Western Michigan

MAC Week 1 Rankings & Quick Takes


What happened in all the Week 1 MAC games? Where are all the teams ranked, and what’s the quick take on each game? Check out the MAC rankings and analysis.


MAC Week 1 Rankings, Predictions & Quick Takes

How are the MAC predictions so far? SU: 8-4, ATS: 2-6

1. Western Michigan (0-1)

Final Score: Western Michigan 22, Northwestern 21
Prediction: Northwestern 27, Western Michigan 23, NW -5.5
Up Next: North Carolina Central

Quick Take: If Western Michigan wanted to make a statement that it’s the best team in the MAC, this was it. Converting all four fourth down attempts, coming up with a balanced ground game, and absolutely dominating the clock – keeping the ball for over 39 minutes – spared the defense and kept the Wildcat offense off the field. The Bronco D might have struggled, and Zach Terrell only threw for 218 yards and a score, but the coaching was fantastic – this was a brilliant game, even if it took a huge fumble and a break late to get the win. WMU will take it.

2. Toledo (1-0)

Final Score: Toledo 31, Arkansas State 10
Prediction: Arkansas State 31, Toledo 27, ASU -3.5, o/u: 64.5
Up Next: Maine

Quick Take: How do you overcome a -2 turnover margin and a tough road game against a team good enough to win its conference? You get a terrific offensive show from your quarterback. Toledo is supposed to be a running team – and it was okay – but this was Logan Woodside’s win completing 23-of-31 passes for 371 yards and three scores. The defense did its part by owning the ASU backfield. This was more impressive than Toledo will get credit for.

3. Central Michigan (1-0)

Final Score: Central Michigan 49, Presbyterian 3
Prediction: Central Michigan 38, Presbyterian 14
Up Next: at Oklahoma State

Quick Take: Is this going to be the Central Michigan defense? It stuffed Presbyterian for just 44 rushing yards and never let the game get interesting. CMU QB Cooper Rush might have thrown two picks and didn’t look particularly sharp, but the running game took care of the game with 255 yards and five scores with three rushing scores from Jahray Hayes and 135 yards and a score from Devon Spalding. The big concern out of the blowout? The O line needs to do more in pass protection – it gave up four sacks.

4. Northern Illinois (0-1)

Final Score: Wyoming 40, Northern Illinois 34 2OT
Prediction: Northern Illinois 40, Wyoming 23, NIU -10, o/u: 55.5
Up Next: at South Florida

Quick Take: The defense got gassed, the offense couldn’t get the running game rolling, and it turned out to be a brutal late-night loss after a long weather delay. Drew Hare threw for 329 yards and three scores, and Kenny Golladay caught ten passes for 144 yards and two scores, but 12 penalties and a key Hare turnover proved too costly. It was a great comeback, but NIU was never able to get control.

5. Bowling Green (0-1)

Final Score: Ohio State 77, Bowling Green 10
Prediction: Ohio State 45, Bowling Green 16, OSU -27.5, o/u: 62.5
Up Next: North Dakota

Quick Take: Blow it off. Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country – duh – and it was looking to come out sharp and make a statement right away. The Falcons won’t play anyone close to being as athletic, and they’re not going to have to deal with anything close to being this tough. The goals are still there – win the MAC title, go bowling, come up with a winning season. This is a rebuilding year, but the offense will start to work next week against North Dakota.

6. Ohio (0-1)

Final Score: Texas State 56, Ohio 54, 3 OT
Prediction: Ohio 37, Texas State 13, Ohio -21
Up Next: at Kansas

Quick Take: On the plus side, Ohio found its quarterback with Greg Windham throwing for 380 yards and four scores, and the running game was fine. However, the defense didn’t have a prayer against the shockingly high-powered Texas State passing game. The Bobcats got everything working offensively except on the final two-pound conversion to end the wild shootout. The O cranked up 630 yards, but overall, two turnovers and a whopping 13 penalties for 141 yards were a killer.

7. Ball State (1-0)

Final Score: Ball State 31, Georgia State 21
Prediction: Georgia State 34, Ball State 30, GSU -3.5, o/u: 52.5
Up Next: at Indiana

Quick Take: Mike Neu’s first game was a success, getting the job done on the road after getting down. The Cardinals bounced back quickly after an early pick-six and a long GSU scoring drive, but James Gilbert ran for 160 yards and two scores as the offense took the air out of the ball in the second half. Neu would love to come out bombing buy with Riley Neal struggling pounding away on the ground got the job done.

8. Akron (1-0)

Final Score: Akron 47, VMU 24
Prediction: Akron 38, VMI 20
Up Next: at Wisconsin

Quick Take: The defense was supposed to need some help right away, while the hope was for the offense to take over and carry the team for a while. It did for one week as Thomas Woodson threw for 407 yards and six scores hitting Jerome Lane for 196 yards and two touchdowns and JoJo Natson for three scores. There were 13 penalties and a -2 turnover margin, but this week, the O worked. Enjoy it with Wisconsin up next.

9. Kent State (0-1)

Final Score: Penn State 33, Kent State 13
Prediction: Penn State 31, Kent State 6, Penn State -21
Up Next: North Carolina A&T

Quick Take: The offense actually moved the ball a bit. The defense did what it was supposed to do by making Penn State work a bit, but it was the offense that provided a wee bit of hope with a few nice runs and a decent first half. Three turnovers, 279 yards and 13 points aren’t going to ever get it done against a team like Penn State, but the Golden Flashes hung in there. Really, the O will be better this year – finally.

10. Miami University

Final Score: Iowa 45, Miami University 21
Prediction: Iowa 44, Miami University 9, Iowa -27.5
Up Next: Eastern Illinois

Quick Take: The offense sort of worked. Granted, the Iowa defense was a bit discombobulated, but after getting down early the RedHawks did a nice job with Billy Bahl moving the offense a bit completing 19-of-29 passes for 266 yards and two scores. There was even a bit of a ground attack with a three-headed monster moving the ball.

11. Eastern Michigan (1-0)

Final Score: Eastern Michigan 61, Mississippi Valley State 14
Prediction: Eastern Michigan 52, Mississippi Valley State 10
Up Next: at Missouri

Quick Take: MVSU just found out what it feels like to be Eastern Michigan against most teams. The Eagles did everything right offensively with Shaq Vann running for 156 yards and Todd Porter looking sharp completing 15-of-22 passes for 171 yards and three scores with a pick. The Eagles got rolling early and never let up, not giving up points until the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand. It’s not like beating Mississippi State, but it’s what a decent team is supposed to do against the Delta Devils.

12. Buffalo (0-1)

Final Score: Albany 22, Buffalo 16
Prediction: Buffalo 45, Albany 17
Up Next: at Nevada

Quick Take: UB outplayed Albany, but the four turnovers and nine penalties turned into a killer. Utterly disastrous, Buffalo couldn’t stop screwing up and now it lost one of the games it probably needed to have for any shot to get to six wins and bowl eligibility. UB turned it over four times with starter Grant Rohach giving up two picks. In came Tyree Jackson, and now the offense might be his after completing 14-of-25 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown with a pick.