MAC 2002 Week 2 Preview

Week 2 sees the Ball State Cardinals in action for the first time in 2002, Marshall and Bowling Green have the week off, and Toledo and Eastern Michigan have the honors of playing in the first conference game in the MAC this season.

The action gets started at 12:10p.m. EST when Western Michigan makes the drive from Kalamazoo to Ann Arbor on I-94, to do battle with Michigan at Michigan Stadium. The game will be broadcast as a regional game on ESPN Plus.

Other games on Saturday, September 7, 2002 include a 12:10p.m. EST kickoff at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio between the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Ohio State Buckeyes, the game can be seen on ESPN Plus. In the battle of Hawks, the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the Miami University RedHawks at 12:10p.m. EST, on ESPN Plus. The Wyoming Cowboys travel to Mt. Pleasant Michigan to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas at 1:00p.m. At 6:00p.m. the Akron Zips take on the Maryland Terrapins and in the first MAC Conference game of the year, the Eastern Michigan Eagles welcome the Toledo Rockets to Rynearson Stadium in a MAC West Division showdown. There are three games slated to start at 7:00p.m. Northern Illinois travels to Tampa Bay, Florida to take on the University of South Florida Bulls. The Ball State Cardinals open up their 2002 season with a visit to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers. The Buffalo Bulls hope to rebound from their opening loss when they visit Rutgers to play the Scarlet Knights. The Northeastern Huskies travel to Athens, Ohio to play an 8:00p.m. game against the Ohio Bobcats and to finish up the final game of the day for the MAC, the new kids on the block, the University of Central Florida Golden Knights travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe Arizona to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils for a 10:00p.m. contest, a game that can be seen on the Sunshine Network.

Kent State (1-0) vs. Ohio State (1-0)

Kent State started the 2002 season by doing something they haven't done as a team since 1995. They opened the season with a win. The Golden Flashes defeated New Hampshire in a convincing fashion 34-7in front of 16,073 fans. In the victory, the Flashes were led by their dynamic duo of sophomore quarterback Joshua Cribbs and sophomore running back Eddie Beccles. Cribbs rushed 15 times for 191 yards and 1 touchdown and through 11 passes, completing just 5 for 65 yards. Beccles rushed 20 times for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. The Ohio State Buckeyes opened up their season on August 24 with a 45-21 win over Texas Tech. The Buckeyes were led by freshman tailback sensation Maurice Clarett who rushed the ball 21 times for 175 yards. Saturday's game marks the first ever contest between Kent State and Ohio State. Against MAC opponents, Ohio State is 16-1 with the only loss coming against the Akron Zips in 1894, 52 years before the MAC is formed. The quick start for Kent State has given Head Coach Dan Pees an early winning record for the first time at Kent State, something he didn't see until late in the 2001 season. Ohio State is led by 2nd year Head Coach Jim Tressel. Coach Tressel led the Buckeyes to a 7-5 record in 2001, including a dramatic win at Michigan Stadium against archrival Michigan. Overall, Jim Tressel has a 142-62-2 record as a Head Coach.

Toledo (1-0) vs. Eastern Michigan (0-1)

On Saturday, the Toledo Rockets and the Eastern Michigan Eagles get an early jump on the 2002 MAC Conference schedule when the Eagles host the Rockets at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti Michigan. The Rockets are coming off of an impressive season opening win, defeating Cal Poly 44-16 in front of 23,074 fans. Against Cal Poly the Rockets were led by quarterback Brian Jones who threw 12 completions in 16 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback William Bratton rushed 17 times for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. Eastern Michigan opened up its 2002 season on the road at Michigan State. Despite holding the Spartans to 7 points until the 8:33 mark in the 2nd quarter, the Spartans rolled off 56 unanswered points until Ime Akpan scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run with 6:02 left in the game. Head Coach Jeff Woodruff had this to say about his team's performance on Saturday, "We started well on defense, but as your defense gets tired and worn down, it gets harder to perform. Our offense wasn't having much success, so our defense wasn't getting time to rest. And unfortunately, we don't have much depth to bring new bodies in." Jerry Gaines led the Eagles defensively with 13 tackles and 1 interception, while quarterback Troy Edwards completed 18 of 41 passes for 133 yards. Toledo Rockets Head Coach Tom Amstutz now owns a 13-1 coaching record as a head coach, while Head Coach Jeff Woodruff's record at Eastern Michigan stands at 5-18. Toledo owns the all-time series record with 19 wins and 10 losses. The last time Eastern Michigan beat Toledo was in 1999, a 20-13 win in the Glass Bowl.

