MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES WEEK FOURTEEN
FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE, SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player of the Week: Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson
Buffalo sophomore running back Jaret Patterson (Glendale, Md.) rushed for a school-record 298 yards and six touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 29. The sophomore running back averaged 11.5 yards on 26 carries. He had touchdown runs of 81, 35, 30, 9, 1, and 1 yard in the game. His six touchdowns were not only a school record, but a MAC record as well. Patterson did the majority of his damage in the first half, rushing for 272 yards and five touchdowns. His 298 yards rushing were the most by any player in FBS football this season.
Defensive Player of the Week: Kent State DB KJ Sherald
Kent State junior defensive back KJ Sherald (Waldorf, Md.) had two interceptions and 11 tackles in a 34-26 win at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 29. Sherald’s first interception came at the end of the first half that led to a touchdown, while his second interception came late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Additionally, Sherald was second on the team with 11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss in the victory.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Miami DL Lonnie Phelps
Miami freshman defensive lineman Lonnie Phelps (Cincinnati, Ohio) made two key special teams plays in a 41-27 loss at Ball State on Nov. 29. Phelps blocked a punt to give the RedHawks a first and goal that resulted in a touchdown. Later, he also picked up a blocked punt and returned it for a 32-yard touchdown, Miami's first blocked punt for a touchdown since 2010.
Offensive Player of the Week: Ball State QB Drew Plitt
Ball State junior quarterback Drew Plitt (Loveland, Ohio) was 26-40 passing for 317 yards and three touchdowns in leading a 41-27 come-from-behind victory over Miami on Nov. 29. Plitt reached 300 yards passing for the first time this season against a MAC opponent. He threw the go-ahead 40-yard touchdown pass to Yo’Heinz Tyler with 9:25 remaining for a 34-27 advantage. Plitt also rushed for a career-high 62 yards on 12 carries.
Defensive Player of the Week: Central Michigan LB Michael Oliver
Central Michigan senior linebacker Michael Oliver (Detroit, Mich.) had a team-high eight tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in a 49-7 win over Toledo on Nov. 29. Oliver was part of a Central Michigan defense that held the Rockets to just 7 points and 256 yards of total offense. Oliver helped the Chippewas limit Toledo to just 83 rushing yards, nearly 160 yards below Toledo’s average.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Northern Illinois P Matt Ference
Northern Illinois junior punter Matt Ference (St. Louis, Mo.) had a career night and his punting ability on a rainy night in DeKalb was critical to the Huskies’ ability to control field position and time of possession in their 17-14 upset win over Western Michigan on Nov. 26. Ference punted seven times for a career best 50.3 yards per punt. He had five punts of 50 or more yards, including a 63-yard punt for his longest kick since 2017. Four of his punts pinned the Broncos to start drives inside their 20-yard line as NIU’s net punting average of 48.4 yards was its best of the season. He effectively “flipped the field” for the Huskies throughout the night. Ference also adeptly handled a pair of low snaps.
Buffalo Accepts Invitation To 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo football team has been invited to play in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, it was announced on Sunday. The Bulls will face Charlotte of Conference USA at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas on Friday, December 20. It will mark the second straight year and fourth time in school history Buffalo will play in a bowl game.
Buffalo won five of its last six games to finish the regular season 7-5 overall and 5-3 in Mid-American Conference play. Running the ball and defense have been the keys to success for the Bulls this season. UB leads the MAC in rushing offense, averaging 254.2 yards per game as well as total defense, allowing 293.1 yards per contest.
The Bulls were led by sophomore running back Jaret Patterson led the MAC with 1,626 yards rushing and ranked second in the league with 17 rushing touchdowns. In the regular season finale, Patterson set a MAC single-game rushing record with six rushing touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Bowling Green.
It will be the Bulls' first-ever meeting with Charlotte. The 49ers are 7-5 on the season and finished with a 5-3 conference mark. Charlotte is led by quarterback Chris Reynolds who has thrown for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year.
“On behalf of our President, Dr. Satish Tripathi, I’m honored and very excited to accept a bowl invitation from the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said. “I’m proud of the season our football program, under the guidance of head coach Lance Leipold, has had which afforded us the ability to play a very important 13th game. The Bahamas Bowl provides a destination that will definitely create memorable moments for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and our fans. We look forward to making the trip south and sharing this first-class experience with a very good Charlotte program.”
The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl is played at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 2 pm (EST) and will air nationally on ESPN.
“We are extremely excited to earn an invitation to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl,” Leipold said. “Our past conference participants have raved about the experience and hospitality and our program is thrilled for this opportunity. Coach [Chris] Healy and his staff have done a tremendous job at Charlotte and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing his team.”
