In addition, Akron's attendance of 26,814 for
its game with rival Kent State attracted 26,814, the Rubber Bowls' largest crowd
UPSET SPECIAL: Northern Illinois' 20-13 win
over #15/#14 (AP/ESPN Coaches) Maryland was the sixth win by a MAC team over a
top 25 foe since 1990. Central Michigan topped No. 18 Michigan State in 1991,
20-3. Miami has three such wins - 30-28 in 1995 over No. 25 Northwestern, 24-17
in 1997 over No. 12 Virginia Tech, and 13-10 over No. 12 North Carolina in 1998.
Marshall topped No. 25 BYU 21-3 in the 1999 Motor City Bowl.
SPIDERMAN: Marshall WR Darius Watts, nicknamed
Spiderman, grabbed seven passes for 122 yards and a touchdown Saturday vs.
Hofstra to inch closer to two more MAC records. Watts has 205 receptions, fourth
best in league history and 30 shy of the MAC record 235 by Western Michigan's
Steve Neal (1997-00). Watts' 3,185 receiving yards is chasing the mark of 3,599
set by Neal. Watts extended his career TD reception mark to 37.
CHALLENGING THE BEST: MAC schools will take on
five top ranked teams this weekend. Kent State is at #10/#12 Pittsburgh,
Marshall at #12/#14 Tennessee, Bowling Green at #16/#20 Purdue, Akron at #17/#18
Wisconsin and Buffalo at nr/#23 Iowa. The above rankings reflect those of the
Associated Press/ESPN-USA TODAY Coaches polls.
PRUETT AT 66: Marshall's Bob Pruett recorded
his 66th win as a MAC head coach Saturday vs. Hofstra. The win ties Pruett with
Trevor Reese of Kent State (1951-63) for fifth place all-time for wins as a MAC
coach. Next on the list at No. 4 is Toledo's Gary Pinkel at 73 wins from
MAC West Division Quick Notes: Ball
State's first-ever night game at home was a success
with a record setting crowd (23,594). Saturday's home game with Missouri will
mark the first time since 1985 the Cardinals have opened the season with
consecutive home games. LB Lorenzo Scott will be starting his 33rd consecutive
game ... Bowling Green, which set a MAC record with its 40.8 ppg last
year, picked up where it left off by scoring 63 points vs. Eastern Kentucky. BG
piled up 644 yards of total offense ... Central Michigan played before
the biggest crowd ever to see a MAC game as 110,637 witnessed the CMU at
Michigan game last week. SS James King had 19 tackles, an amazing 18 of those
solo. Offensively, QB Jeff Perry's career debut resulted in 18-29 passing for
150 yards and Terrence Jackson rushed 21 times for 104 yards. CMU's lone TD came
on a 27-yard run by Kenan Lawhorne ... Eastern Michigan QB Chinedu Okoro
completed 10-17 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs after coming in for an injured
Jeff Crooks (season ending leg injury) in the Eagles' 28-21 win over ETSU.
Okoro's 174.8 pass efficiency rating leads the MAC. The Eagles' LB trio of Kevin
Harrison (17), David Lusky (15) and Keyvon Barbee (14) totaled 46 tackles as
EMU's defense held its opponent to the lowest output (287 yards of totaloffense)
in the last 20 games. Eagles' RB Anthony Sherrell rushed 23 times for 160 yards
in his first start ... Northern Illinois swept the MAC Player of the Week
honors with Offensive (P.J. Fleck, wr), Defensive (Vinson Reynolds, de) and
Special Teams Player (Steve Azar, pk) of the Week awards. Huskie RB Michael
Turner gained 90 yards to move into fourth place in school history with 3,383
yards ... Toledo broke in a new quarterback at UNLV with sophomore Bruce
Gradowski (14-27, 124 yards, 2 TDs, no int.) getting the start. TE Andrew Clarke
caught both scoring passes (12 and 6 yards). Rover Paul Dye returned a fumble 80
yards for a touchdown to give UT an 18-14 lead going into the fourth quarter in
an eventual 28-18 loss at UNLV. Patrick Body had 10 tackles, two forced fumbles
and an interception ... Western Michigan had several personal career
highs at Michigan State, including QB Chad Munson (30-50, 333 yards), WR Greg
Jennings (11 rec., 107 yards, 2 TDs), WS Jason Feldpaush (13 tackles) and P Adam
Anderson (11 punts, 42.4 ypk).