Wyoming (0-1) vs. Central Michigan (1-0)

The Wyoming Cowboys and the Chippewas of Central Michigan take to the field at Kelly Shorts Stadium for an afternoon game in Mt. Pleasant Michigan. The Cowboys opened their season with a "Home" game against the Tennessee Volunteers, in Nashville, Tennessee. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they were on the wrong end of a 47-7 contest. The Cowboys are led by quarterback Casey Bramlet. Against the Volunteers, Bramlet threw 30 passes, completing 11 for 133 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. Up in Mt. Pleasant, the Chippewas defeated the defending Southland Conference Champions Sam Houston State Bearkats 34-10 in front of 18,826 fans, in the season opener. The Chippewas are led by Derrick Vickers who threw 28 passes, completing 17 for 208 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Vic Koenning was named the head coach of the Cowboys on December 13, 1999 and since then has compiled a 3-20 record. Head Coach Mike DeBord in his 3rd season as the head coach of the Chippewas improved his record to 6-17.

Buffalo (0-1) vs. Rutgers (1-0)

Buffalo travels to Piscataway, New Jersey, the home of collegiate football, Saturday to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. On November 9, 1869 the Rutgers played Princeton in the first ever collegiate football game, winning the game 6-4 (for the story on "the first game" go here: http://www.scarletknights.com/football/history/first_game.htm). Last week, Buffalo suffered a heart breaking 37-26 loss to Lehigh, a team that extended their Division 1 longest winning streak to 24 games, in front of 21,103 Bulls fans. Buffalo was led defensively by free safety Mark Graham. Graham recorded 13 tackles, 1 sack for a loss of 7 yards, and 2 interceptions returned for 47 yards. The Scarlet Knights opened up their 2002 season with a 19-37 loss to Villanova. Former WMU offensive coordinator Bill Cubit's son Ryan Cubit, a sophomore quarterback, leads the Rutgers offensive attack. Against Villanova Ryan completed 17 of 38 passes for 184 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also rushed the ball 7 times for –2 yards and 1 touchdown. With Buffalo's loss to Lehigh Jim Hofher record as the Bull head coach fell to 3-9. Greg Schiano is in his 2nd season as the head coach for the Scarlet Knights. With the loss to Villanova, Greg now has a 2-11 record as a head coach. Rutgers holds the series advantage with 2 wins and 0 losses against Buffalo. Against MAC teams Rutgers holds a record of 3-1-1.

Western Michigan (1-0) vs. Michigan (1-0)

On Saturday, Western Michigan makes their 2nd trip in 2 years to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines in Michigan Stadium. Last week the Broncos got their 2002 season started with a resounding 48-17 victory over the Indiana State Sycamores, in front of 28,268 fans. While there was mixed review among the fans the Broncos showed tremendous improvements compared to the last half of the 2001 season. The Broncos rotated junior quarterbacks Jon Drach and Chad Munson with Drach getting two series to Munson's one series. Drach showed good improvement compared to last season, he completed 9 of 17 passes for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. Munson became on instant fan favorite when 2 of his first 3 passes went for touchdowns, including a game long of 59-yards to Jermaine Lewis. Munson completed 14 of 19 passes for 197 yards and 4 touchdowns. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Michigan opened up their season against Washington, in what became an instant classic at Michigan Stadium when Philip Brabbs kicked the game winning field goal with no time on the clock to give Michigan the 31-29 victory. Quarterback John Navarre led the Wolverines with 22 completions in 38 attempts for 28 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Head Coach Gary Darnell improved record at WMU to 37-21. Head Coach Lloyd Carr is in his seventh season as a head coach. Coach Carr has a 59-17 record as the head coach at Michigan.