MAC Announces Week 14 Football East and West Division Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week: Ohio RB O’Shaan Allison
Ohio junior running back O’Shaan Allison (Norristown, Pa.) scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his collegiate career in a 21-20 overtime win at Buffalo on Saturday at UB Stadium. Allison scored a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Bobcats even the score at 14-14, then he scored from five yards out in overtime to tie the contest at 20-20 and give Ohio the opportunity to convert the game-winning extra point. Allison accounted for a career-high 96 of Ohio's 186 rushing yards in the victory. The Bobcats handed him the ball on all five plays of their overtime possession, and he delivered with 25 yards and the game-tying score.
Defensive Player of the Week: Buffalo DE Taylor Riggins
Buffalo junior defensive end Taylor Riggins (Rochester, N.Y.) tied a career high with two sacks and five tackles in a 21-20 overtime loss to Ohio. Riggins also recovered a fumble forced by teammate Malcolm Koonce and the Bulls scored on a 34-yard touchdown the very next play.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Kent State P Derek Adams
Kent State junior punter Derek Adams (Manheim, Pa.) punted six times and averaged over 47 yards per kick in a 48-0 loss at No. 8 ranked Wisconsin on Saturday. Adams was extremely consistent with a long punt of 51 yards and one inside the 20-yard line. The six punts resulted in just 20 return yards.
Co-Offensive Player of the Week: Ball State RB Caleb Huntley
Ball State junior running back Caleb Huntley (Atlanta, Ga.) piled up a season-high 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 27-20 win at Northern Illinois on Saturday. The 157 yards rushing were only two yards shy of his career-high and he carried the ball a career-high 35 times. Huntley scored the go-ahead 45-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Co-Offensive Player of the Week: Central Michigan RB Jonathan Ward
Central Michigan senior running back Jonathan Ward had 205 all-purpose yards in a 42-16 win over Eastern Michigan. Ward had 132 yards rushing on 12 carries, an average of 11.0 ypc, and scored a pair of touchdowns, including a three-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 86-yard score in the third quarter. The 86-yard touchdown is the longest by a MAC player this year and the seventh-longest in FBS play. Ward also had 3 catches for 73 yards, highlighted by a 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Defensive Player of the Week: Toledo LB Saeed Holt
Toledo sophomore linebacker Saeed Holt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) tied a career-high with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks in a 31-24 win over Western Michigan. Holt made two big plays at the end of the contest. With Western Michigan at the Toledo 12-yard line with just over two minutes to play, Holt sacked quarterback Jon Wassink for a 12-yard loss, setting up a fourth-and-24 situation. Wassink scrambled on the next play and was tackled two yards shy of the first down by Holt with 1:44 left.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Ball State K Ryan Rimmler
Ball State senior kicker Ryan Rimmler (Heidelberg, Germany) set a career-high with four field goals – 24, 25, 42 and 22 yards – on a wet and rainy day in a 27-20 win at Northern Illinois on Saturday. His 42-yarder in the third quarter tied the game at 17-17. Rimmler is the first Cardinal to make at least four field goals in a game since Scott Secor tallied five field goals against Akron on Oct. 25, 2014.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – Senior Mathew Sexton (Clinton, Mich.) returned a blocked punt 30 yards for a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Eastern Michigan University football team emerged victorious against Central Connecticut State University, 34-29, Saturday, Sept. 21 at "The Factory" inside Rynearson Stadium.
The Eagles improve to 3-1 on the year with the victory, while Blue Devils drop their first contest of the year and now hold a 3-1 record.
"It's adversity. Without adversity, it (EMU) doesn't make a great team," said Sexton, adding "It comes down to execution."
Senior quarterback Mike Glass III (St. Louis, Mo.-Hazelwood Central (Southwestern College)) authored another strong performance under center, completing 26-of-39 passes for 79 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. In all, Glass has thrown two or more touchdown passes in five consecutive games dating back to the 2018 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl against Georgia Southern, Dec. 15.
Sophomore Quian Williams (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Southmoore) enjoyed a career day for the Green and White, setting personal-bests with eight receptions for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior Arthur Jackson III's (Oakland, Calif.-Wood (American River College)) lone catch resulted in a 48-yard touchdown, while sophomore Hassan Beydoun (Dearborn, Mich.-Dearborn) made three catches for 45 yards and one touchdown. The score was the first-career for Beydoun. Junior Willie Parker (Tampa, Fla.-Carrollwood Day School) led the ground game with nine carries for 51 yards, while Glass ran 10 times for a total of 16 yards.