MAC East Division Quick Notes:
AkronQB Charlie Frye set a school record with 407 passing yards and 36
completions, as well as 414 yards of total offense last week vs. Kent State.
Frye's 36 completions tie for the sixth highest total in league history. Akron
also had two 100-yard receivers for the fifth time in school history with Mike
Cherry (150) and Miquel Irvin (101) ... Buffalo sophomore Dave Dawson
rushed for 125 yards on 14 carries (8.9 ypc) and a school I-A record 76-yard
touchdown at Rutgers. LB Lamar Wilcher recorded a career-high 16 tackles ...
Kent State had its first MAC-opening win since 1999 with a 41-38 win at
Akron. Golden Flashes Josh Cribbs (offense) and Travis Mayle (special teams)
were honored as MAC East Division Players of the Week. The game-winning field
goal by Mayle was set up by a 34 yard punt return by true freshman Jon Drager to
the Akron 25 with 36 seconds left ... Marshall plays its fourth game
against an SEC foe under Bob Pruett (Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida). OL
Nat McPeek has made 40 consecutive starts, the longest current streak in the
nation by an offensive lineman. The crowd Saturday at Neyland Stadium will be
the largest ever to watch a Marshall game, surpassing the 85,445 in 2001 at
Florida ... Miami is idle following a 21-3 loss at Iowa. RedHawk QB Ben
Roethlisberger suffered four interceptions but looks to get back on track Sept.
13 at Northwestern. Roethlisberger still completed 64.3% (27-42) of his passes
for 250 yards and had one sure TD pass dropped in the end zone ... Ohio
had eight different players carry the ball as the Bobcats' piled up 227 rushing
yards last week. The Bobcats have led the MAC in rushing the last seven seasons
... UCF is idle before playing its home opener Sept. 13 against Florida
Atlantic. FAU is coached by Howard Shellenberger. The Golden Knights fought back
from a 28-0 deficit to close to within 28-21 at Virginia Tech last week before
falling 49-28. QB Ryan Schneider completed 23-35 passes for 203 yards and three
touchdowns. Schneider has thrown a TD pass in 22 straight games, tying Daunte
Culpepper's school record. P Matt Prater set a school record with his 55.7 ypk,
also fourth best in MAC history. His longest punt travelled 71 yards.
MAC at 57: The Mid-American Conference is in
its 57th season of football and seventh season with divisional play. The West
Division champion will host the East Division champion on December 4 at 7:00
(ET) in the seventh MAC Championship game. Marshall is the defending league
title holder while Toledo will fend off challengers to its West Division title.
The MAC Champion is guaranteed a spot in one of two MAC bowl berths - the GMAC
Bowl on Dec. 18 in Mobile, Ala., or the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field in
Detroit, Mich., on Dec. 26.
ESPN and the MAC: Mid-American Conference
Commissioner Rick Chryst and MAC Council of Presidents Chairman Dr. John Peters
(Northern Illinois University) announced a comprehensive five-year programming
and production agreement with ESPN, Inc., on Aug. 25 from the league office in
Cleveland. The new agreement, effective with the upcoming 2003 college football
season, guarantees the MAC a minimum of 100 nationally-televised regular and
post-season appearances in football and men's basketball over the term of the
agreement (2003-04 thru 2007-08). On average, between 12-15 MAC football and
men's basketball contests will be televised in each of the five years of the
HEISMAN WATCH: Two MAC schools have web sites
dedicated to promoting and publicizing their players for the Heisman Award.
Northern Illinois senior running back Michael "The Burner" Turner can be
followed via TurnerTheBurner.com while Miami junior quarterback Ben
Roethlisberger can be watched at WhereHaveYouBen.com.
WATCHING THE MAC: A number of Mid-American
Conference players have been recognized by being named to preseason watch lists
for several national awards.
