A lot of people across the country love themselves some MACtion, but here’s to guessing a sizable number of Big Ten schools don’t fall into that category.
Included in that category is Northwestern, which was on the receiving end of a directional MACtion slap across the face as Western Michigan went into Evanston and came away with a 22-21 win. Late in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were driving for what could’ve proved to be the game-winning score when one of the most bizarre plays of the first full Saturday slate of games unfolded.
The Chicago Tribune explains:
[NU quarterback Clayton] Thorson was at his best on the Wildcats final possession, but he was stripped by Western Michigan linebacker Robert Spillane at the goal line with about three minutes remaining in the game, and [WMU safety] Davontae Ginwright recovered in a bizarre sequence that was ruled a touchback.
Ginwright threw the ball into the end zone as he was going out of bounds and Northwestern recovered, but the officials ruled that he was already in possession and out of bounds.
After review, WMU got the ball on the turnover, and ran out the remaining 2:54 for the road upset.
The win marks the 11th consecutive season a team from the MAC has beaten one from the Big Ten, which is the longest such streak in the history of the conference
During that stretch, MAC teams have defeated 10 different Big Ten teams— Illinois (2); Indiana (5); Iowa (3); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Michigan State (1); Minnesota (2); Northwestern (2); Penn State (1) and Purdue (5) — for a total of 22 wins during this span. Miami (13), Bowling Green (8), Toledo (6), Central Michigan (6) and Northern Illinois (5) have the most wins all-time vs. Big Ten opponents.