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New coach aims to reverse Falcon Fortunes
TEAM: Bowling Green Falcons
2018 RECORD: 3-9 (2-6 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Scot Loeffler (First year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Sixth in MAC East Division
Two figures jump of the stat sheet when analyzing the 2018 Bowling Green Falcons.
First, they allowed a MAC-worst 40 points per game. Second, BG finished last among MAC teams with a minus-8 turnover margin.
Suffice it to say, such is not the performance upon which successful seasons are built. The stats are, however, the stuff of which coaches are replaced - and such was the case. After dismissing . . .
Rourke-led 'Cats have inside track
TEAM: Ohio Bobcats
2018 RECORD: 9-4 overall (6-2 MAC)
HEAD COACH: Frank Solich (15h Year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: First in MAC East
The Ohio Bobcats lost just one game over the last half of their 2018 season. It was one too many!
That loss -- a 30-28 setback at rival Miami -- ultimately cost OU a shot at claiming its first MAC Conference football title since 1968.
It was particularly bitter given that after losing to MU, Ohio completely routed eventual MAC East champ Buffalo (52-17) the following week.
For the Bobcat players who return this year, 2019 can . . .
Talented Toledo still has a few questions
TEAM: Toledo Rockets
2018 RECORD: 7-5 (5-3 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Jason Candle (4th year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: First in MAC West
The 2018 Toledo Rockets excelled at scoring points, leading the MAC with an average of 40.4 ppg. Unfortunately for UT, opponents were pretty good at scoring points, too. The result was a 7-5 mark that got Toledo into a bowl game, but a 5-3 conference mark that kept the Rockets out of another MAC title game appearance.
With a trio of . . .
QB among questions for younger RedHawks squad
TEAM: Miami RedHawks
2018 RECORD: 6-6 (6-2 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Chuck Martin (6th year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Second in MAC East
By MIKE SMITH
One way or another, underclassmen are likely to a significant role in this year’s Miami RedHawks team.
With a big senior class and coming off a bowl game, 2018 had to the potential for Miami to take another step in the massive rebuild that began in 2014.
The RedHawks were, however, walking a . . .
Huskies still too talented to overlook
TEAM: Northern Illinois Huskies
2018 RECORD: 8-6 (6-2 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Thomas Hammock (First year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Third in the Western Division
By EVAN MEYER
Powered by a six-game mid-season win streak, Northern Illinois came back from a 1-3 start last year to win it’s 11th MAC Western Division. Once in Detroit, the Huskies rallied from a 19-point third quarter deficit to defeat Buffalo and claim another MAC championship title.
The critical win skein followed a 1-3 start in which . . .
Zips try to bounce back under new coach
TEAM: AKRON ZIPS
2018 RECORD: 4-8 (2-6 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Tom Arth (First year)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Fifth in the Eastern Division
By EVAN MEYER
When Akron’s 2018 opening game was cancelled due to thunderstorms at Nebraska, it later seemed something of an omen for struggles to come.
UA won at Northwestern for its first ever win over a Big Ten and added a victory over rival Kent State in overtime. There was a win over Central Michigan but the Zips then dropped their last five games, finishing with a record of 4-8 (2-6 in the MAC).
The late-season slide . . .
Can Eagles add enough offense to steady ‘D’?
TEAM: Eastern Michigan Eagles
2018 RECORD: 7-6 (5-2 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Chris Creighton (fifth season at EMU)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Fourth in the Western Division
By EVAN MEYER
Eastern Michigan got off to a promising start in 2018, posting wins over FCS opponent Monmouth and Big 10 foe Purdue. Then came four straight losses -- three against Mid-American Conference heavyweights Buffalo, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.
Midway through . . .
Healthy Broncos are legit title contenders
TEAM: Western Michigan Broncos
2018 RECORD: 7-6 overall (5-3 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Tim Lester (second season)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Second Place Western Division
A 7-5 regular season record was good enough to get the Western Michigan Broncos to a bowl game last year, but Bronco players, coaches and fans can’t help but think that 2018 was only a peak at possibilities for even better 2019 success.
Toledo may have the preseason media poll’s nod to win the west, but WMU enters 2019 as . . .
Flashes hope to climb win ladder
TEAM: KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES
2018 RECORD: 2-10 overall (1-7 in MAC play)
HEAD COACH: Sean Lewis (second season)
2019 PRESEASON POLL: Fourth in the Eastern Division
By Evan Meyer
When you look back at Kent State in 2018. One thing was different than the past few seasons: the Flashes were a more competitive football team. Starting with the opener at Illinois, where they held a lead deep into the third quarter before falling to the Fighting Illini, Kent State came to play every time out.
Yes, KSU took its . . .
Mike Smith saw his first MAC football action as a nine-year-old while hanging onto the flagpole of a nearby baseball stadium. The view got better after he discovered he could get in free at halftime.