Such was the case last week when two MAC contests were ultimately decided by a missed PAT.
Let’s take a look at this week’s MAC Reporter Online Power Rankings to see if any teams took a hit for their miss.
The Huskies didn’t figure to be challenged by a winless Kent State team, especially in DeKalb. The Flashes, however, pulled within 17-14 with 7:15 remaining on a Colin Reardon two-yard run. Reardon’s PAT pass to Casey Pierce made it a three-point game. After intercepting a Huskie pass three plays later, KSU embarked on a final drive. Northern’s defense bent, but it did not break, forcing a 56-yard field goal try which came up well short. The Huskies hang on to their top spot this week, but NIU will need to improve its game when it faces Central Michigan Saturday in DeKalb.
2. BOWLING GREEN (4-2, 2-0 MAC)
The Falcons nearly took a tumble themselves Saturday, but they managed to pull out a 36-35 home win in a critical matchup. Buffalo could well be BG’s top competition in the MAC East. The Falcons travel to Ohio this week. Bowling Green’s offense just keeps producing. Ohio’s offense has, for a variety of reasons, sputtered. The Falcons SHOULD be able to handle this road test.
3. TOLEDO (4-2, 3-0 MAC)
The Rockets are one of the teams that benefited from a missed extra point Saturday. Toledo sent the game into overtime with a 37-yard Jeremiah Detmer field goal as time expired. The Rockets then opened OT with a Logan Woodside touchdown pass to Alonzo Russell and Detmer added the extra point.
Western matched the TD part with a Zach Terrell 20-yard pass play to Darius Phillius over the middle. Andrew Haldeman’s PAT, however, hit the left upright hard and bounced back into the field of play. As with BG, this game was a critical head-to-head matchup between contenders – this time in the MAC West. The Rockets step out of conference this week when they face Iowa State (1-4, 0-3 Big 12) in Ames.
4. BUFFALO (3-3, 1-1 MAC)
The Bulls were impressive enough in last week’s loss to hang on to fourth place. Running back Anthone Taylor put up another outstanding performance (219 yards and three TDs). A solid running game will be particularly valuable as the weather begins to change. UB faces Eastern Michigan on the road this week, and the Eagles rank last – one spot below Bowling Green – in rushing defense.
5. AKRON (3-2, 1-0 MAC)
Speaking of Eastern Michigan, the Eagles surrendered a whopping 552 total yards to Akron last week. QB Kyle Pohl completed 27 of 40 for a career-high 326 yards and two touchdowns. The Zips did commit 15 penalties for minus-124 yards, but they otherwise took care of business. Akron gets Miami at home this week. Zips fans might have assumed this to be easy pickin’s before the season, but the RedHawks have shown flashes of good play – and bad -- on both sides of the ball. Their comeback win over UMass last week broke a 21-game losing streak.
6. WESTERN MICHIGAN (2-3, 0-1 MAC)
The Broncos had Toledo on the ropes last week. First they gave up a field goal to tie the game as time expired. Then they missed a PAT kick in OT to finish the fall. Jarvion Franklin ws held to 64 yards on 20 carries, but Zac Terrell passed for 370 yards with one TD and no turnovers on 30 of 37 pass attempts. That’s a VERY nice day, especially in some less than ideal weather. The Broncos are at Ball State this week. The Cardinals have been very competitive in spite of their current four-game losing streak.
7. CENTRAL MICHIGAN (3-3, 1-1 MAC)
The Chippewas are moving up a notch this week after disposing of last week’s No. 7 – Ohio – by a 28-10 count. The hosts put up 14 first quarter points and led 21- 3 until Ohio scored its only TD early in the fourth quarter. The Chippewas rank second in pass defense (199.2 ypg) and fourth in rushing defense (158.0 ypg). CMU is second in overall defense, but a distant 11th in total offense (333.8 ypg). This week is a tough assignment as Central travels to Northern Illinois. But if the Chippewas defense can keep things tight (ala Kent State last week), Central could mount a challenge.
8. OHIO (3-3, 1-0 MAC)
The Bobcats not only drop a spot after losing to Central Michigan, 28-10, they are hanging onto the eighth spot by a thread. The MAC’s top-scoring offense (Bowling Green) comes to town this week. While the Falcons defense may help OU’s offense get well, the Bobcats may find it difficult to match BGs scoring.
9. MIAMI (1-5, 1-1 MAC)
The RedHawks are coming off a win.
That statement was a long time in coming. Miami not only pulled out a win to break its FBS-longest losing streak last week, it did it in an amazing way. First, it held UMass scoreless after giving up 41 first half points. Second, it scored 28 straight points after being down 41-14 in the second quarter. Quarterback Andrew Hendrix was the catalyst, earning MAC and national honors with 528 yards of total offense (second –highest in school history). Another big plus for the RedHawks was the emergence of freshman wide receiver Sam Martin, who had four touchdown receptions in his first extended action. Akron will be a good test, especially on the road, so the RedHawks might want to bring that second half defense from last week.
10. KENT STATE (0-5, 0-2 MAC)
The Flashes were pretty impessive while losing at Northern Illinois last week. KSU posted a season high with 327 yards of offense and 22 first downs. The Flashes may need all the offense they can get this week as KSU entertains another winless team. The UMass Minutemen are likely steaming after their meltdown at Miami last week. Kent State ranks fifth in defending the pass (246.2 ypg), while UMass is second in pass offense (318.8 ypg).
11. UMASS (0-6, 0-2)
Coach Mark Whipple’s offense is thriving with Blake Frohnapfel at quarterback and Tajae Sharpe at wide receiver. Shadrach Abrokwah has given the Minutemen a decent running option. The backend of UMass’ schedule is pretty tough, so it would behoove the Minutemen to get some wins in the next couple weeks. Right now, they can be competitive with just about anybody.
12. EASTERN MICHIGAN (1-4, 0-2 MAC)
Four turnovers didn’t help the Eagle’ cause last week. Heck, when you are last in the conference in scoring offense and last in scoring defense, ANY turnover is magnified.
EMU leads the series with Buffalo, 5-1. With the Bulls on a roll, it’s not looking all that good for No.6. Linebacker Great Ibe leads the Eagles with 51 tackles. DL Pat O’Connor leads the MAC with 4.5 sacks in five games. Safety Jason Beck paced the team with a career-high 10 tackles against Buffalo.