Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
AKRON: The Zips (1-10, 0-7) took their eight-game losing slide into the a bye week. Terry Bowden will try to double his team's win total and pull off a huge upset when it faces Toledo on Tuesday in its final game of 2012.
BALL STATE: The Cardinals (8-3, 5-2) continued to impress as they downed Ohio University, 52-27, in Muncie for their fifth win in a row. Ball State gained a season-high of 357 rushing yards. Jahwan Edwards paced the attack once again with 169 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Edwards extended his streak of games with at least 100 rushing yards to five in the process. Horactio Banks got into the mix by rushing 14 times for 135 yards and a score. Keith Wenning was efficient under center before leaving in the second quarter, completing 16- of-20 attempts for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Zane Fakes had a big time performance with seven receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Kelly Page filled in for Wenning after he was sidelined to produce three total touchdowns in his final home game. BSU will end its regular season on Friday when it heads to Oxford to take on Miami-Ohio.
BOWLING GREEN: The Falcons (7-4, 5-2) suffered a crucial 31-24 loss to the No. 23 Kent State Golden Flashes in a battle for the East Division crown at Doyt L. Perry Stadium on Saturday. Bowling Green surrendered 31 points after holding its previous six opponents to 14 or less. Matt Schilz threw for 355 yards and three scores on 22-of-44 passing but was picked off three times. Chris Gallon caught 10 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns, while Shaun Joplin caught five balls for 74 yards and a touchdown in the loss, which ended a six-game winning streak and cost the Falcons a chance to play in the MAC Championship game. Bowling Green will stay at home for a regular-season finale versus Buffalo.
BUFFALO: The Bulls' (3-7, 2-4) tough play led to their third straight win as they defeated Massachusetts, 29-19, for their third league win of the season. Buffalo overcame a 13-0 halftime deficit to pull off a second half comeback for the third consecutive week. Joe Licata had another strong showing under center by completing 18-of-30 attempts for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Murie was the featured back in the rushing attack with 90 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Alex Neutz reeled in a game-high nine receptions for 76 yards while Fred Lee made an impact with three grabs for 93 yards. Khalil Mack anchored the Bulls' defensive unit with 15 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Bulls close out their 2012 season with a road game at Bowling Green on Friday.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Zurlon Tipton helped the Chippewas (5-6, 3-4) keep their hopes of becoming bowl eligible alive by rushing 24 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns to propel Central Michigan to a crucial 30-16 victory over the Miami-Ohio RedHawks at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Ryan Radcliff completed 13-of-23 attempts for 202 yards with a touchdown and interception under center. Jahleel Addae stood out on the defensive side of the ball with 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception. The victory kept CMU in the hunt for bowl eligibility, which it can gain with a win over Massachusetts next week in its season finale.
EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles (2-9, 1-6) finally notched their first MAC win of the year as they took down Western Michigan by a score of 29-23 at Waldo Stadium. Tyler Benz finished with 137 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-21 passing without an interception to help EMU end its three-game losing slide. Bronson Hill rushed 17 times for 77 yards on the ground and also caught three passes for 59 receiving yards. Former starting quarterback Alex Gillett contributed in numerous ways as he carried the ball nine times for 60 rushing yards, made five receptions for 45 yards with a touchdown, and completed a 37- yard pass on his only throw. Bryan Pali and Alex Bellfy both made 10 tackles to tie for the team-lead. Bellfy also recovered a fumble. The Eagles will try to pull off a big upset on Friday when they invade Huskie Stadium to play Northern Illinois.
KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes (10-1, 7-0) punched their ticket to the MAC Championship game with a 31-24 win over Bowling Green on the road on Saturday. The victory granted Kent State a date with Northern Illinois in the league title game on Nov. 30. Dri Archer continued to amaze in the running game by breaking off a pair of 70-plus yard gains. He finished with a career-high 241 yards and two scores on 17 carries. Spencer Keith threw for 91 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 9-of-17 passing and also rushed for the go- ahead score in the fourth quarter. KSU gained 425 yards of total offense against the Falcons' defensive unit that entered the contest ranked sixth in the FBS in total defense. The Golden Flashes will end their regular season on Friday at home versus Ohio University before taking aim at their first MAC Championship since 1972.
