Cardinals and Leathernecks embrace the pass
Miami's Robinson now chasing quarterbacks
By MIKE SMITH
Once upon a time he was pursued. Now Dominique Robinson is the pursuer.
It’s been a long and sometimes winding road for the former Canton McKinley quarterback, who now lines up at defensive end for the Miami RedHawks. Robinson, however, is enjoying his latest role and appreciates a final run after MU was only able to play three games in 2020.
Though suiting up for just one-fourth of a normal season, the limited experience was particularly valuable to Robinson as he . . .
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
COACH: Tim Lester (fifth year)
2020 RECORD: 4-2
2021 MAC MEDIA PREDICTION: Third MAC West (four first place votes)
Western Michigan resembles much of the MAC West. It has an explosive offense, with enough defense to make it a title contender. The Broncos will win their share of games, but can they avoid the critical loss or two that typically separates contenders from champs? They won four straight last year before dropping their final two -- Eastern Michigan (42-53) and Ball State (27-30).
Here’s more on the Broncos . . .
RedHawks anxious for full/successful season
COACH: Chuck Martin, 8th year
2020 Record: 2-1
2021 MAC MEDIA PREDICTION: Third in MAC East behind Kent State and Ohio
By MIKE SMITH
After winning the 2019 MAC Championship, Miami’s RedHawks had an eye on making another run at the title and a bowl game in 2020. Covid sacked the 'Hawks, however, as MU managed to play just three games. One of those three was to Buffalo, who thumped visiting Miami 42-10 in Week Two.
Of course, MU was also the only team to beat eventual MAC champ Ball State, which downed Buffalo in the title game. It was UB's only loss of the year.
No doubt, 2021 figures to be a dogfight in the MAC East. However, with an abundance of experienced and talented players returning, a healthy Miami is a solid contender.
Staying healthy, of course, is a challenge given the schedule. MU opens at area rival Cincinnati, which is now a top 10 team in many polls. A trip to Minnesota (Big 10) follows. After hosting LIU Post, the RedHawks finish non-conference play at Army.
Here's more on the RedHawks . . .
Defensive improvement among keys for EMU
EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES
COACH: Chris Creighton - 8th year
2020 Results: 2-4 (5th MAC West)
2021 MAC MEDIA PRESEASON PICK: 5th MAC West
ABOUT THE EAGLES:
Life is tough in the MAC West. It's a division where prolific offenses abound. If you expect to have any conference success, you better be able to score -- a lot -- and be able to at least limit opponents.
While Eastern Michigan's last conference title was in 1987, head coach Chris Creighton has lifted EMU to relative success. Prior to 2020, the Eagles had gone to bowl games in three of four years.
Hitting the bowl circuit again this year . . .
Rising defense adds to Rocket title hopes
By Evan Meyer:
COACH: Jason Candle – fifth season
2020 RESULTS: 4-2 - tied for second in MAC West Division
2021 MAC MEDIA POLL PREDICTION: Second East Division
ABOUT THE ROCKETS:
Toledo opened the 2020 season with a victory at arch rival Bowling Green to retain the I-75 trophy. After a three point loss at Western Michigan, UT rebounded with a win a 45-28 win over Eastern Michigan. However, the Rockets 27-24 loss at home to Ball State ended any hopes for Western Division title. Toledo finished the season with two wins at Northern Illinois (41-28) and Central Michigan (24-23).
As usual, the 2021 Rockets have . . .
Young Akron team aims for more success
COACH: Tom Arth – Third Season
2020 RESULTS: 1-5
2021 MAC MEDIA POLL PREDICTION: Fifth-Eastern Division
By Evan Meyer
ABOUT THE ZIPS:
Since Tom Arth took over for Terry Bowden after the 2019 season, the Zips have fielded one of the youngest squads, not only in the MAC, but in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision.
With the bulk of the team made up of freshmen and sophomores, some growing pains were to be expected. UA lost all 12 games in Arth’s first season, followed by the first four in 2020. Akron finally reached the win column December 3 against winless Bowling Green.
For a young Zips team, the . . .
KSU juggernaut has sights set on title
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES
COACH: Sean Lewis (4th year)
2020 Record: 3-1
2021 MAC MEDIA PREDICTION: 1st MAC East (Flashes received 11 of 11 first place votes for MAC East)
By Evan Meyer
Count MAC Media members as believers in the metamorphosis of Kent State football. They recently tabbed KSU as this year's preseason favorite to win the 2021 MAC East crown.
Best supporting evidence may have been the end of the 2019 season. Kent State won its last three games, then defeated Utah State to win the Frisco Bowl -- the first ever bowl win in school history.
The Flashes continued their roll early in 2020, winning their first three games. Buffalo, however, ended KSU's streak by . . .
No Solich, but ‘Cats still dangerous
COACH: Tim Albin
2020 RESULTS: 2-1
2021 MAC MEDIA POLL PREDICTION: Second in MAC East.
ABOUT THE BOBCATS:
Ohio was one of two MAC East teams to play just three games in 2020 due to Covid issues. It's not much to show for the work that goes into preparing for each season. Getting back on the field -- and getting games in -- will be something of its own highlight for 2021. However, even as OU prepared for fall camp, news came down that iconic head coach Frank Solich was stepping down immediately due to a health issue.
With Ohio going in-house on a replacement, the Bobcats should be able to steer a very similar course with offensive and defensive schemes. There's talent on both sides of the ball, and if the defense continues its 2020 progress, Ohio figures to be contending for another MAC East title.
Here's more on the Bobcats . . .
KSU gives Lewis contract extension
KENT, OHIO- Sean Lewis has signed a contract extension to remain Kent State University's head football coach through the 2025 season. The signing was announced Monday by Kent State Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond.
At age 35, Lewis remains one of the youngest coaches in Division-I. Under his direction, Kent State has . . .
Young Huskies seek bounce back season
NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES
COACH: Thomas Hammock (third year)
2020 RECORD: 0-6
2021 MAC MEDIA PREDICTION: Sixth in MAC West
ABOUT THE HUSKIES . . .
A Huskie stumble in 2019 turned into a flat out fall in 2020 as Northern Illinois failed to win a game. Since NIU will still be very young (as in numerous freshmen starting or playing big minutes), a little shot in the arm might help. The Huskies get that boost by way of Michigan State as former Spartan quarterback Rocky Lombardi joins the squad.
HERE’S MORE ON THE HUSKIES . . .