NIU vs Toledo

Posted on November 9, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , |

MAC Conference: Huskies take on the Rockets

November 9, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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First official contest at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular aka Comiskey features the Mid-American Conference Northern Illinois (3-6) taking on Toledo (7-2) and they are calling it the “Chi-Town Showdown.”

toledo vs.niu2

By the game being held in Chicago, it’s a crucial locale in terms of former and future students, as well as alum for both schools.

“It probably doesn’t have everything riding on it the way people thought,” NIU coach Rod Carey said. “The same appeal might not be there, but it is a big game for those reasons.”

In addition, the MAC stakes couldn’t be higher for the Rockets.

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NIU needs to win its final three games to qualify for a ninth straight bowl appearance, extending its MAC record. As long as there’s a bowl game to play for, the emphasis remains on the present rather than the unknown future.

The shocking loss to Ohio a few weeks ago forced Toledo to have to win out to take the MAC West – and that includes a showdown at Western Michigan after facing Ball State next week.

The offense continues to be amazing, averaging 553 yards per game with the nation’s second-most efficient passing attack. The attack moves at will, and outside of a few braincramps, the defense has been good enough. But now the Rockets have to face a red-hot NIU team rolling at the right time.

It’s been a tough season full of injuries and ineffectiveness, but the Huskies have taken care of two home games helped by an offense that’s going off.

Joel Bouagnon ran for 134 yards and five scores in last week’s blowout win over Bowling Green, while QB Anthony Maddie took over two weeks ago running for 125 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-7 win over Buffalo.

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Can the NIU backfield go off against a Rocket defense that’s allowed more than 100 yards just two times over the last five games? Yeah, but the Toledo offense will make up for it with a strong enough offensive performance – the passing game will kick in – to win a thriller worthy of the venue.

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2016 MAC Preview

Posted on August 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2016 MAC Preview

August 31, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

You want diversity? You want a contrast in styles? You want a fascinating mix of superstar offensive talents mixed in with just enough solid defensive teams to keep things interesting? Well the MAC is all about that this year!

The conference always boasts the haves and have-nots, with a gaping disparity between the elite and not-so-elite, yet this time around, the conference should be a bit more even. The coaching is strong, there’s plenty of star power at quarterback, and the division races are as unpredictable as they’ve been in several years.

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Last year Bowling Green didn’t field a defense and still won a MAC championship by outbombing everyone. Head coach Dino Babers is now in Syracuse and quarterback Matt Johnson is gone, but the offense should still be dangerous enough to contend.

Contrast the Falcons with Akron, the breakthrough team of last year that dominated on defense. Kent State had absolutely no offense whatsoever, ruining a fantastic campaign for a phenomenal defense. Now the Zips have to rebuild and the Golden Flashes have to hope they have some way to move the ball to keep up with the other high-powered stars in the division.

The other day I heard the ‘MAC East is the kids’ table.’

They may have taken the championship last season, but the league’s four best teams are in the West – PERIOD. So I agree.

Western Michigan is about to be devastating. Quarterback Zach Terrell leads a potentially unstoppable offense that should be an automatic 30-point-per-game machine, while the defense gets seven starters back and should be good enough to get by.

AP Poll

Northern Illinois will have a healthy quarterback this season – something it didn’t field late last year when the team was ravaged by key injuries – and now the offense is back to its normal high level. It’ll have to be considering Toledo isn’t going anywhere despite the loss of head coach Matt Campbell to Iowa State. The rushing tandem of Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson should be as productive as any in America.

Central Michigan has the high-rising quarterback in the NFL Draft world in Cooper Rush, and the defense that finished 16th in the nation welcomes back eight starters – this might be the most complete team in the MAC.

Ball State should be among the league’s most improved teams with Mike Neu taking over a veteran squad, while Eastern Michigan will try to keep the program afloat as the sixth-best team – by far – in a six-team division.

Besides the championship game, of course, we believe the MAC Football Game Of The Year will be Toledo at Northern Illinois (in Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular Field) Nov. 9. As good as Toledo has been over the last several years, why hasn’t it been able to break through and become the star of the MAC? NIU has won six straight in the series.

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Here is our overall MAC Predictions….

EAST

WEST

1. Ohio

2. Bowling Green

3. Buffalo

4. Akron

5. Kent State

6. Miami University

1. Western Michigan

2. Northern Illinois

3. Toledo

4. Central Michigan

5. Ball State

6. Eastern Michigan

Western Michigan should be the star of the West, and it gets both Toledo and Northern Illinois at home making the showdown between the Rockets and Huskies in Chicago all but an elimination game.

As we have stated, the MAC West is the toughest to predict as the battle should come down to Western Michigan against Northern Illinois, and the battle will be decided October 8… winner of this contest should win the West. And since the Broncos nor the Huskies play Ohio, who should win the East… whew – should be an exciting game in Detroit December 2.

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