Thursday night’s MACtion saw a rather significant development when it comes to one of its two divisions.
MAC West rivals Northern Illinois and Toledo each entered Week 10 play an unblemished 4-0 in conference play. After 60 minutes of action in the Glass Bowl, the Rockets exited with both a 27-17 win and sole ownership of the divisional driver’s seat.
Logan Woodside passed for 361 yards in the win — his second-best this season behind the 458 he put up in Week 3 vs. Tulsa — while Terry Swanson ran for all three of the Rockets’ touchdowns.
With three games left in the regular season, UT essentially holds a two-game lead over NIU in the West. Games still left on the current leader’s schedule are at Ohio (4-1, tied for MAC East lead with Akron), at Bowling Green (2-3) and Western Michigan (3-2).
Because of the head-to-head tiebreaker, wins in just two of those contests would send the Rockets to the MAC championship game regardless of the Huskies do in their last three games of the regular season. Toledo has not appeared in the conference title game since 2004, while NIU saw a streak of six straight appearances in that game broken last year.