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November 30, 2023

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MAC Roundup: Week 5

Keira Ellenberger
Connor Bazelak about throw the ball

Week five is behind us, and it’s time to take a look at how the Mid-American Conference has shaken up after the first week of MACtion. But first, a look ahead.  

After arguably the biggest win of the Scot Loeffler era, a 38-27 upset over Georgia Tech down in the ATL, Bowling Green is back in MAC down I-75 against Miami (OH).  

 The RedHawks are 4-1 coming into this matchup, their only loss coming week one against the other Miami. Since that loss, they’ve outscored opponents 157-75. Last week in their conference opener, they held Kent State to just three points.   

Miami’s defense has allowed just over 22 points a game, which ranks 51st among FBS defenses. Their strength is stopping the run, but they don’t do it at an elite level. They rank 71st in the country in yards/game (139.6), but they don’t allow many yards per carry, at just 3.8 (57th).  

Their offense is their strength, averaging 32 points/game, even with their three-point performance against Miami (FL). Their offense is balanced, ranking just inside the top 90 in the country in passing yards per game (219.8) and just outside the top 50 in rush yards per game (171.6).  

Here’s how the conference standings shake out following last week’s contests: 


  1. Miami OH: 4-1, 1-0 MAC (W, 23-3 @ Kent State) 
  2. Ohio: 4-1, 1-0 MAC (Bye) 
  3. Buffalo: 1-4, 1-0 MAC (W, 13-10 @ Akron) 
  4. Bowling Green: 2-3, 0-1 MAC (W, 38-27 @ Georgia Tech) 
  5. Akron: 1-4, 0-1 MAC (L, 13-10 vs Buffalo) 
  6. Kent State: 1-4, 0-1 MAC (L, 23-3 vs Miami OH) 


  1. Toledo: 4-1, 2-0 MAC (W, 35-33 vs NIU) 
  2. Central Michigan: 3-2, 1-0 MAC (W, 26-23 vs. Eastern Michigan) 
  3. Western Michigan: 2-3, 1-1 MAC (W, 42-24 vs Ball State) 
  4. Eastern Michigan: 2-3, 0-1 MAC (L, 26-23 @ Eastern Michigan) 
  5. Ball State: 1-4, 0-1 MAC (L, 42-24 @ Western Michigan) 
  6. Northern Illinois: 1-4, 0-1 MAC (L, 35-33 @ Toledo) 


  1. Akron’s Irons uncertain for Saturday vs. NIU: Akron’s dual-threat quarterback DJ Irons’ status is uncertain for Saturday’s matchup with NIU after he sustained what Head Coach Joe Moorhead called “a lower-body injury.” “Still getting it evaluated by our medical staff, so we’ll get a better idea of where he stands probably a little bit later today or tomorrow, so hopefully he’ll be able to go. If not, Jeff [Undercuffler] started against Northern Illinois last year and had a nice game, so I’m pretty confident in our depth at that position,” Moorhead said on Monday. Irons is 7th in the conference in passing and leads the team in passing yards and total touchdowns (passing and rushing). Last year against Northern Illinois, Undercuffler completed 21 of 32 pass attempts for 312 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception and led the Zips to a 44-12 victory in DeKalb.
  2. Miami’s Larvadain questionable for Saturday vs. Bowling Green: Miami’s big-play threat may be sidelined for another week. Gage Larvadain, the MAC’s leading receiver through five games this season missed last week’s MAC opener against Kent State and could be in jeopardy to miss a second straight week. “Gage trying to get ready to play, couldn’t quite get ready, he was close, so that’ll be the same thing this week. He wanted to play last week, but he wasn’t ready,” Miami’s Chuck Martin said Monday. “Nice to see other receivers, Cade McDonald, first time he really got to see significant action, and showed some of the things he can do. Obviously, Joe Wilkins made some plays, other receivers stepped up. You’re down your top tight end, your top wideout, and you still get a lot of stuff done.” Larvadain has 438 receiving yards on just 18 receptions to go along with four touchdowns.
  3. Three MAC teams trying to protect undefeated home streaks: Miami, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan are all undefeated at home through five weeks, and they’re putting that record on the line again this week. Miami welcomes a Bowling Green team that just shocked Power Five Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium, blowing them out, leading 38-14 at one point. Miami is also hurting, missing their leading receiver in Southeastern Louisiana transfer Gage Larvadain, and their top tight end Jack Coldiron. After a bye week, Ohio welcomes Kent State down to Peden Stadium. Kent State has struggled this season but has hung around in games, staying within 10 against Miami before a 10-point third quarter, and being within one score of Fresno State in the first quarter of their week four matchup. Eastern Michigan has Ball State this week, both teams having lost their last two games. Ball State is 0-3 on the road so far this season, losing big to Kentucky, Georgia, and Western Michigan. 
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