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November 30, 2023

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Around the MAC: A recap of week two of MAC football

Around the MAC

In week two of MACtion, we have started to see the league’s front-runners and bottom-dwellers, as well as a few surprises in store.

Akron 10, Ohio 24

The Bobcats fell to 1-1 struggled to throw the football on a cold southeast Ohio night, with quarterback Kurtis Rourke completing 8 of 14 passes for just 92 yards, but De’Montre Tuggle picked up the slack, running for 13 yards on 22 carries and punching in two scores. Akron only trailed 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough for the Zips, who fell to 0-2 with the loss. Teon Dollard had a fantastic day rushing for Akron as he carried the ball 22 times for 162 yards while quarterback Zach Gibson threw for 218 yards and a score, but was picked off twice.

NEXT: Akron at KSU, Ohio at Miami

Kent State 62, Bowling Green 24

The Falcons fell to 0-2 on the season as they were routed for the second straight week, this time by the Golden Flashes, who threw for a combined 372 yards and five touchdowns. Isaiah McKoy and Ja’Shaun Poke both hauled in two touchdowns apiece for Kent State, who moved to 2-0 on the season with the win and are tied for first in the MAC East with Buffalo. Terion Stewart was a bright spot for the Falcons, running for 162 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns, albeit most of it in garbage time. Matt McDonald struggled mightily again, completing 6 of 20 passes for 105 yards.

NEXT: Kent State vs. Akron, Bowling Green vs. Buffalo

Miami 10, Buffalo 42

The Bulls cemented their status as the potential best team in the MAC on Tuesday. Without Brett Gabbert, the RedHawks turned to quarterback AJ Mayer, who completed just 7 of 25 passes as they fell to 1-1 on the season. The RedHawks struggled to move the ball against the swarming Bulls defense. Quarterback Kyle VanTrease starred for Buffalo, throwing for 353 yards and four touchdowns while Jaret Patterson scored two touchdowns on the ground. The Bulls are now 2-0 and sit atop the MAC East along with Kent State.

NEXT: Miami vs. Ohio, Buffalo at BGSU

Eastern Michigan 31, Ball State 38

Although projected to finish last in the MAC, Eastern Michigan has played tough in the past few weeks, dropping a nailbiter to the Cardinals. Ball State came from behind in the fourth quarter to win, thanks to Caleb Huntley, who had 34 carries, 204 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles fell to 0-2 with the loss and relied on Quarterback Preston Hutchinson. Hutchinson ran for three scores and added another through the air while racking up 354 total yards. The Cardinals move to 1-1 with the win.

NEXT: Eastern Michigan vs. Toledo, Ball State vs. Northern Illinois

Toledo 38, Western Michigan 41

In the best game of the week, the Broncos remained undefeated at 2-0 on the season. The Broncos trailed late in the fourth quarter before scoring with under a minute to go, and missing the extra point which put them down 38-34. Then the Broncos recovered an improbable onside kick with Thiago Kapps evading Rockets on the recovery before Kaleb Eleby led the Broncos down deep into Toledo territory, capping it off with a fake-spike touchdown toss to Jaylen Hall that left the Toledo defense bewildered. Eleby threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns on the day, with D’Wayne Eskridge hauling in seven balls for 131 yards and a score. Eli Peters threw for 339 yards for the Rockets as they fell to 1-1 with the loss. 

NEXT: Toledo at Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan at Central Michigan

Central Michigan 40, vs. Northern Illinois 10

The Chippewas kept the Huskies off the board until the fourth quarter with a strong defensive showing in their second game of the season. Lew Nichols, Kobe Lewis and Darius Bracy formed a three-headed monster in the backfield and ran for a combined 205 yards and two touchdowns for Central Michigan. Northern Illinois’s offense struggled all night, but a bright spot was Tyrice Ritchie who had seven catches for 70 yards. The Chippewas moved to 2-0 with the victory while the Huskies fell to 0-2. 

NEXT: Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan, Northern Illinois at Ball State

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