The Eagles outgained CCSU, 373-346, and extended drives throughout the afternoon by going 3-for-4 on fourth-down conversions. On the defensive end, senior Kobie Beltram (Antioch, Calif.-Antioch (City College of San Francisco) finished with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery, while fellow senior Vince Calhoun (Middletown, Ohio-Middletown) contributed 10 tackles, including one for-loss, and a sack.
CCSU received the ball to begin the contest and found the end zone on its opening series, marching 75 yards on 11 plays in a 6:17 span. The Blue Devils were successful on their first two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead early on.
The Eagles bounced back on their first drive of the afternoon, needing fewer than three minutes to produce a touchdown of their own, when Glass lofted a 48-yard dime to Jackson, who had no trouble blowing past his coverage to make the catch in stride and trim the deficit to 8-7 with 6:02 remaining in the first period.
The Blue Devils restored their eight-point lead when junior Tyshaun James used runs of seven and 10 yards, respectively, to reach the end zone and widen the margin to 15-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Two plays later, Glass found Williams wide open on the right side of the field for a 25-yard touchdown pass to get the Green and White within a pair, 15-13 with 3:12 to go in the first half.
The Eagles managed to grab their first lead of the afternoon with 30 seconds remaining in the half. Parker's 11-yard run marked EMU's second successful fourth-down conversion, and Glass followed up by throwing a quick slant to Beydoun for a 21-yard touchdown pass to give EMU a 19-15 edge. The Green and White opted to go for two and succeeded when senior Line Latu (San Mateo, Calif.-San Mateo (College of San Mateo)) finished off a perfectly-executed reverse to make it a 21-15 contest.
Both sides traded three-and-outs to begin the second half, as the EMU defense held CCSU to just 25 yards of offense during a scoreless third quarter. In total, the Eagles have kept opponents off the board during the third quarter in 10 of the last 17 games.
Shortly after Williams made a 21-yard catch for his second receiving touchdown of the game, Ryland's extra point attempt sailed through the uprights and extend Eastern's lead to 28-15.
The Blue Devils refused to go away despite the scoreline, adding a one-yard touchdown run to cut EMU's lead to 28-22 with 8:20 left in regulation. Though the Eagles' defense recovered to force a turnover on downs with 5:23 on the clock, CCSU regained possession and snatched a 29-28 lead on a 68-yard strike with 2:05 to go in the final frame.
To finish the game and claim the win, Sexton returned a blocked punt 30 yards to push the Eagles past the Blue Devils, 34-29.
With the win, the Green and White improve to 77-45-5 all-time in their home openers and 5-1 under head coach Chris Creighton. EMU will now enter a bye week before starting Mid-American Conference play in Mount Pleasant, Mich. against Central Michigan University, Oct. 5.
Drew Plitt Named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week following his record setting performance against Fordham this past weekend.
Plitt, a redshirt junior from Loveland, Ohio, tied a school record with six touchdown passes in the 57-29 win over Fordham. His six touchdown passes equaled the school mark with Keith Wenning (6 vs. Miami (Ohio) in 2013) and is tied for fifth in MAC history for touchdown passes in a single game.
Plitt notched career highs in completions (32) and passing yards (439). His 439 passing yards ranked fourth on Ball State’s single game passing list and were just 30 shy of the all-time BSU mark set by Cardinals head coach Mike Neu in 1993 (469). Plitt surpassed 2,000 career passing yards in last weekend’s game and now sits with 2,175 yards.
Eastern Outlasts Coastal Carolina to Open Season with 30-23 Win
CONWAY, S.C. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University football team overcame a slow first quarter to take down Coastal Carolina University in exciting fashion, 30-23, Saturday, Aug. 31, at Brooks Stadium. After falling 10-0 in the first quarter, the Eagles stormed back to outscore the Chanticleers 30-13 the rest of the way.
After Coastal (0-1) connected on a 38-yard field goal to bring the score to 30-23 with just 40 seconds to go, the Chanticleers recovered an onside kick to give themselves one last chance. On their first play, Eastern (1-0) cornerback Kevin McGill (Waldorf, Md.-Westlake) pulled down an interception to put the game on ice.
EMU's first strike of the 2019 season was a touchdown to kick off the second quarter, as senior quarterback Mike Glass III (St. Louis, Mo.-Hazelwood Central (Southwestern College)) connected with sophomore Dylan Drummond (Cleveland, Ohio-Cuyahoga Heights) for a highlight-worthy 11-yard catch-and-pass.
