s Power Rankings.
For the third week in a row, the Bulls head the top of the list. Buffalo put the smackdown on Miami 42-10 behind 558 yards of total offense. Kyle Vantrease threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns and lit up the RedHawks secondary. Jaret Patterson rushed for two touchdowns and the defense rolled over the defending MAC champion.
Only two games in and it’s clear that the Bulls are one of the most complete teams in the conference. Snapping an 11-year losing streak to Northern Illinois was good. But beating the champs down was impressive. Buffalo plays Bowling Green next week, possibly giving the Bulls another chance to flex its offensive muscles.
The Chippewas are off to their best start to Mid-American Conference play since 2009. A 40-10 trouncing of Northern Illinois this week has only boosted their confidence. Behind Daniel Richardson’s 196 passing yards and two touchdowns, the Chippewas offense combined for 433 total offensive yards.
Northern Illinois didn’t have the power to keep up with Central Michigan’s offense. The Huskies barely managed 244 total yards and the combined efforts of quarterbacks Ross Bowers and Andrew Haidat couldn’t even match Richardson’s stats.
Two weeks into the season and Central Michigan’s hold on the lead in the MAC West is contested only by Western Michigan. It’s only fitting that the two will face each other at Mount Pleasant on Wednesday. If Richardson and the offense perform like they have in the past two games, the Chippewas’ odds against the Broncos will lean in their favor.
With an undefeated start to its season, Kent State sits right under Buffalo for the top spot in the MAC East division.
Kent State’s 62-24 win over Bowling Green in Week Two was one the most impressive offensive performance in the conference thus far. Quarterback Dustin Crum finished 18-27 with 271 passing yards and four touchdowns. His primary targets were receivers Ja’Shaun Poke and Isaiah Wooden with three touchdown receptions and 163 receiving yards between the two.
The Golden Flashes will have another chance to showcase their offensive power when they host the Akron Zips. The division rivals will face off for the famous Wagon Wheel trophy.
A wild finish against the Toledo Rockets saw Western Michigan move to 2-0 on the shortened season. The Broncos pulled off one of the best comebacks in recent memory of the MAC.
With less than three minutes to play, the Rockets had a two score lead over the Broncos. After a score and missed extra point, Western Michigan recovered an onside kick which would later set up a game-winning fake spike from Kaleb Eleby to Jaylen Hall.
The Broncos will be fighting for the top of the MAC West next week against rival Central Michigan.
After its loss to Miami in week one, Ball State had the chance to flip the script against Eastern Michigan. And they pulled it off with the same score as last week. After a 17-point fourth quarter, the Cardinals left week two with a 38-31 victory over the Eagles.
Ball State’s offense continues to be the highlight for the Cardinals, with quarterback Drew Pitt going 22-for-31 with 232 passing yards and a touchdown. The game-winning touchdown came from running back Caleb Huntley, who scored on a 1-yard run with six seconds left. Huntley rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 34 carries.
If the offense wasn’t as gifted as it is, Ball State’s struggles would be far more apparent. Its defense is still struggling to hold big drives, giving up 477 yards to the Eagles. The Eagles even gained more yards-per-play on average than the Cardinals.
If Ball State can’t find a solution to its defensive problems soon, Northern Illinois may put up more of a fight than expected.
The Bobcats got the win on Tuesday but it came by way of an underwhelming performance against Akron, a team that’s lost 19 straight games. The 24-10 victory was highlighted by a career-high night from De’Montre Tuggle and takeaways from the defense.
Still, concerns with the offense lie between the awkward transitions of quarterbacks Kurtis Rourke and Armani Rogers. Also the Bobcats need to improve in tackling... and kicking.
But the worst part is the news that broke Sunday. Ohio’s rivalry game with Miami was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test on Ohio’s side. The game was declared a no-contest.
The defending champs got how would you say? Smacked? Whooped? Beat down? Either way, Miami’s 42-10 loss against Buffalo showed that the RedHawks need to sharpen up if they want to go back-to-back.
Miami’s turn around will have to start with its quarterback. Is it AJ Mayer or Brett Gabbert? Both are talented but young. RedHawks coach Chuck Martin has another week to prepare after Tuesday’s matchup with the Bobcats was canceled.
A fake spike killed Toledo’s chance at a 2-0 start. A fake spike negated Eli Peters’ 339 passing yards and the rushing corps’ 162 yards. A fake spike led to a game-winning Western Michigan touchdown and Toledo’s 41-38 loss on Wednesday night.
Granted, Toledo was anticipating a spike. But that doesn’t excuse no one attempting to cover Jaylen Hall. A wide open Jaylen Hall who slipped into the endzone before the Rockets even realized what happened. One little mistake can cost a game, and Toledo learned that the hard way.
Though the Eagles put together their best effort to overcome a seven-point deficit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, they fell short against Ball State in week two.
Preston Hutchinson had an impressive outing going with 250 passing yards, but his single passing touchdown paled in comparison to his three rushing touchdowns. The Eagles let themselves get behind against the Cardinals, and unfortunately they didn’t have the talent nor time to beat them.
Another disappointing blowout loss leaves Northern Illinois winless and amidst the bottom of the MAC West.
The loss saw Central Michigan at 2-0 in the MAC for the first time since 2009, but displayed another poor performance by the Huskies. Offensively, the Huskies were no match, finishing with only 244 total yards of offense compared to CMU’s 433.
Northern Illinois will have its work cut out for it defensively as it faces a talented offense in Ball State on Wednesday night.
Coach Tom Arth was somber following Akron’s loss to Ohio. Who could blame him? He’s almost halfway through his second season and he’s yet to win a game. Luckily for him, the improvement is clear.
Akron gave Ohio a fight. Quarterback Zach Gibson and running back Teon Dollard had the Bobcats defense looking silly at times. Ohio would figure out Akron’s offense at the right times, however. Akron lost three turnovers, which was just enough damage to Akron’s momentum.
It’s clear that the Zips are getting better, but with trips to undefeated Kent State and Buffalo on the horizon, will the Zips be able to pick up a win in 2020?
It’s difficult to stomach a 0-2 start to a season. It’s worse when both of those losses are by 35 points or more. A 62-24 loss to Kent State is a clear indicator that Bowling Green’s season is going to feel much longer than it will be.
The Falcons only stayed competitive in the first quarter, after which Kent State scored 35 unanswered points in the second and third quarters. The only Falcon that managed a standout performance was running back Terion Stewart, who rushed for 162 yards on 14 carries. Stewart averaged 11.6 yards a carry, making his performance a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy week for the Falcons.
Bowling Green has a few good components going for it. The problem is that those few good parts won’t help it against its tough schedule. A visit from Buffalo next week won’t do the Falcons any favors, either.