Western Michigan

MAC Week 1 Game Previews & Fearless Predictions


Can the MAC make any noise in Week 1? Can it come up with any sort of a push in the four Big Ten games? Check out the fearless predictions and game previews for all the Week 1 MAC games.


MAC Week 1 Game Previews & Predictions

MAC Conference Games of the Week

Friday, September 2

Toledo at Arkansas State Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
9:00 PM, ESPNU, Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR

Saturday, September 3

Bowling Green at Ohio State Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
12:00 AM BTN, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Northern Illinois at Wyoming Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
10:30 PM, CBS Sports Network, War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY

Thursday, September 1

Presbyterian at Central Michigan

7:00 PM, ESPN3, Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI

It’s not the first game of the college football season, but it’ll help kick off the terrific week of games. Unfortunately, this won’t be one of the memorable epics.

Presbyterian will be all but out of it after about two drives. The Blue Hose won’t have the offense to match anything Cooper Rush and Central Michigan try to do, but the Chippewas will mostly get the job done on the ground.

CMU’s weakness early on this year will be the running backs, but it won’t look like it this week with several good drives helped by manageable third-and-short situations that Rush can handle. Presbyterian’s defense will be just strong enough to prevent this from getting truly ugly, but CMU won’t have to work too much.

Fearless Prediction: Central Michigan 38, Presbyterian 14
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1.5

Friday, September 2

Mississippi Valley State at Eastern Michigan

6:00 PM, ESPN3 , Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, MI

As always, coming up with wins – especially easy ones – will be a problem for Eastern Michigan, but not this week.

The Eagles get a punchless Mississippi Valley State team that couldn’t get anything consistently going offensively last year, and didn’t do a thing to slow down good ground games. This is a better Delta Devil team than the one that came an overtime away from going 0-11, but it’s not all of a sudden going to be Alabama.

Eastern Michigan has the veterans and the experience to put this away without breathing hard. It’s not going to be a stepping-stone moment considering how bad Mississippi Valley State is, but for the long-suffering program, it’ll be fun.

Fearless Prediction: Eastern Michigan 52, Mississippi Valley State 10
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1

Ball State at Georgia State

7:00 PM, ACC Network, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

Ball State head coach Mike Neu might be trying to pump up the offense more, and he might be looking to use his no huddle, sped-up attack to keep Georgia State on its heels, but there’s one problem – the Panthers might like that.

This is a retooling Georgia State team in some ways, but it’s got the passing game and the receivers to answer any Ball State key moment – there won’t be any big momentum shifts that won’t be solved by big pass play to Penny Hart.

The Cardinals will come up with their share of yards and good drives to keep up, but at home the Panthers will come through when they need to in the fourth. Expect one of the more fun and entertaining games of the MAC’s first weekend.

Fearless Prediction: Georgia State 34, Ball State 30
Line: Georgia State -3.5, o/u: 52.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 1.5
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2

Albany at Buffalo

7:00 PM, ESPN3 , UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY

The Great Danes of Albany won’t have the offense to do much of anything to improve on last season’s opening weekend 51-14 loss to the Bulls. This year’s Albany team is better, but so is Buffalo.

The Bulls aren’t going to stand out in any one particular area early on, but with a week off after this, it’s a nice time to get in a great scrimmage before getting to figure out what they’ve got. UB will crank up a balanced attack with three scoring drives in the first quarter making this another laugher.

Fearless Prediction: Buffalo 45, Albany 17
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1

Saturday, September 3

Western Michigan at Northwestern

12:00 PM, ESPNU, Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

This could be the one big moment for the MAC in the opening weekend. Western Michigan has the offense and the talent to shock Northwestern if its offense continues to be as mediocre as it was throughout last season.

The Wildcat defensive backfield should be one of its biggest strengths early on, and it’ll need to be with WMU QB Zach Terrell leading a fantastic group of skill players able to put points on the board in chunks.

This is the game for the Northwestern passing game. If it’s going to be better, and if it’s going to be a difference-maker this season, it’s going to have to push the okay WMU pass defense and stretch things out. It will, but not enough to pull away.

It’ll be a terrific game with Northwestern holding on late thanks to a key field goal for a little breathing room.

Fearless Prediction: Northwestern 27, Western Michigan 23
Line: Northwestern -5.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 3.5

Kent State at Penn State

3:30 PM, BTN, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

Will Kent State find any semblance of an offense? The Golden Flash defense should be stellar again, but it might not matter if the offense can’t do its part against a jacked up Penn State team that remembers all too well what happened last season in the opening loss to Temple. This time around, the Nittany Lions should be sharp out of the gate.

However, the Kent State defense should keep Penn State from exploding. This won’t get too out of hand, but the Nittany Lion linebacking corps will own the game from the start and keep the Golden Flashes from going on any long, sustained drives. Kent State will have its offensive fun next week against North Carolina A&T.

Fearless Prediction: Penn State 31, Kent State 6
Line: Penn State -21
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 1.5
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2

Miami Univ. at Iowa

3:30 PM, ESPNU, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA

Miami University, if you ever had any sort of offense over the years you’ve been waiting to unleash, now would be the time to roll. Iowa might just be a wee bit ready to rumble after the way last season ended and with so much promise and potential returning – the RedHawks could be running into a buzzsaw.

Ten starters might be returning on MU’s O, but a fired up Iowa defensive front will negate the experience factor. Offensively, Iowa QB C.J. Beathard will look in midseason form on the way to three straight scoring drives to start things off. The Hawkeyes will look outstanding from the opening kickoff.

Fearless Prediction: Iowa 44, Miami University 9
Line: Iowa -27.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 4
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2

Texas State at Ohio

3:30 PM, CBSSN, Peden Stadium, Athens, OH

The Bobcats – at least the MAC version – has the running game to rip apart a retooling Texas State defensive front that needs a year or so to get the right players in place under new head coach Everett Withers. Ohio should be able to blast past the TXST defensive front and get into the linebacking corps early on taking the Sun Belt Bobcats out of their game right away. Even with Texas State trying to catch Ohio off guard with a good tempo, that’s it’s not going to matter.

Fearless Prediction: Ohio 37, Texas State 13
Line: Ohio -21
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 3
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2

VMI at Akron

6:30 PM, ESPN3 , InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH

Here you go, Akron. The Zips might be reloading in several key areas, and the offense might not have a whole lot of pop, but they’ll look fantastic against a VMI team that should be able to throw a bit. If the Akron offensive front can put up a bit of a fight early on – and that’s going to be the big problem next week against Wisconsin – but this should be a blowout against a Keydet team that won’t be able to stop the run.

Fearless Prediction: Akron 38, VMU 20
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1.5