With Coastal driving into Eastern's territory on the ensuing drive, senior Brody Hoying (Coldwater, Ohio-Coldwater) picked off a pass for his third career interception. As the Eagles returned the drive, a fumble off the pylon and out of the endzone resulted in a turnover and touchback for the Green and White. Coastal Carolina capitalized on the turnover, knocking through a 52-yard field goal to take a 13-7 lead into halftime.
On the first drive of the second stanza, Glass punched in a two-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper to put Eastern ahead 14-13. The run capped off a 13-play, 75-yard drive to open up the second half, and gave the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish. Running back Shaq Vann (South Bend, Ind.-John Adams) was crucial to the drive with and featured heavily all afternoon. The senior finished the game with 108 yards on 22 attempts, marking the fifth 100+ yard game in his career.
Senior defensive lineman Clay Holford (Carrollton, Texas-Hebron) came up big for the Eagles on the Chanticleers' next drive, snagging a pass out of the air on Coastal's first play from scrimmage. Eastern's drive stalled on the nine-yard line, but sophomore Chad Ryland (Lebanon, Pa.-Cedar Crest) knocked home a 26-yard field goal to put the Green and White ahead 17-13.
As Eastern forced a three-and-out on the next Coastal possession, the Green and White responded quickly with a second Glass-to-Drummond connection from 19 yards out. The second touchdown catch of the day put the Eagles ahead 23-13 and, for Drummond, marked the first time in the Cleveland, Ohio native's career that he hauled in two touchdown receptions in a game.
After Coastal used a six-minute drive to bring the score back to 23-20, Eastern's offense rose to the occasion to make it a two-score game once again. Facing a third and long, Glass connected for his third touchdown of the day with Quian Williams (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Southmore), putting EMU ahead 30-20 with 5:46 remaining.
On the second-to-last CCU drive of the contest, the Chanticleers moved the ball inside the red zone and were threatening to score when junior Turan Rush (Charleston West Side, W.Va.-Capital-Antelope Valley) came up with EMU's first sack of the campaign to halt the drive. Though Coastal connected on a 38-yard field goal to bring the score to 30-23, Eastern was able to hold on for the win.
Eastern was led by Glass, who had an efficient 188 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-22 from the pocket. Vannled the way on the ground with his 108 yards, and Drummond led a balanced attack through the air with 52 yards. Joining the aerial assault was senior Matthew Sexton (Clinton, Mich.-Clinton), who had 48 yards on four catches, and Williams, who finished the game with 42 yards and two catches.
Defensively, Kobie Beltram (Antioch, Calif.-Antioch (City College of San Francisco)) and Terry Myrick (Austell, Ga.-Woodward Academy) were all over the field for the Eagles, finishing with 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.
Coastal Carolina was led by quarterback Fred Payton, who had 304 yards through the air to go along with two touchdowns and four interceptions. The four picks marked the most in a game since 2017. Receiver CJ Marable pulled down seven catches for 84 yards.
EMU's win over CCU marks the first win over a Sun Belt Conference member since defeating Arkansas State in 1976, 32-30. Eastern's only other appearance in the Palmetto State was to take on the University of South Carolina, Sept. 16, 2000.
Eastern returns to the gridiron Saturday, Sep. 7 when it travels to the Bluegrass State to take on the University of Kentucky. The Eagles and Wildcats kick off at 7:30 p.m. from Kroger Field and can be found on ESPNU/SEC Network, as well as WEMU 89.1.
Ohio Football Opens 2019 Season With Win Over Rhode Island
ATHENS, Ohio -- Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Ohio football team (1-0) picked up a school-record 10th-straight home win, opening up the 2019 season with a 41-20 victory over Rhode Island this afternoon at Peden Stadium.
The Bobcats improved to 10-5 in season openers under 15th-year head coach Frank Solich. Solich, who now owns a 107-75 record as head coach at Ohio, is now four wins away from passing Herb Deromedi (110; Central Michigan, 1978-83) for the most by a Mid-American Conference head coach.
With the win over the Rams, Ohio has now won 15 of its last 16 games played at Peden Stadium.
"We won the ballgame," said Solich. "I think that's great. I think we played a pretty good football team, a fairly talented football team, and fought. We're obviously going to have to do things better, really, on both sides of the ball and in special teams also. We have a lot of improvement to do. I'm proud of the guys for getting it done today, and even though we seem to get off to a slow start, I thought as the game went on, we did things much better."
