2012 Mid-American Conference football preview
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Kent State (5-7, 3-5 Mid-American Conference), Sept. 19: The Golden Flashes have gone 5-7 both of the past two seasons. Last season, Kent State struggled on offense, with quarterback Spencer Keith throwing for only 1,682 yards.Kent State has looked significantly better so far this season. With the return of running back Dri Archer, the Flashes have two legitimate threats out of the backfield. The Buffalo offense has been lights out this season, but it could be disrupted by a big man like defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix clogging up the running game for junior running back Branden Oliver.
Players to look out for: Dri Archer(RB) – Archer was ineligible last season but has looked great in his first two games back. He is averaging over eight yards per carry and has rushed for four touchdowns. Watch for No. 1 coming out of the backfield when the Flashes visit Buffalo.
Roosevelt Nix (DL) – Nix led the team in tackles for loss last season with 17 and was second on the team with 4.5 sacks. In two games this season against Towson and Kentucky, Nix has accumulated four tackles for loss and one sack.
Ohio (10-3, 6-2 MAC), Oct. 6: Ohio is projected as an early favorite to win the MAC this season. They’ve gotten off to a good start winning their first two games of the year, including a win over Penn State on the road. Last week the Bobcats received 17 AP votes for the top 25 rankings. A match up with Ohio could be a nightmare for the Bulls, who beat the Bobcats by a point last year at UB Stadium. The Bulls can win if they establish the running game, to allow Alex Zordich to spread the ball around to his receivers and can limit the big plays against Tettleton.
Players to look out for: Tyler Tettleton (QB) –Tettleton leads the Ohio offense and is a Davey O’Brien Award candidate. Tettleton lit up Penn St. and New Mexico St., completing nearly 72 percent of his passes while throwing for 581 yards and four touchdowns. He has the capability to pick apart a Bulls secondary that has looked confused at times so far this season.
Travis Carrie (CB) – Carrie is the standout corner for the Bobcats’ defense. He led the team last season with four interceptions and is on the Thorpe Award Watch List to start the 2012 season.
Northern Illinois (11-1, 7-1 MAC), Oct. 13: Last season, the Huskies were MAC champions after upending the Ohio Bobcats (23-20). They competed against Arkansas State (10-3, 8-0 Sun Belt) in the godaddy.com Bowl, winning 38-20. They could be a difficult matchup for the Bulls’ run defense. The Huskies like to run a lot of read option, and with a versatile quarterback, it could create problems for the Bulls. But the Huskies could struggle offensively as they return only three starters.
Players to Look out for: Martel Moore (WR) – The wideout amassed 48 receptions for 752 yards and seven touchdowns. His elusive route running helps him pick up extra yards, making it harder for defenders to take him down.
Jimmie Ward (FS) –Ward earned second team All-MAC honors last season, recording 100 tackles and 40 solo stops. Ward recorded at least five tackles in all 12 games.
Toledo (9-4, 7-1 MAC), Oct. 27: Toledo was one of the best teams in the MAC last year; its only conference loss came against eventual MAC West champions Northern Illinois (11-3, 7-1 MAC). The Rockets only return eight total starters this season, four on both sides of the ball. So far this season, Toledo’s defense has struggled, allowing more then 1,000 yards of offense in its first two games. The Rockets have no problem handing the ball off, with three players having 20 or more rushing attempts already this season. If the Bulls can stop the running game, it should help them secure a win.
Players to look out for: Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens (QB) –Dantin and Owens enter the 2012 season listed as co-starters on the depth chart. Both QBs were extremely efficient last season. Dantin finished 21st in the nation with a 149.7 passer rating, but was topped by Owens’ rating of 169.2, which ranked third in the country.
Jermaine Robinson (S) –Robinson is the Rockets’ biggest threat on defense. He finished last season with three interceptions and already has two this season. If Robinson can shut down the Bulls’ passing attack, it will go a long way to help stifle Oliver’s attempts on the ground.
Miami Ohio (4-8, 3-5 MAC), Nov. 3: In 2009, the RedHawks were at the bottom of the conference reaching double digits in the loss column. In 2010, they exercised their past demons and finished with a 10-4, 7-1 MAC record, won the MAC championship and the godaddy.com Bowl against Middle Tennessee (6-5, 5-3 Sun Belt), 35-21. Miami Ohio’s turnaround season did not translate into 2011, as the RedHawks struggled to maintain their winning ways, finishing 4-8, 3-5 MAC. This will be a big game for Buffalo considering its pass defense has been suspect so far this season. With Dysert’s prolific passing, complimented by wide receiver Nick Harwell, the tandem could pose a serious problem for the Bulls’ secondary.