Northern Illinois (1-0) vs. South Florida (1-0)

Northern Illinois turned in the MAC game of the week last week when the Huskies rallied from behind to beat Wake Forest 42-41 in overtime, in front of 19,653 ecstatic fans. The game made it to overtime when Steve Azar booted a 46-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to tie the game at 35. Azar also connected on a 51-yard field goal at the end of the first half. The South Florida Bulls are coming of an impressive 51-10 win over Florida Atlantic. Quarterback Marquel Blackwell leads the South Florida Bull this season. Against Florida Atlantic, Blackwell completed 27 of 39 passes for 263 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 sack. Head Coach Joe Novak improved his coaching record to MAC West Division with a 6-5 record in 2001. Jim Leavitt is in his 7th season as the head coach for the Bulls. He has led the Bulls to a 36-20 record and has brought the Bulls for D-1AA to D-1A in just 6 season. In the Bulls 1st season in D-1A in the 2001 season, the Bulls finished with an 8-3 record, including a 35-26 defeat of the Pittsburgh Panthers, in Pittsburgh.

UCF (0-1) vs. Arizona State (1-0)

UCF travel's to Tempe, Arizona for a Saturday evening affair in the desert with the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Golden Knights came up short in their first ever game as a member of the Mid-American Conference. University of Central Florida lost to Penn State 27-24, after putting together a late 4th quarter rally. Quarterback Ryan Schneider led the Golden Knights offensively completing 32 of 46 passes, for 345 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Arizona State has already played 2 games in the 2002 season and has a 1-1 record. Last weekend the Sun Devils defeated Eastern Washington 38-2. Arizona State is led offensively by quarterback Mike Williams. So far for the Sun Devils in 2002 Williams has completed 18 of 37 passes for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns, he has thrown 0 interceptions. Coach Kruczek's record now stands at 26-19 and the Golden Knights have yet to beat a top 25 team, they are 0-11 when playing ranked teams. Arizona State is led by Head Coach Dirk Koetter who is in his 2nd season as the head coach of the Sun Devils. Coach Koetter came to the Sun Devils after being the head coach of the Boise State Broncos where he posted a 26-10 record. Coach Koetter sports a 5-8 record at Arizona State, raising his overall record to 31-18. This marks the first ever meeting between UCF and Arizona State. Against the MAC, the Sun Devils owns a 0-2 record with their last game against Toledo in 1979. The Sun Devils won that game, but had to forfeit the win. Coach Koetter's last victory against a MAC team was against Central Michigan in a 47-10 contest in 2000.

Akron (0-1) vs. Maryland (0-1)

On Saturday the Akron Zips travel to College Park, Maryland to take on the Maryland Terrapins. The Zips opened up their 2002 season with a 57-21 setback at Iowa last weekend. The Zips were led by quarterback Charlie Frye. Frye completed 21 of 29 passes for 230 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The Terrapins opened up their 2002 season in South Bend against Notre Dame suffering a 22-0 setback to the Fighting Irish. The Terrapins were led by quarterback Scott McBrien, but with running back Bruce Perry out with an injury, McBrien wasn't able to get the offense going, completing 9 of 23 passes for 84 yards and 2 interceptions. Head Coach Lee Owens record with the Zips now stands at 29-49. Ralph Friedgen is in his 2nd season as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins and owns a 10-3 record. Ralph led the Terrapins to an ACC Championship in 2001 and an appearance in the Orange Bowl last season. Saturday's game marks the first ever game between the Akron Zips and the Maryland Terrapins.

Iowa (1-0) vs. Miami (1-0)

For the second time in two weeks the Iowa Hawkeyes play football against a MAC team. This week they travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the Miami University RedHawks. The Hawkeyes opened up their 2002 campaign with a 57-21 win over the Akron Zips in Iowa City last week. In route to their victory, Iowa scored a school record 37 points in the first quarter. The Hawkeyes were led by running back Fred Russell; Fred racked up 170 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 rushes. Against the North Carolina Tarheels the RedHawks forced the Tarheels to tie an ACC record of 9 turnovers, in route to a 27-21 win. Sophomore quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, led the RedHawks. Ben completed 16 of 33 passes for 204 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. The Hawkeyes Head Coach Kirk Ferentz improved his record at Iowa to 12-24. Terry Hoeppner is in his 4th season as the head coach of the RedHawks. With Miami's win against North Carolina, Coach Hoeppner improved his record to 21-14. The RedHawks own a 12-32-2 record all-time vs. the Big Ten. In the series against Iowa, the Hawkeyes own a 1-0 advantage over the RedHawks. The Hawkeyes improved their record against the Mid-American Conference teams with their victory against Akron to 10-1.