Rourke led the way for the Ohio offense, completing 16 of his 22 pass attempts (72.7 percent) and recording his 14th career outing with multiple touchdown passes. He also led the team with 75 yards on the ground via 10 attempts. Rourke improved to 18-7 as the starting quarterback at Ohio and has now been responsible for 80 career touchdowns, putting him three away from breaking the school record. Ohio scored on all seven of its drives with Rourke in the game and went a perfect 5-for-5 on red zone opportunities.
"Our expectation is to end every drive with a kick and take care of the ball and do what we did today," said Rourke. "We know what we're capable of and the bar that we set for ourselves is high, so we came out and did what we expected to do."
Rourke completed passes to nine different receivers, with redshirt junior Tyler Tupa(Brecksville, Ohio) leading the way with a team-high 49 receiving yards. He matched redshirt freshman wide receiver Jerome Buckner (Columbus, Ohio) and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Isiah Cox (Jasper, Ala.) for the team lead with the three receptions. Both he and redshirt junior tight end Ryan Luehrman (Athens, Ohio) hauled in their first career touchdown receptions.
Including Rourke, three Bobcats picked up over 50 yards on the ground to pave the way for a 278-yard rushing day for Ohio. Redshirt sophomore Julian Ross (Kansas City, Mo.) rushed for 68 yards on a team-high 14 carries while redshirt junior running back De'Montre Tuggle put together a breakout performance in his first game as a Bobcat, rumbling for 65 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries -- including a 55-yard scamper in the third quarter.
"When my number's called I want to take advantage of every moment I get, just focus on the end goal, which is winning," said Tuggle. "Transferring here (from Kilgore College), coming in, I already knew what the situation was so, from day one, I just wanted to make sure to prove myself and prove that I belong here. Hopefully that's showing."
Defensively, Ohio was led by redshirt junior linebacker Jared Dorsa (Kings Mills, Ohio), who accumulated a team-high eight total tackles (three solo, five assisted) -- including a half a sack. Redshirt junior linebacker Dylan Conner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) logged a career-high seven total tackles (one solo, six assisted) while senior Eric Popp (Loveland, Ohio) added a career-high six (two solo, four assisted) and redshirt senior safety Javon Hagan(Jacksonville, Fla.) chipped in five (two solo, three assisted). Senior defensive tackle Cole Baker (Pinson, Ala.) recorded a game-high 1.5 sacks, and junior cornerback Marlin Brooks(Miami, Fla.) logged the second interception of his career. The unit helped limit Rhode Island to just 84 rushing yards.
After the Ohio defense forced Rhode Island to punt on the game's opening drive, the Bobcats drove 94 yards on 13 plays on a march that took over six minutes off of the clock. Rourke completed six of his seven pass attempts for 76 yards and rushed for 16 more on Ohio's opening drive of the season, capping it off by keeping it himself for a five-yard touchdown.
The Rams responded with a 15-play, 57-yard drive that ticked over seven minutes off of the clock and ended with junior kicker C.J. Carrick converting knocking down a 35-yard field goal less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Carrick's ensuing kickoff ended up out of bounds, giving the Bobcats the ball on their own 35. Rourke, Allison and Ross combined to pick up 43 yards on the ground over the first three plays of the drive, but Ohio stalled at the Rhode Island. Redshirt senior placekicker Louie Zervos (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) came on to connect on a 37-yard field goal, extending Ohio's advantage of 10-3 with just over 10 minutes to play in the half.
Ohio forced Rhode Island to punt, then finished off a seven-play, 61-yard drive with Rourke connecting with Tupa on a 22-yard scoring strike – the first touchdown reception of Tupa's career – that pushed Ohio's lead to two touchdowns with three minutes to go before halftime.
"It just felt amazing to back out there, preforming competing with my teammates," said Tupa. "They believed in me these past couple of years, and it's just nice to be able to go out and prove that I can still play a bit. It felt like the first time I was playing football again. It was that same feeling of excitement being out there with all my brothers."
The Rams added three more points to their total just before the end of the half. A pass interference penalty by Ohio and a 38-yard completion from redshirt junior quarterback Vito Priore to senior wide receiver Aaron Parker put the ball on the three yard line for Rhode Island. The Bobcats dug in, though, and forced the Rams to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Carrick.
The Bobcats moved 72 yards on 10 plays after receiving the second-half kickoff. Rourke hit Cox for a 16-yard completion on a 3rd-and-7, kept it himself for a gain of 17 and finished the drive off by finding Luehrman for a four-yard scoring strike.
Rhode Island answered with a touchdown on its first drive of the half, though, cutting Ohio's lead to 24-13. A roughing the passer penalty on the Bobcats helped set up a 34-yard touchdown from Priore to senior wide receiver Aaron Parker.