Butkus Award - Top Linebacker
Dennis Chukwuemeka, Ohio
Nick Duffy, Northern Illinois
Anthony Henriquez, Kent State
Keon Jackson, Toledo
Terrell Jones, Miami
JT Rembert, Marshall
Stanford Rhule, UCF
Lorenzo Scott, Ball State
Davey O'Brien - Top Quarterback
Josh Harris, Bowling Green
Ben Roethlisberger, Miami
Ryan Schneider, UCF
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award - Best Senior
Josh Harris, Bowling Green
Ryan Schneider, UCF
Dave Rimington - Top Center
Todd Ghilani, Northern Illinois
Bronko Nagurski - Top Defensive Player
Jason Babin, DL, Western Michigan
Atari Bigby, DB, UCF
Outland Trophy - Top Interior Lineman
Jason Babin, DL, Western Michigan
Todd Ghilani, C, Northern Illinois
Nate McPeek, OL, Marshall
Lou Groza Award - Top Placekicker
Steve Azar, Northern Illinois
Mike Gruzwalski, Central Michigan
Jared Parseghian, Miami
Shaun Suisham, Bowling Green
Lombardi Award - Top Down Lineman
Jason Babin, DL, Western Michigan
Nick Kaczur, OL, Toledo
Travis Moore, DE, Northern Illinois
Doak Walker Award - Top Runningback
Alex Haynes, UCF
Bob Hendry, Akron
Terrence Jackson, Central Michigan
Phil Reed, Western Michigan
Michael Turner, Northern Illinois
Ray Guy Award - Top Punter
Mike Wafzig, Miami
DRAFT SUCCESS: The MAC had its highest NFL
draft pick in league history last season when Marshall quarterback Byron
Leftwich was picked No. 7 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The MAC had nine
players taken overall, the most in league history for a seven-round draft.
FROM 2002: The MAC returns four of the top 20
national leaders in passing efficiency last year in UCF's Ryan Schneider (No. 4
at 151.6), Miami's Ben Roethlisberger (No. 16 at 138.7) and Akron's Charlie Frye
(No. 20 at 136.5) ... as well, Ball State's Andy Roesch ranked 35th (129.2) ...
in addition, Northern Illinois' Michael Turner was second in the nation last
year in rushing yards (159.6 ypg) and all-purpose yards (190.3 ypg) ... NIU's
Dan Sheldon led the nation in punt returns with 22.7 yards per return.
Games for Thursday, September 4
Western Illinois (1-0) at Eastern Michigan (1-0), 7:00 (ET)
Site: Ypsilanti, Mich. - Rynearson Stadium (30,200/Astro Turf)
Series: WIU leads 10-5-1 ... this is the first meeting since 1993, a 16-14
Leatherneck victory. Coaches: EMU's Jeff Woodruff (Kent State 1979) is 9-26 in
his fourth year as head coach ... WIU's Don Patterson (West Point 1973) is 33-14
in his fifth season.
Game Watch: The Eagles opened with a 28-21 victory over East Tennessee State ...
WIU topped Wayne State (Neb.) 35-3 ... WIU beat MAC member Northern Illinois
last season 29-26 ... the last time EMU won as many as its first two games of
the season was in 1989 with successive triumphs over Kent State, Youngstown
State and Ohio.
Games for Saturday, September 6
Buffalo (0-1) at nr/#23 Iowa (1-0), 11:00 a.m. (CT)
Site: Iowa City, Iowa - Kinnick Stadium (70,397/Grass)
Series: first meeting. Coaches: Coaches: UB's Jim Hofher ( Cornell 1979) is 4-20
in his third season ... Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (Connecticut 1978) is 23-26 in his
fifth season at Iowa and 35-47 in his eighth season overall.
Game Watch: UB dropped its season opener at Rutgers 24-10 ... Iowa silenced MAC
East Division preseason favorite Miami 21-3 ... Buffalo has lost 11 in a row
since a 34-11 win over Rutgers on Sept. 7, 2002 ... Iowa's Nate Kaeding won last
year's Lou Groza Award as the nations' best kicker ... the Bulls' next three
games are at home ... the Hawkeyes are ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA TODAY
Bowling Green (1-0) at #16/#20 Purdue (0-0),
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. - Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500/Prescription Athletic
Series: BG leads 1-0 ... the Falcons won 17-14 in 1972 as MAC Hall of Fame coach
Don Nehlen's Falcon squad upset the then No. 18 ranked Boilermaker team.