MASSACHUSETTS: A week after snapping a 12-game losing streak, the Minutemen (1-10, 1-6) watched a 13-point halftime lead slip through their fingers as they were bested, 29-19, by Buffalo at Gillette Stadium. UMass did not do a good job protecting Mike Wegzyn, who took a beating in the pocket as he was sacked eight times. Wegzyn completed 50 percent of his passes for 215 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted twice. Alan Williams pulled in seven receptions for 62 yards while Deion Walker caught five passes for a team-best 83 yards. Perry McIntyre recorded a team-high 13 tackles and a sack. UMass will finish off its inaugural season as an FBS program on Friday when it hosts the Central Michigan Chippewas at Gillette Stadium.
MIAMI: The RedHawks (4-7, 3-4) were unable to overcome a 14-0 second quarter run by their opponent and suffered a 30-16 setback to Central Michigan at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The loss made it mathematically impossible for Miami to become bowl eligible this season. Although it was defeated, Miami gained 434 yards of total offense and limited CMU to 386 yards. Zac Dysert paced Miami by going 26-of-43 for 343 yards with a touchdown and interception. Dysert frequently targeted Nick Harwell, who finished the contest with season- highs of 11 receptions and 122 yards. Harwell also reeled in a touchdown catch as he eclipsed the 200-receiving yard mark for the third time in his career. Brison Burris anchored the defense with 14 total stops. The RedHawks will try to send off Dysert, who is the school's all-time leading passer, on top when they host Ball State on Friday.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Huskies (10-1, 7-0) clinched the West Division for the third consecutive season to reserve a spot in the MAC Championship game yet again with 31-24 victory over Toledo on Wednesday in DeKalb. In the process, Northern Illinois extended its FBS leading home and conference winning streaks to 21 and 15 games, respectively. NIU also broke into the top 25 for the first time since 2010. The crucial victory was powered by Jordan Lynch, who set a new program record for total yards of offense with 569. The junior quarterback showed off his unparalleled duel threat ability by passing for 407 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-36 efficiency, while also picking up 162 yards on the ground. Lynch led the team to touchdowns on 99-yard and 97-yard drives in the third quarter to spark a 24-0 run which put the game out of reach. Martel Moore was unstoppable with seven catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmie Ward paced the Huskies' defensive unit with 11 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. NIU will conclude its regular season and look for its 11th win in a row on Friday with a road game at Eastern Michigan.
OHIO UNIVERSITY: The Bobcats (8-3, 4-3) continued to struggle and suffered their third setback in four games due to a 52-27 loss to Ball State at home on Wednesday. Ohio's defense game up a season-worst 588 yards of total offense in the setback. Tyler Tettleton guided the offense by going 22-of-30 for 236 yards. Beau Blankenship surpassed the century mark for the seventh time this season by turning 21 carries into 161 yards and three scores. Josh Kristoff and Alphonso Lewis recorded 10 tackles each as the Bobcats lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. Ohio, which began the season with seven wins in a row, will end its season on Friday with an 11 a.m. kickoff at No. 23 Kent State.
TOLEDO: The Rockets (8-3, 5-2) held a 14-7 lead at the intermission, but they had no answer for NIU's Jordan Lynch in the second half and lost 31-24 to the Huskies in DeKalb. The setback spoiled Toledo's chances of winning the MAC Championship this season and gave it back-to-back losses for the first time in 2012. Terrance Owens connected on 22-of-32 attempts for 265 yards, but he tied his career-high of three interceptions which turned out to be costly. The Rockets' quarterback added 51 yards and a score on the ground. Bernard Reedy reeled in a game-high 10 receptions for 131 yards, while David Fluellen racked up 79 yards and a score on 22 attempts. Dan Molls, who leads the FBS in tackles, recorded 16 total stops and intercepted a pass for the third time this season.
WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos (4-8, 2-6) were defeated 29-23 by Eastern Michigan as they closed out their 2012 season on a two-game losing streak. In his final game playing for WMU, senior quarterback Alex Carder completed 29- of-50 attempts for 328 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Justin Collins made a game-high nine receptions for 101 yards and a score while Jaime Wilson reeled in seven passes for 74 yards. Dareyon Chance tallied 69 yards on just 10 carries to pace the rushing attack. Devon Brant anchored the defensive unit with 15 total stops. Despite trailing on the scoreboard when time expired, WMU outgained the Eagles in total yards of offense, 443-369.