After another Saturday packed full of MACtion, the conference stands with just one remaining undefeated team: Northern Illinois, which went 0-6 last season. The Huskies are out to a 3-0 start to MAC play and are joined by Western Michigan at the best overall record in the conference at 5-2.
Meanwhile, the MAC East has no teams above 3-4 right now as the division has seen several disappointing starts. Here is the latest update from around the conference.
Ball State (4-3)
The Ball State Cardinals escaped Ypsilanti, Mich. with a win against Eastern Michigan Saturday 28-21. The team got off to a 14-0 start and almost let the Eagles claw back in the second half, but Cardinals held EMU off to earn an above-.500 record. Running back Carson Steele was the star of the offense; rushing for a career high 138 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Justin Hall became the current FBS career reception leader, grabbing the pass No. 301 of his career during his 10-reception, 58-yard performance. Quarterback Drew Plitt completed 27 of 35 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown. Ball State moves to 4-3 on the season and will face off with Miami (OH) Saturday at home. That game will kick-off at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN+.
Kent State (3-4)
The Kent State Golden Flashes suffered a blowout loss at the hands of Western Michigan by a score of 64-31 Saturday. The Flashes went down early and never led at any point in the game, as the Broncos scored 28 points in the third quarter to bury Kent’s hopes. Quarterback Dustin Crum tried all that he could, completing 15 of 26 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. On the receiving end of many of those passes was Dante Cepheus, who notched 96 yards on five receptions. Xavier Williams led the run game with just 39 yards on four carries. The Golden Flashes will look to bounce back at in-state opponent Ohio Saturday after moving to 3-4 on the season. That matchup will air at 1:00 p.m. on ESPN+.
Toledo lost in overtime to Central Michigan 23-26 Saturday. After trailing by 17 points, Toledo stormed back in the second half. Scoring 10 points in the game’s final five minutes, the Rockets forced overtime. Central Michigan converted on its possession with a 38-yard field goal from Marshall Meeder. Thomas Cluckey missed a 51-yard field goal attempt to tie the game, resulting in victory for the Chippewas. Dual-threat quarterback Dequan Finn flashed his skills with an all-around performance. Finn passed for 208 yards and rushed for 43 with two rushing touchdowns. His second touchdown was an 18-yard rush that tied the game with 35 seconds left. Toledo next plays Western Michigan at home Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Miami (OH) (3-4)
Miami defeated Akron 34-21 Saturday. Quarterback AJ Mayer threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns. The RedHawks jumped out to an early lead with two of Mayer’s touchdowns coming in the first quarter. Miami controlled the ground game with 245 total rushing yards. Keyon Mozee was the leading rusher with 73 yards and a touchdown. Jack Sorenson had 113 receiving yards and a touchdown on five catches. After its lead was cut to 14-7 in the second quarter, Miami scored 20 unanswered points to extend the lead to 34-7 entering the fourth quarter. Akron scored two touchdowns but did not seriously threaten the RedHawks’ lead. Miami next plays on the road against Ball State Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Central Michigan (4-3)
A game winning 38-yard field goal by Marshall Meeder in overtime gave Central Michigan a 26-23 victory over Toledo Saturday. The game was a tale of two halves with CMU dominating the first half, outscoring the Rockets 17-3 before Toledo turned it around in the second half with a 20-6 gap on the scoreboard in the third and fourth quarter to force overtime. Quarterback Daniel Richardson had a good game for CMU, throwing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Kalil Pimpleton had another 100-yard receiving day, finishing with 103 yards on six catches. Running back Lew Nichols III continued his dominant performance on the ground this season rushing for 134 yards. Nichols is first in the Mid-American Conference with 725 yards rushing this season. Central Michigan will look to win its third game in a row Saturday, welcoming the Huskies of Northern Illinois to Mount Pleasant, Mich. The game is scheduled for noon.
