Two MAC Teams Lose to Ranked Opponents
Virginia Tech 31, Western Michigan 0
Virginia Tech running backs Keith Brunell, Kevin Jones, Wayne Ward and Jarrett Ferguson rushed for a combined 235 yards and two touchdowns as Hokies Head Coach Frank Beamer used a stable of runners to replace the injured Lee Suggs. Brunell lead the way as he gained 74 yards and paved the way for the No. 9 team in the nation to gain its second win of the season.
Western Michigan could muster only 166 yards of total offense.
Favored to lose by 28 points to the then number 22 ranked team in the country, the Akron Zips put up a real fight against the Ohio State Buckeyes, as they brought the game to within seven points in the fourth quarter on cornerback Richie Coble's 87-yard interception return of a Steve Bellisari pass for a touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Zips, OSU running back Jonathan Wells' 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns were too much to overcome, especially in front of a crowd of 102,602 spectators (an Ohio State record) in the newly expanded OSU stadium.
The Buckeyes are now ranked 21st following their win.
After having just eight completions in 22 passing attempts in the first half, highly-touted Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner regained his All-American form by hitting nine of 12 passes to finish with 241 yards and two touchdowns.
Northern Illinois did their part to keep Kittner's squad in the game, missing two field goals in the first half, one of which came from only 29 yards out.
Iowa quarterback Kyle McCann had his way with the Miami, Ohio RedHawks' defense in a blowout on Saturday, going 13 of 16 passing for 201 yards and four touchdowns, including first-quarter strikes of 15 yards and 52 yards.
The one bright spot for Miami had to be the resilience of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while running for another 80-yard score.
T.J. Duckett, the Michigan State Spartans' super-talented running back, showed off his skills as he set the tone for their first win with a 120-yard rushing performance. Duckett's 31-yard touchdown run helped Michigan State leap out to a 35-7 halftime lead.
Central Michigan staged an improbable comeback, thanks to a Division I-A record four blocked punts by James King. King's third and fourth blocks, coming in the last two quarters, were both returned for touchdowns.
West Virginia Mountaineer running back Avon Cobourne led all rushers with 35 carries and 173 yards, scoring on runs of three and four yards, to pave the way for a Mountaineer smothering of Ohio University. Cornerback Rick Sherrod starred on defense for WVU, recording 14 tackles.
Red-shirt freshman quarterback Shane Boyd quarterbacked rookie Head Coach Guy Morris' KU team to its first victory, going 15-22 for 215 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start.
Running back Marcus Merriweather carried Ball State on his shoulders for the first three quarters before leaving with an injury. Merriweather finished with 121 yards on 21 carries.
The Toledo Rockets marched into Temple and handed the Owls their first loss this weekend on the strength of two touchdown passes (20 and 80 yards) from Tavares Bolden to Carl Ford. Chester Taylor paced Toledo with 99 rushing yards on 22 carries, and Ford finished with four receptions for 112 yards.
Toledo is close to breaking the top 25 rankings. The Rockets' point total in the poll has them placed at No. 27.
Running back David Alston and quarterback Joshua Cribbs assumed the starring roles for Kent State in this contest, rushing for 163 yards on a combined 30 carries. Alston lead the way with touchdown runs of 44 and 10 yards, while Cribbs also passed for 145 yards and two touchdowns in addition to his performance on the ground as the Kent State Golden Flashes buried their Division I-AA opponent.
The Maryland Terrapins' defense yielded just 124 yards of total offense to Eastern Michigan to score their largest margin of victory in more than four years. Running back Bruce Perry led the way for Maryland with touchdown runs of eight, 24 and 31 yards en route to amassing 133 yards on just 16 carries.
The Thundering Herd were apparently not satisfied with the 28-20 lead they held at halftime, as they bombarded the UMass Minutemen, with 21 unanswered points to post their first win of the season. Junior quarterback Byron Leftwich was the catalyst for Marshall's attack, going 21 of 30 for 331 yards passing with five touchdowns. Three of those strikes went to wide-out Darius Watts, who scorched the Minutemen with nine receptions for 160 yards.