Midweek MACtion officially started October 30 with a pair of evenly matched games between Buffalo and Miami, and Bowling Green and Kent State. The week had a decent set of games with only one being totally out of hand. The players of the week this week all had a major hand in the outcome of their games.
Quarterback of the Week
Tyree Jackson for Buffalo showed how good he could be and why the Bulls are inching closer to the top 25. Tuesday night against Miami Jackson threw for 358 yards, 3 touchdowns and ran for three touchdowns as well. He accounted for 6 of 7 touchdowns scored by the Bulls. Buffalo needed to score at about that pace only winning by nine points, 51-42.
Gus Ragland from Miami had his night overshadowed by Jackson, but still played a great game. Ragland also ran for 3 touchdowns and threw for over 300 yards. It just wasn’t quite enough. Nathan Rourke only played the first half against WMU but accounted for 5 touchdowns while completing 86% of his passes. Not a ton of total offense was produced, only 217 yards, but he was extremely efficient.
Running Back of the Week
Bowling Green and Kent State played on October 30 and were overshadowed by Buffalo and Miami. Anyone who was watching this game was treated to Jo-El Shaw rushing for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The last one was a game winner from 18 yards out. Shaw also started the scoring with a 24 yard pass that was completed behind the line of scrimmage.
Northern Illinois running back Tre Harbison ran for a week 10 league best 169 yards against Akron. Harbison pushed one across the goal line and caught 3 passes for 18 yards. On only 13 carries Shaq Vann ran for 114 yards and a score. Scoring was at a premium against Central Michigan so his 114 yards were more than half of all combined rushing yards in the game.
Wide Receiver of the Week
Anthony Johnson caught three touchdown passes from 75, 25, and 10 yards out. He totaled 283 yards on 8 catches. The Buffalo senior is trying to catch the eye of NFL scouts in the final stretch of his college career. Johnson’s junior season is a more eye popping stat line, but his yards per catch leads the league at 21.0 yards this season.
One of my favorite names, Akron’s Kwadarrius Smith, was a big play machine. Only four catches on Thursday but 115 yards and two touchdowns. It was not enough to upset the Huskies but it was close to the bitter end. The multi use back Kenny Young had 9 rushes and 5 catches for Miami. He made most of his impact catching the ball with 95 yards and a score.
Sack and Tackle For Loss Leader
Ball State and Toledo combined for 10 turnovers on Halloween. That’s bad football. Terrence Taylor had 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss for Toledo. On third and seven in the first quarter Taylor forced a fumble from Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt that was returned for a touchdown by Tuzar Skipper. After that play it was 21-0 Toledo. The game was already out of reach.
Linebacker Brandon Harris from Bowling Green lead the league with 9 solo tackles and 15 total. That is good for 22% of all plays when a tackle was made by Bowling Green.
Interceptions and Pass Deflections
Northern Illinois corner back Jalen McKie decided to put an end to Akron hanging around in the fourth quarter. Akron pulled within 3 in the third quarter and after a few punts were exchanged, Mckie returned an interception for a touchdown. That extended the lead to ten. Later with Akron’s back against the wall, McKie intercepted another pass, and let the offense run out the last 2 minutes of the game.
See who were the players of the week last week!