Bowling Green (2-5)
Bowling Green is still looking for its first conference win of the season after being defeated by MAC West-leading Northern Illinois 34-26 Saturday. The Bowling Green defense couldn’t stop the run the entire game, giving up a total of 319 yards on the ground. BGSU quarterback Matt McDonald didn’t have the best game for the Falcons throwing for 235 yards and a touchdown. McDonald only finished with a completion percentage of 39%. McDonald was also the teams leading rusher with 75 yards on the ground. Bowling Green will look to prevent a fourth straight loss and get its first conference victory hosting Eastern Michigan Saturday. The game starts at 3:30 p.m.
Eastern Michigan (4-3)
The Eagles lost a close contest to the Ball State Cardinals 38-31 Saturday at home. This was a solid performance by the offense as everyone contributed to the success, unfortunately the defense wasn’t able to hold off the Cardinals who had an even better offensive outing. Quarterback Ben Bryant threw for 331 yards and one touchdown. Receiver Dylan Drummond had 105 receiving yards and one touchdown off of seven catches. Despite the great performance from the pair, the Eagles still came up short. EMU will be on the road Saturday traveling to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons at noon.
The Buffalo Bulls won a tight 27-26 contest at home Saturday against the Ohio Bobcats. Kyle Vantrease threw for 261 yards in the air with two touchdowns and one interception. Receivers Tyler Stephens and Trevor Borland caught the two touchdowns from Vantrease. Running back Dylan McDuffie rushed for 143 yards on 23 carries while crossing the goal line once. Buffalo will look to build off of the win and take another one traveling to Akron to take on the Zips Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
34-21 was the final score from Akron’s loss to Miami (OH) Saturday, but the final score really didn’t tell the story as the Zips trailed 34-7 heading into the fourth quarter. It was a miserable day for the Akron defense, which allowed 229 passing yards and 245 rushing yards to the RedHawks. The Zips fought back with a potent passing attack as Zach Gibson completed 25 of his 39 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns, but nothing was working on the ground as Akron managed just 65 rushing yards as a team. Konata Mumpfield had a big day at receiver, catching 10 passes for 109 yards. Akron looks to get back in the win column at home against Buffalo Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Western Michigan (5-2)
The Bronco offense finally showed what it was capable of in a 64-31 rout of Kent State Saturday. WMU went for 307 yards through the air and 341 on the ground, an incredible showing of a balanced offense. Kaleb Eleby had all 307 passing yards on just 22 attempts, throwing for three touchdowns and adding a 25-yard rushing touchdown for good measure. Sean Tyler ran the ball 17 times for 169 yards including a 64-yard touchdown. Jaylen Hall and Skyy Moore both topped 140 receiving yards in the game with Hall scoring once and Moore twice. The defense made five sacks, had 12 total tackles for loss and forced a turnover to have some success even while allowing 31 points. The Broncos travel to Toledo for its next contest Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Northern Illinois (5-2)
The Huskies continued an improbable campaign with a 34-26 win over Bowling Green Saturday to move to 3-0 in conference play. Northern Illinois ran all over the Falcons for 319 yards as a team including 210 yards on 33 carries from Jay Ducker. A 100-yard kick return touchdown by Trayvon Rudolph, who also had a receiving touchdown, supplied additional points for a Husky offense that was struggling to throw the football. Rocky Lombardi completed just four of his eight passes for 38 yards and a score. NIU travels to Central Michigan Saturday to take on a talented Chippewa team coming off of a big win. Kickoff is set for noon.
Ohio came painfully close to knocking off Buffalo Saturday in a battle of first year head coaches, losing 27-26 on a last-second field goal by the Bulls. Armani Rogers had the first-ever 99-yard run by a quarterback in FBS history, finishing the game with 75 passing yards, 183 rushing yards and two scores on the ground including the record-breaker. The Bobcats had a 21-0 lead after the first quarter, and a 26-10 lead heading into the fourth before Buffalo mounted its comeback. The Bulls’ push was assisted by a costly fumble by Rogers. A Buffalo drive starting at its own five-yard line with over six minutes to play would be the backbreaker as the Bulls methodically marched down the field and hit the winning field goal with no time remaining. Ohio heads back home for a date with Kent State Saturday at 1 p.m.