Coaches: Coaches: BGSU's Gregg Brandon (Northern Colorado 1978) is 1-0 in his
first season ... Purdue's Joe Tiller (Montana State 1965) is 46-28 in six years
with the Boilermakers and 85-58-1 in 12 seasons overall.
Game Watch: BG is 5-0 vs. BCS league teams the last two seasons (2001-02) when
current head coach Gregg Brandon was offensive coordinator ... the Falcons have
averaged 39 ppg in those five games ... the Falcons opened last week with a
63-13 win over Eastern Kentucky ... Purdue was 7-6 last year with a 34-24 Sun
Bowl win versus Washington.
Tennessee Tech (0-1) at Northern Illinois
(1-0), 12:05 (CT)
Site: DeKalb, Ill. - Huskie Stadium (30,067/Field Turf)
Series: first meeting.
Coaches: NIU's Joe Novak (Miami 1967) is 29-50 in his eighth season ... Mike
Hennigan (Tennessee Tech 1973) is 40-37 in his eighth campaign.
Game Watch: NIU opened last week with a stunning 20-13 overtime triumph over
#15/#14 Maryland ... the Golden Eagles dropped a 40-10 decision to Memphis ...
the Huskies gained their second straight season-opening win over an ACC foe,
having defeated Wake Forest last year, 42-41, in overtime ... NIU has never
started 2-0 under Joe Novak, last winning its first two games of the season in
New Hampshire (1-0) at Central Michigan (0-1),
Site: Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Kelly Shorts Stadium (30,199/artificial turf)
Series: first meeting.
Coaches: UNH's Sean McDowell (New Hampshire 1978) is 19-26 in his sixth season
... CMU's Mike DeBord (Manchester 1978) is 9-26 in his fourth year.
Game Watch: The Chippewas' dropped a 45-7 game last week at #4/#7 ranked
Michigan ... the Wildcats drilled Central Connecticut 70-20 ... the Chippewas
are 3-0 in home openers under Mike DeBord and have won six consecutive home
openers ... CMU started 2002 with three consecutive wins but is 1-9 since then.
Ohio (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0), 2:00 (CT)
Site: Ames, Iowa - Jack Trice Stadium (45,814/grass)
Series: ISU leads 6-0 ... the most recent meeting was a Cyclones' 31-28 win in
2001 at Peden Stadium in Athens.
Coaches: Ohio's Brian Knorr (Air Force Academy 1986) is 6-18 in two seasons ...
ISU's Dan McCarney (Iowa 1975) is 37-57 in his ninth season.
Game Watch: The Bobcats' 17-3 win last week vs. Southeast Missouri was the first
season-opening win under Brian Knorr ... the Cyclones scored a 17-10 win over
Northern Iowa ... not since 1997 have the Bobcats won their first two games of
the season (Kent State and Maryland) ... Ohio's last non-conference road win was
at Minnesota in 2000.
Akron (0-1, 0-1 MAC) at #18/#17 Wisconsin
(1-0), 2:00 (CT)
Site: Madison, Wisc. - Camp Randall Stadium (76,634/Field Turf)
Series: first meeting. Coaches: Akron's Lee Owens (Bluffton College 1977) is
33-57 in his ninth season ... UW's Barry Alvarez (Nebraska 1969) is 93-61-4 in
his 14th season.
Game Watch: The Zips gave up 41 points last week and last year allowed 42-plus
points in five of the first six games ... the Badgers topped West Virginia last
week 24-17 in Morgantown ... Zips' QB Charlie Frye attempted 46 passes with no
interceptions last week and completed 78.3% (36-46) of his attempts ... UA's
loss last week snapped a two-game winning streak dating back to last year ... UW
won its third in a row dating back to last year, including an Alamo Bowl win
over Colorado, 31-28, in overtime.
Missouri (1-0) at Ball State (1-0), 3:00 (CT)
Site: Muncie, Ind. - Ball State Stadium (21,518/Grass)
Series: UM leads 1-0 ... the Tigers won the only previous meeting, 41-6, in
Coaches: Ball State's Brady Hoke (Ball State 1982) is 1-0 in his first season
... UM's Gary Pinkel (Kent State 1975) is 10-14 in his third season with the
Tigers and 83-51 in his 13th season overall ... Pinkel was 73-37-3 at Toledo
from 1991-2000 and was 5-4-1 vs. Ball State during that time.