Ohio increased its lead back to 14 points on the ensuing drive as Zervos connected on a 42-yard field. The Bobcats then got the ball back at the Rams' 15 and scored three plays later on a six-yard touchdown run by Tuggle, giving Ohio a 34-13 advantage going into the final quarter.
After forcing Rhode Island to punt again, Tuggle made up for a 78-yard touchdown run that was negated by a holding penalty by racing into the end zone from 55 yards out six plays later.
The Rams got a break when Ohio fumbled on a punt return and then scored the very next play when Priore found junior wide receiver Isaiah Coulter for a 38-yard touchdown, cutting the Bobcats' lead to 21 points. Ohio sealed the victory, though, when Brooks picked off Priore on Rhode Island's next possession with just over three minutes to play.
Priore finished 22-of-42 through the air with 291 passing yards and two touchdowns. Parker led all receivers with a game-high nine receptions on a game-high 144 yards. Junior running back Zoe Bryant was the game's leading rusher with 89 yards on 17 touches.
Jim McElwain on his 2019 Chips
MAC- Ohio Bobcats Coach Frank Solich on the Bobcats 2019 Team
MAC ANNOUNCES 2019 PRESEASON MEDIA FOOTBALL POLL
Is MSU football resurgence wishful thinking? MSU players believe
The term "program game" isn't thrown around all willy nilly at Michigan State.
It means something. It shows character. So when Mark Dantonio uses it, you better believe that game is important.
The Spartans needed to beat Maryland Saturday afternoon to reach bowl eligibility. All week prior Dantonio called it a program game.
After Michigan State's 19-16 victory over the Terrapins Saturday evening, it became a program win.
The cheap green $4 hats that displayed that phrase on the back that Michigan State's players collectively wore following the game made it so.
"I felt like, hey, you need to have something to hang onto and point towards," Dantonio said following MSU's win.
Before this week's game, there's only been one other time that Dantonio referred to a matchup as a program game. And the subsequent results were ones to admire.
Let's go back to 2012.
Michigan State, behind a redshirt senior quarterback in Andrew Maxwell, sat at 5-6 and needed to win at Minnesota to get to a bowl game. The Spartans didn't quit. They didn't pucker or slouch, and instead left Minneapolis with a 26-10 victory to reach bowl eligibility.
A month later, Michigan State defeated TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl and sprinted into the offseason with momentum.
The next three seasons consisted of five total losses, two Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl win, a Cotton Bowl win and an appearance in the 2015 College Football playoff.
If you ask Michigan State's players, there's no reason why that success can't happen again. Why?
Justin Frommer@JustinbFrommerInteresting quote from Julian Barnett (@_OfficialJB1) about the faith he has that MSU will get things turned around as it did after the 2012 season.
8:26 PM - Nov 30, 2019
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30 people are talking about thisLook around. There is youth everywhere.
The Spartans' youth movement, especially on offense, is here and it's real. Eight of the 15 true freshmen that have played this season have come on that side of the ball.
Julian Barnett has played in all 12 games for the Spartans. Anthony Williams has played in 11. J.D. Duplain has played nine. Nick Samac has played six. Adam Berghorst has played three and Devontae Dobbs has played four. Dobbs was slated to start in his fifth game this year against the Terrapins, but a "short-term" injury, as Dantonio described it, kept him on the sidelines.
Brandon Wright and Tre Mosley burned their redshirt season Saturday night.
"Everywhere you look there's youth, youth, youth," Barnett said following the Spartans' win. "Like in the game today, you probably can count over 10 players that are young that played today. Not only just freshmen, redshirt freshmen, sophomores and stuff like that. There's a lot of youth going forward.“
Saturday's game was supposed to be for seniors to make lasting impressions, but the youngsters stole the show.
Mosley led the Spartans in receiving with eight catches for 73 yards. Williams added five catches for 63 yards, and also recorded five carries for 13 yards. Barnett added three catches for 49 yards, while Wright carried the ball five times for seven yards.
Redshirt freshman running back Elijah Collins rushed for 41 yards on 15 carries. Redshirt freshman tight end Trenton Gillison caught two passes for six yards. Sophomore Jalen Nailor caught two passes for 14 yards and added two carries for 6 yards.
“We just want to go out on a high-note. On a two-game winning streak, go into the bowl game, take care of business and get that W so we can go and have a great offseason and just build off of it and have a great year next year,” Mosley said.