Northeastern (1-0) vs. Ohio (0-1)

The Bobcats of Ohio University look to rebound from their season opening loss to Pittsburgh when they host the Northeastern Huskies at 8:00p.m. in Athens, Ohio. Northeastern a member of the NCAA D-1AA Atlantic 10 Football Conference opened up their season last week by defeating Lock Haven 48-0. Northeastern is lead by quarterback Shawn Brady who completed 10 of 16 passes for 154 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. The Huskies have a running game that saw 10 different players rush for a combined 263 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Ohio Bobcats fell to the Pittsburgh Panthers 27-14 last week. Early miscues led to the Bobcats falling behind the Panthers 20-0 at half-time. The Panthers scored points after 2 interceptions and a fumble. The Bobcats fought back in the second half to make the game more respectable and leading the comeback was senior running back Chad Brinker who rushed 24 times for 119 yards and 1 touchdown. Head Coach Don Brown coaches the Huskies. Coach Brown has a 10-13 career record at Northeastern. His counterpart, Head Coach Brian Knorr of the Ohio Bobcats owns a 1-11 record. This is the first meeting between the two schools and neither team has played an opponent from the other school football conference.

Ball State (0-0) vs. Missouri (1-0)

The Ball State Cardinals was the only MAC team not to take the field last week. They open their 2002 football season Saturday in Columbia, Missouri against the Missouri Tigers. Ball State is coming off a 5-6 season that saw them win a MAC West co-championship with Toledo and Northern Illinois. It was their first title since winning the MAC in 1996. The Cardinals started the season losing four straight games before finishing up the season winning 5 of their last 7 games. The Cardinals are led by senior tailback Marcus Merriweather. Merriweather returns as the leading MAC rusher, in 2001 Merriweather rushed 268 times for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Missouri Tigers are coming off of a 33-20 win over the defending Big Ten champion Illinois. Redshirt freshmen quarterback Brad Smith led the Tigers in their upset over Illinois. Smith threw 26 passes, completing 15 for 152 yards, and no interceptions. Smith also led all rushers with 138 yards on 18 carries and 1 touchdown on a 24-yard scamper. Head Coach Bill Lynch coaches the Cardinals. Coach Lynch is in his 8th season as the head coach of the Ball State Cardinals, his coaching record stands at 31-47 and overall he owns a 67-59-3 record as a collegiate head coach. Gary Pinkel took over the head coaching job at Missouri in the 2001 season, after coaching the Toledo Rockets for 10 seasons. At Missouri he holds a 5-7 coaching record, while at Toledo he coached the Rockets to a record of 73-37-3 becoming the winningest coach in Toledo history. This is the first meeting between Ball State and Missouri.

Bowling Green (1-0) Bye

The Bowling Green State University Falcons have the weekend off after defeating Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 41-7 last Thursday. Quarterback Josh Harris led the Falcons in passing and was 2nd in rushing. He threw 21 passes, completing 13 for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed the ball 6 times for 19 yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensively the Falcons were led by defensive back Jason Morton with 7 tackles, 1 for a loss of 5 yards, and 1 fumble recovered. Head Coach Urban Meyer in his 2nd season as the head coach of the Bowling Green Falcons improved his record to 9-3 with the win against Tennessee Tech.

Marshall (1-0) Bye

In Huntington, West Virginia the Marshall Thundering Herd got off to a slow start on Saturday. Trailing 7-3 after the 1st quarter Marshall's offense woke up and scored 20 straight points and never looked back. Byron Leftwhich led the Herd with 27 completions in 41 attempts for 469 yards, 4 touchdowns; Leftwhich also fumbled the ball twice, recorded 2 rushing touchdowns on 12 carries for 18 yards. Certainly it was a great way to start the season in hopes of winning the Heisman Trophy. Head Coach Bob Pruett improved his record at Marshall to 70-11. Marshall does not play this weekend and will use that time to prepare for their visit on September 12, to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies.

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