Rockets Grounded By Ball State
Toledo's Fall From the Top 25 Highlights This Week's 'Around the MAC'
Ball State 24, Toledo 20
Freshman wide receiver Corey Parchman may never wear his contact lenses again. They were knocked out on a kick return that he ended up taking back 100 yards with only 3:07 remaining to lift Ball State to an upset victory over the Toledo Rockets.
Toledo suffered their first loss of the season in a wild game that featured four lead changes and excellent run defense.
Marcus Merriweather gave Ball State a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run, the only ground score by a running back in the game.
Mid-American Conference rushing leader Chester Taylor, who was held to only 25 yards on 18 carries, helped out Toledo as he hit quarterback Tavares Bolden with a touchdown pass of 11 yards to tie the game at 17 early in the final quarter.
Having driven down to their opponents' 2-yard line, the Rockets were unable to punch the ball in and elected to kick a field goal on fourth and inches.
The ensuing kickoff was Parchman's shining moment.
Toledo, who fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 Coaches' Poll, did themselves in with 14 penalties for 139 yards. The Rockets came in to the game ranked 23rd in the poll.
It was another fun-filled episode of the Byron Leftwich show last weekend as the Marshall Thundering Herd improved their record to 5-1 by pounding the visiting Central Michigan Chippewas. Leftwich had a career high 471 yards passing, his second-straight game eclipsing the 450-yard mark, and three touchdowns as Marshall continued its drive toward first place in the MAC East division.
The Chippewas lit up the board first when Tory Humphrey caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to give Central a 7-0 lead that turned out to be the only score of the first quarter.
Running back Franklin Wallace tied the game midway through the second with a 6-yard run, starting a string of 42 unanswered points for the Herd.
Leading by a score of 14-7 at the half, Wallace got the ball rolling again for Marshall as he scored on a 12-yard scamper to give them a 14-point lead.
Leftwich took over from there.
Touchdown passes to Darius Watts and Josh Davis went for 47 and 86 yards, respectively, and catapulted the Herd to a 35-7 lead just before the end of the third quarter. Brandon Carey capped off a 90-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter for Marshall's final score of the afternoon.
Bowling Green Falcons quarterback Andy Sahm hit receiver Robert Redd with a late touchdown pass to lift the Falcons to victory over the Akron Zips and remain in the race for the MAC East division title.
Zac Derr got the Zips out to a 9-0 lead in the first half with three field goals. That lead would stand until just before halftime, when Bowling Green's Cole Magner ran 38 yards for a touchdown to make it a 9-7 game at the half.
The Falcons were able to tie the game when Ryan Wingrove tackled Junior McCray in the end zone for a safety, the only score of the third quarter.
Then, Sahm struck, finding Redd for a 5-yard score to take a 16-9 lead with 5:42 left to play.
After Sahm was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, giving Akron a safety, the Zips got the ball back just in time to throw four consecutive incomplete passes and surrender the decision to the Falcons.
Thomas Hammock rushed for 139 yards on 39 carries and scored a touchdown as the Huskies of Northern Illinois defeated Western Michigan's Broncos to earn their third home victory Saturday.
The Broncos claimed the lead early when Jonathan Drach hit Micah Zuhl for a 13-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. After the defense sacked NIU quarterback Chris Finlen in the end zone for a safety, Robert Menchinger nailed a 35-yard field goal to give Western Michigan a 12-0 lead.
Hammock got the Huskies back in the game before halftime, however, as he pounded his way in for a score from five yards out to pull NIU within five.
Vince Thompson put the Huskies up for good just 1:30 into the second half by intercepting a Drach pass and returning it 32 yards for a touchdown. Northern Illinois added a fourth quarter field goal to seal the victory.
Both passing attacks were non-existent: Finlen completed only nine passes on the day, while Drach threw four interceptions and was sacked four times.
In what seems to be a recurring theme, Ben Roethlisberger once again lit the fire that led Miami (OH) to victory over intrastate rival Ohio State last weekend. Roethlisberger threw for 322 yards and five touchdowns as the Red Hawks earned their fifth win of the season, while the Bobcats are still stuck with one win.
Ohio took a 14-7 lead early on two Joe Sherril touchdown runs (12, 3), and jumped ahead by 14 when Dontrell Jackson got in on the action with a five-yard run of his own.
With less than two minutes to play in the half, Roethlisberger hit last week's hero, Eddie Tillitz, with an 11-yard scoring strike to pull within seven.
Early in the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 24, Roethlisberger went to work again. And once again it was Tillitz playing the hero's role as he hauled in a 15-yard toss to put Miami up by six.
Roethlisberger threw his fifth, and final, touchdown pass of the day on a 30-yard bomb to Michael Larkin with only 2:52 left to ice the game.