Michigan State's defense will get young in a hurry. Five starters played their last game in Spartan Stadium on Saturday, not including Joe Bachie who's been suspended since MSU's game against Illinois due to a failed drug test.
A drop off in production going forward on that side of the ball should be expected. But don't tell that to MSU's players.
“We got a lot of young and athletic guys," Noah Harvey said. "People don’t see that because we have an older defense, but behind the scenes we got a lot of young guys that have a lot of talent and a lot of athleticism.”
Harvey, a redshirt sophomore, led the Spartans in tackles Saturday night. Sophomore safety Xavier Henderson broke up Josh Jackson's fourth-and-5 pass to secure MSU's win.
True freshman linebacker Marcel Lewis played in his second game of the year Saturday. Defensive end Michael Fletcher has played in one game and Tate Hallock, Cade McDonald, Charles Willekes, Evan Morris and Jude Pedrozo have all seen time on special teams.
The core for the next three-to-four years for MSU football is getting experience right now. Because Michigan State won its sixth game of the year, that experience will only increase.
Just like seven years ago, this year's offseason will be shortened by a month, but for good reason. A bowl birth means 15 more practices — an entire month for the future core of this team to gel. That opportunity wouldn't be an option if the Spartans fell flat against the Terrapins.
There are more benefits to playing in a meaningless Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit or Pinstripe Bowl in New York than sitting at home until Spring ball starts.
“One thing we've been preaching all week is how important it is to go to a bowl game," senior safety David Dowell said. "Not only for the seniors to be able to play that last game with the team, but just for, one, the chemistry going into next year and then there's so many practices and stuff as well, where the younger guys can also take those things into next year and be able to finish it out the right way.”
It started with a program game, turned into a program win and possibly — like it did in 2012 — a program-defining moment.
Michigan State's players believe so.
“History says it," Cody White said. "2012 to 2013, they made that jump, and I feel like we’re capable of doing that same thing with the guys we got coming back.”
B1G Football POW
Week 14 Players of the Week
Following Big Ten football games on Oct. 5, the Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week and Freshman of the Week in the Big Ten were announced this morning. Below are this week's honorees:
Offensive Player of the Week
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Jr., RB, Salem, N.J./Salem
Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
So., DL, Plymouth, Mich./Divine Child
Javon Leake, Maryland
Jr., RB, Greensboro, N.C./Page
Wan’Dale Robinson, Nebraska
WR, Frankfort, Ky./Western Hills
Mark Dantonio stands alone in MSU football history as Spartans beat Northwestern
By Justin FrommerSeptember 21, 2019 3:35 pm
Junior defensive back Dominique Long looks to make a tackle during the game against Northwestern on Sept. 21, 2019 at Ryan Field. Spartans led the Wildcats 14-3 at the half.
Connor Desilets | The State News
EVANSTON, Illinois — Mark Dantonio: The winningest head coach in Michigan State history.
It's now official.
A week after Dantonio's party was spoiled in Spartan Stadium, Michigan State went on the road and got the job done. The Spartans defeated Northwestern, 31-10, Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field, giving Dantonio his 110th career win, passing Duffy Daugherty for most in Michigan State history.
“Big win. Big, big win," Dantonio said following the game. "Coming off a tough loss last weekend and being able to handle adversity and get through things. I'm very proud of our football team in terms of what we were able to accomplish. A lot tighter game than you would think the score would indicate. Got a lot of respect for Northwestern and what they were able to do.”
The Spartans beat the Wildcats for the first time since 2013.
Offense scores, stalls and scores again
Michigan State's offense came out with their heads on fire. Then, they cooled off. Then found their stride again right before halftime to give the Spartans a 14-3 lead at the break.
Michigan State opened the game on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a 5-yard touchdown run by Elijah Collins.
Collins finished with 17 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Then came the struggles.
The next four drives for the Spartans ended in punts and a fumble by Cody White on a punt return. Michigan State was plagued by penalties and negative plays that consistently set it back. On the Spartans' second drive, a sack and false start on back-to-back plays ended the possession before it could get going.
On the next possession, a catch by Matt Seybert was negated due to a personal foul call on Connor Heyward. The next play was four-yard loss on a run by Anthony Williams, and the Spartans had to punt.
MSU finished with five penalties for 47 yards.
After a Josiah Scott interception with just over 90 seconds left in the half, the Spartans marched back down the field and found the end zone on an 11-yard catch by Cody White from Brian Lewerke.
"That was big, to be able to get the pick," Lewerke said. "I had a feeling we were going to get the ball, but on the 10-yard line versus the 30, wherever Josiah (Scott) picked it off, it was a big play for us and I’m glad we were able to score before the half.”