Game Watch: Ball State opened last week with the first home night game in school
history with a 31-7 win over Indiana State ... the Cardinals last started a
season 2-0 in 1995 (Miami and Western Illinois) ... the Tigers edged Illinois
22-15 in their season opener ... Cardinals' QB Andy Roesch is 4-0 at home as a
starter ... last week's game was the first season opening game at home for BSU
since 1988 (Toledo).
Marshall (1-0) at #12/#14 Tennessee (1-0), 4:00
(ET) - ESPN2
Site: Knoxville, Tenn. - Neyland Stadium (104,079/grass)
Series: first meeting
Coaches: Marshall's Bob Pruett (Marshall 1965) is 81-13 in his eighth season ...
Phil Fulmer (Tennessee 1972) is 104-25 in his 12th season.
Game Watch: This matchup features the top two winning active coaches in I-A as
Bob Pruett has a .862 winning percentage and Phil Fulmer is .806 ... Marshall is
1-11 all-time vs. SEC schools and 1-2 since rejoining I-A in 1997, beating South
Carolina in 1998, 24-21 ... the Thundering Herd opened its season last week at
home with a 45-21 win over Hofstra ... the Vols posted a 24-6 win against Fresno
Kent State (1-0, 1-0 MAC) at #10/#12 Pittsburgh
(0-0), 7:00 (ET)
Site: Pittsburgh, Pa. - Heinz Field (65,000/grass)
Series: Pittsburgh leads 6-0 ... the Panthers won the most recent meeting, 30-7
Coaches: Kent State's Dean Pees (Bowling Green 1972) is 13-44 in his sixth
season ... Pittsburgh's Walt Harris (Pacific 1968) is 36-35 in his seventh
campaign with the Panthers and is 47-59 entering his 10th overall season.
Game Watch: Kent State opened the season with a 41-38 win last week at Akron
after rallying from a 38-24 deficit in the final four minutes of the game ...
Pittsburgh is coming off a 9-4 season that included a 38-13 win over Oregon in
the Insight Bowl ... MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week Travis
Mayle and Pittsburgh's David Abdul were both freshman All-America placekickers
Liberty (0-1) at Toledo (0-1), 7:00 (ET)
Site: Toledo, Ohio - Glass Bowl (26,248/NeXturf)
Series: UT leads 1-0 ... the Rockets won the only previous meeting, 47-37, in
1994 at the Glass Bowl.
Coaches: LU's Ken Karcher (Tulane 1986) is 8-26 in his fourth season ...
Toledo's Tom Amstutz (Toledo 1977) is 19-8 in his third season.
Game Watch: Both teams are coming off season opening losses - UT 28-18 at UNLV
and Liberty 48-6 at James Madison ... next week the Flames are at MAC member
Bowling Green ... the Flames were a 48-17 victim at UCF last year in what was
the Golden Knights first win as a MAC member ... UT looks to avoid its first 0-2
start since 1988 (losses to Ball State, Western Michigan and McNeese State).
William and Mary (0-0) at Western Michigan
(0-1), 7:00 (ET)
Site: Kalamazoo, Mich. -Waldo Stadium (30,200/NeXturf)
Series: first meeting.
Coaches: The Tribe's Jimmy Laycock (William and Mary 1970) is 154-102-2 in his
24th season ... WMU's Gary Darnell (Oklahoma State 1970) is 40-30 in his seventh
season with the Broncos and 46-62 in his 11th year overall.
Game Watch: The Broncos are coming off a 26-21 loss at Michigan State ... the
Broncos had 10 first-time starters vs. the Spartans (4 on offense, 6 on defense)
... William and Mary posted a 6-5 record last year ... WMU also hosts another
Virginia school with the University of Virginia coming in for a Sept. 13 game
... WMU has won six straight home openers.
KnightsNews.com quick links:
5 Days Free!
Sample KnightsNews.com Total Access Pass at no risk
for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 per month. If you want to save 2 months off
the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual KnightsNews.com
Total Access Pass at $79.95. Along with your annual Total Access Pass,
TheInsiders.com will throw in a subscription of the ESPN magazine.
Click Here to
Start your FREE Trial
Join in on the largest UCF Golden Knights community on the web. Messages
are posted here and this is the best place to interact with other fans.