The MAC football season started this weekend with all 12 teams playing out of conference matches. The results showed that many teams were treated by Power 5 opponents, other FCS schools beat up, and Northern Illinois came as a big surprise.
Buffalo started the season with a statement victory at home on Saturday when the Bulls defeated Wagner 69-7. Bulls quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw 231 yards with a touchdown while completing 15 of his 19 attempts. Running back Ron Cook Jr. had 14 touches and ran for 96 yards while crossing the goal line once. Buffalo travels to Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to take on the Cornhuskers
East Michigan (1-0)
The EMU got off to a hot start and defeated Saint Francis (PA) on Saturday at home in Ypsilanti with 35-15 points. Quarterback Ben Bryant completed eight of his 10 passes while throwing 126 yards. Running back Darius Boone Jr stormed the ball 22 times and won 107 yards while scoring a touchdown. The Eagles will have a big job traveling to Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday at 7 p.m.
West Michigan (0-1)
Western Michigan went to Ann Arbor with high hopes but was knocked down by Michigan (47). The Broncos’ explosive offensive looked fine and matched Michigan’s first drive touchdown with one of its own, but only won 317 yards against the Wolverine defense. A bright spot was Kaleb Eleby in his sophomore year, who finished the game with a passing game of 106.6 and continued to be considered one of the most consistent passers in the country. The Broncos will try to recover next week at home against the state of Illinois. Kick-off is on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.
Northern Illinois (1-0)
Northern Illinois came up with a big upset against Georgia Tech, winning 22-21. The standout feature of the game was freshman running back Harrison Waylee, who reached 144 yards with 27 carries and had a touchdown. But his performance wasn’t paramount to the outcome of that game when Michigan State transfer quarterback Rocky Lombardi threw a touchdown pass to get the Huskies on point at the Hornets with 38 seconds to go. Head coach Thomas Hammock then opted for the win by aiming for the two-point conversion, with Lombardi providing Tyrice Richie with a hit to win. The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday at home against Wyoming. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN +.
Central Michigan (0-1)
Central Michigan was defeated 34-24 in the Missouri season opener. It was a very back and forth game where CMU was in the game until the end but couldn’t stop the Tigers. Freshman running back Lew Nichols III had a great game with 135 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. Senior receiver JaCorey Sullivan also had an exciting opener with 102 yards and two touchdowns received in defeat. Central Michigan is looking to recover from its Mount Pleasant defeat at 3 p.m. on Saturday at home against Robert Morris.
Bowling Green (0-1)
Bowling Green was pretty easily defeated by Tennessee, 38-6, in the first game of the season for the Falcons. The overall length tells the story for Bowling Green, as Tennessee had a total of 471 yards compared to just 219 for BGSU. Senior quarterback Matt McDonald finished 25-38 with 187 yards and no touchdowns in defeat. The only bright spot of Bowling Green’s defensive performance was a forced fumble from junior linebacker Darren Anders and the fumble recovery from second linebacker JB Brown. Bowling Green will try to claim its first win of the season at 4pm on Saturday at home against South Alabama.
Ball status (1-0)
The Ball State Cardinals defeated Western Illinois 31-21 in their 2021 season opener Thursday. The Cardinals took the win due to their excellent passing attack, with Drew Plitt throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns after 17-28 passing. On the receiving end of several of these throws was Justin Hall, who had eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Ball State will play their next game against Penn State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The game will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. on FS1.
State of Kent (0-1)
The Kent State Golden Flashes suffered a one-sided loss to Texas A&M this week, losing 41-10. The Flashes would go down early in the contest and would continue to be dominated the rest of the way. QB Dustin Crum struggled as he only made 12 passes for 89 yards and two interceptions. Xavier Williams put in a decent performance at RB, running eight times for 73 yards. Keshaunn Abram led the WR with three receptions for 23 yards and Elvis Hines had the best defensive performance that day with two interceptions. Kent State will play VMI at home on Saturday in hopes of claiming their first win of the season. The game will air at 11:30 am on ESPN3.
Toledo defeated Norfolk State 49-10 Saturday. Quarterback couple Carter Bradley and DeQuan Finn drove the Rockets to victory. Bradley went into the air for 183 yards and a touchdown on 8/11. Finn averaged 9.1 yards per carry for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also went 4/5 in the air for 38 yards. Toledo will next play in Notre Dame on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Miami (OH) (0-1)
Miami was defeated by Cincinnati 49-14 on Saturday. Quarterback AJ Mayer struggled and only completed 9 of 28 passes for 109 yards. Defensive back Sterling Weatherford made some big defensive games for the RedHawks, recording 7 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and one interception. Miami will play next on Saturday at 12 noon in Minnesota.
The Zips suffered a 60-10 season opening loss to Auburn on Saturday. Kato Nelson was 9-14 and only passed 62 yards when Akron approached DJ Irons as quarterback, and he went the rest of the way with 129 yards and a 13-13 touchdown. The Zips also produced -3 rushing yards in the game as the Tiger Defense left no room to run. Akron will attempt to recover from hosting the temple at 3:30 pm on Saturday
The Bobcats hosted Syracuse in their first game under head coach Tim Albin and lost 29-9. Kurtis Rourke had 21-28 passes but only had 142 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. De’Montre Tuggle had 16 carries for 65 yards to lead the ground game for Ohio, while kicker Stephen Johnson delivered all the points and scored three of four field goals. Ohio stays home to face Duquesne in hopes of claiming their first win of the year at 2pm on Saturday