Lewerke finished 18-for-31 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, while White added four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Michigan State's opening possession in the second half ended in a missed 40-yard field goal by Matt Coghlin, his fourth consecutive miss dating back to last weekend against Arizona State. Coghlin finally got one to split the uprights when he converted a 26-yard field goal before the end of the third quarter.
The offense got back on track after the miss, ending their next possession in a 8-yard touchdown pass from Lewerke to Seybert. Seybert found the end zone again, this time from 7-yards out, to extend MSU's lead to 31-3.
Seybert finished with four receptions for 28 yards and two scores.
Dominant defense again
The goal proposed by Dantonio this week was for his defense to be perfect. They were 10 points away from accomplishing that.
MSU's defense finally got the help it needed from the offense, and the end-product was a decisive win. The Wildcats had chances to score. On their first drive, Northwestern moved the ball all the way to the goal line. Then, the Spartan defense turned into a brick wall as they stuffed the Wildcats on three-consecutive run plays to force a turnover on downs.
Quarterback Hunter Johnson finished 15 of 26 for 88 yards and an interception by Josiah Scott before being pulled before the fourth quarter. Drew Beesley and Joe Bachie added an interception off of backup quarterback Aidan Smith.
Northwestern managed a 39-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander in its third possession, but that was all it could muster against the Spartan defense until late in the game when Drake Anderson ran one in from two yards out.
The Wildcats finished with 265 yards, with 139 of them coming on the ground. Anderson finished with a team-high 91 yards on 17 carries. Bachie led the Spartans with 13 tackles, one quarterback hurry and two pass breakups.
“Business as usual, you know," Bachie said. "We talked about last week, refocusing and getting back down to business, and that’s what we did this week. You know, offensively, defensively, we did a great job. We focused together and got Coach D. his win today.”
Michigan State (3-1) returns to East Lansing next week where it will host Indiana on homecoming, Sept. 28, 2019 at Spartan Stadium (3:30 p.m., BTN).
Mark Dantonio excited about his 2019 Football Team
Big Ten Announces Football Preseason Honors
OSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced its 2019 football preseason honors on Thursday in conjunction with the start of Big Ten Media Days at the Hilton Chicago. A media panel selected the 10-member preseason list, with five representatives each from the East and West Divisions.
Michigan State and Ohio State each placed two honorees on the East Division team, with Buckeye junior running back J.K. Dobbins earning Big Ten football preseason accolades for the second consecutive season. He is joined on this year’s preseason East Division squad by his OSU classmate, defensive end Chase Young, as well as a pair of MSU seniors in linebacker Joe Bachie and defensive end Kenny Willekes, with Penn State junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos completing the East Division side.
Five different schools placed students on the West Division preseason list, led by Northwestern junior linebacker Paddy Fisher and Wisconsin junior running back Jonathan Taylor, both of whom garnered Big Ten preseason football honors for the second year in a row. Iowa junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa, Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez and Purdue sophomore wide receiver/return specialistRondale Moore rounded out this year’s West Division honorees.
The 2019 Big Ten preseason honors list features three of the conference’s individual award recipients from a season ago in Willekes (the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year), Moore (the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year) and Taylor (the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year). Taylor was also a 2018 unanimous first-team All-American and the Doak Walker Award recipient as the nation’s top running back, while Moore was a consensus All-American last season and earned the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. In addition, Willekes was a second-team All-America selection by three outlets.
Moore, Taylor and Willekes are among seven returning first-team All-Big Ten selections on the Big Ten preseason honors list, joining Bachie, Epenesa, Fisher and Gross-Matos, with Fisher also earning third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press last year.
Other 2018 all-conference honorees who appear on this year’s preseason honors list include second-team selections Dobbins and Young, as well as honorable mention choice Martinez.
Six of this year’s Big Ten preseason honorees — Bachie, Fisher, Martinez, Moore, Taylor and Willekes — are scheduled to attend Big Ten Media Days this week in Chicago.
The full list of Big Ten football preseason honorees is as follows:
Joe Bachie, Sr., LB, MSU
Kenny Willekes, Sr., DE, MSU
J.K. Dobbins, Jr., RB, OSU
Chase Young, Jr., DE, OSU
Yetur Gross-Matos, Jr., DE, PSU
A.J. Epenesa, Jr., DE, IOWA
Adrian Martinez, So., QB, NEB
Paddy Fisher, Jr., LB, NU
Rondale Moore, So., WR, PUR
Jonathan Taylor, Jr., RB, WIS
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz at B1G Media Days