Around the MAC: Championship game set; WMU's Cubit fired
Two Mid-American Conference regular season games turned into semifinals for the Championship that put Kent State and Northern Illinois on top of both divisions.
With NIU beating Toledo and Kent State defeating Bowling Green, the two will meet at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Ford Field for the MAC title. It will be Kent State’s first trip to the MAC Championship game.
Shortly after Western Michigan lost to Eastern Michigan on Saturday, the Broncos decided to fire head coach Bill Cubit after his eighth season. The 4-8 finish was WMU’s worst season since the year before it hired Cubit in 2004, going 1-10.
Northern Illinois 31, Toledo 24
NIU junior quarterback Jordan Lynch made another statement toward the MAC Player of the Year award with 407 passing yards and 162 rushing and three touchdowns Saturday. The Rockets (8-3, 2-5 MAC) had a 14-7 lead, but three interceptions thrown by Toledo junior quarterback Terrance Owens helped the Huskies get back to the MAC Championship game. NIU improved to 10-1 with the win, including 7-0 in the conference.
Kent State 31, Bowling Green 24
With 21 seconds left in the game, BGSU threw a final fourth-down pass 17 yards into the end zone for its MAC Championship game chances to remain alive. Luke Wollet intercepted those chances and sealed the Golden Flashes, making their first MAC championship appearance ever. Junior running back Dri Archer had 241 rushing yards and two touchdowns, averaging 14.2 yards per carry. BGSU slipped to 7-4 with a 5-2 conference record, while Toledo improved to 8-3, including 5-2 in the MAC.
Eastern Michigan 29, Western Michigan 23
Central Michigan, EMU and WMU will all share the Michigan MAC Trophy this season, with each team finishing 1-1 against each other. WMU senior quarterback Alex Carder threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in his last college game, but it wasn't enough to earn the victory. The Broncos slip to 4-8, 2-6 MAC, while the Eagles (2-9, 1-6 MAC) remain the bottom dweller of the West Division.
Ball State 57, Ohio 27
Ball State had two quarterbacks with a pair of touchdowns a piece and two running backs with more than 130 yards and a touchdown Saturday as it ran over Ohio. It was a close game until the fourth quarter when BSU (8-3, 5-2 MAC) scored three unanswered touchdowns to finish the game. MAC preseason favorite Ohio (8-3, 4-3 MAC) has one win over the past four weeks since being ranked in the Associated Press poll.
Buffalo 29, Massachusetts 19
It looked as if UMass would get its second MAC win, up 13-0 at halftime, but a fourth quarter dominated by the Bulls kept it from happening. Although the score was there throughout, Buffalo had 405 offensive yards to UMass’s 264. The Minutemen slip to 1-10 – winless in the MAC – while Buffalo (4-7, 3-4 MAC) sits fourth in the East Division.