Even among the remaining five MAC games, there are some particularly interesting matchups. Let’s start with a look at MAC games against the nation’s top two (AP) teams.
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Saturday, Sept. 26, 3:30 p.m. ET
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Ohio State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
The Broncos won’t be sneaking up on anybody given Ohio’s State’s scare against Northern Illinois (20-13) last week. The No.-1 ranked Buckeyes will likely try to polish up their resume a little moving forward.
- It’s the first meeting between the two schools, but Ohio State is defending national champion and still ranked No. 1 in the nation. It owns the nation’s longest active winning streak (16 straight) among FBS teams.
- It was a defensive play (Darron Lee’s 41-yard interception return) that proved to be the difference in last week’s OSU win. The Buckeye defense is ranked No. 5 in total defense and fewest passing yards allowed. Ohio State held NIU to more than 400 yards below its season average.
-- OSU is tied for fourth in the FS with 12 quarterback sacks.
- Running back Ezekiel Elliot has a current streak of eight consecutive games with at least 100 yards and is currently third among Big Ten rushers (110.3 ypg).
- This week’s two-deep listed Cardale Jones OR J.T. Barrett at quarterback. Jones started last week, but gave way to Barrett as the Buckeyes struggled offensively. Ohio State failed to score at least three touchdowns for the first time after 31 straight games. It was also the first time in 26 outings that OSU did not have a rushing TD.
-- Back in the day … Ohio State coach Urban Meyer began his head coaching career in the Mid-American Conference, compiling a 17-6 (11-5 MAC) record while leading the Bowling Green Falcons.
Western Michigan (1-2, 0-0 MAC)
-- One week after Northern Illinois challenges the Buckeyes, another NIU alum brings his own challenge. Broncos’ head coach P.J. Fleck is a former Northern Illinois gridder and his still listed among the top players in several stat categories.
-- The Broncos bounced back from a disappointing loss at Georgia Southern with a 52-20 thrashing of Murray State last week.
-- Redshirt junior Zach Terrell tied a career high with four TDs passes and threw for 355 yards while completing 25 of 40 attempts.
-- Junior receivers Daniel Braverman and Corey David both caught two touchdown passes and had over 100 yards receivering.
-- Braverman, who has reached 100 receiving yards or more in each of the last three games, had career-highs in catches (14) and yards (167) against the Racers.
-- Western’s non-conference schedule includes two of the top five teams in the nation – Michigan State (4) and Ohio State (1).
-- RB Jarvion Franklin had 163 rushing yards as the Broncos’ totaled 628 yards of offense against Murray State.
-- Darius Phillips, who moved from offense to cornerback this year, recorded WMU’s first interception Saturday, returning the pick 10 yards for a TD.
Saturday, Sept. 26, Noon ET
Big Ten Network
The Spartans posted a 25-21 win over Air Force last week and then rode their third straight victory up two spots in the AP poll (to No. 2). It’s the highest ranking for MSU since finishing No. 2 after the 1966 season.
Central Michigan fell just short of picking up a big road win last week, dropping a 30-27 overtime decision at Syracuse.
Michigan State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
-- The Spartans are attempting to go undefeated in non-conference play (excluding bowl games) for the third time since Mark Dantonio became head coach
-- MSU has scored 30-plus points for a school-record 11 consecutive games. That is the longest active streak in the FBS. It’s streak of 18 games with 24-plus points is tied for FBS-best with Baylor.
-- This is the 10th meeting between MSU and Central Michigan. Michigan State leads the series, 6-3, and most recently knocked off the Chippewas, 41-7, in Mt Pleasant during the 2012 season.
-- Senior WR Aaron Burbridge was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after setting career highs for receptions (8), receiving yards (156) and touchdowns (3) in the Spartans win over Air Force. It was Burbridge’s third straight game with at least 100 receiving yards.
-- The Air Force Academy owned 428 yards of total offense compared to 324 for MSU last week. However, the Falcons had three turnovers. Michigan State went up 35-7 with a Burbridge TD catch at 11:07 of the third period.
-- Connor Cook completed 15 of 23 for 247 yards and four touchdowns (no INTs) against AF.
-- MSU totaled 77 yards rushing Saturday,. Madre London led the way with 40 yards on 17 carries.
Central Michigan (1-2, 0-0 MAC)
-- The Chippewas were down 24-10 at the half, but rallied back and scored a game-tying TD with seven seconds left to force overtime at Syracuse. While CMU had to settle for a field goal, Syracuse punched in a TD for the game winner.
-- CMU registered 30 first downs to just 11 for Syracuse, who was 1 of 8 on third down opportunities. Overall, Central out-gained the hosts 520-326.
-- Central’s last drive of regulation covered 90 yards with 12 plays in 2:10.
-- Quarterback Cooper Rush threw for 430 yards and two TDs.
-- Devon Spalding led CMU rushers with 21 carries for 83 yards and a score. Jahray Hayes added 51 yards on 12 carries.
-- Spalding and Ben McCord each recorded 10 catches, registering 147- (1 TD) and 102 yards, respectively. Jessie Kroll’s seven receptions added 99 yards.