Category: Northern Illinois Huskies

MAC title game

No. 24 Toledo’s loss hands MAC West to N. Illinois


One of the biggest winners in college football this Black Friday didn’t even have to step foot on the field to become one.

At a cold and rainy Glass Bowl Friday afternoon, Western Michigan took the lead in the middle of the second quarter and never trailed again, dropping host Toledo by the score of 35-30.  The loss drops the 24th-ranked Rockets to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in Mid-American Conference play.

With the loss, UT and Northern Illinois, which lost to Ohio Tuesday night, are now tied atop the MAC West.  However, because of the Rockets’ 34-27 home loss to the Huskies Nov. 3, it’ll be NIU facing Bowling Green in the conference championship game next weekend.

This is the seventh consecutive season NIU has either won outright or shared the West division title.  This will also be NIU’s sixth straight appearance in the league title game, with the Huskies winning in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Even more to the point, it will be an NIU-BGSU MAC championship game each of the past three seasons.

One final note: not that there was much doubt before, but the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bowl bid will almost certainly go to the AAC.  The winner of that conference will be determined next week in Houston, with UH hosting either Temple (if it beats UConn) or USF (if Temple loses).

Group of Five Update: Houston lost, but New Years Six still up for grabs for AAC contenders


Houston may have been upset on the road by UConn on Saturday, but the Cougars remain in a solid position to reach the goal of any Group of Five program. The only thing Houston realistically lost Saturday was an undefeated season. Houston will get a chance to redeem themselves and play for a conference championship if it can score a win against a rising Navy this week. Better yet, the winner of the Houston-Navy game will get to host the first American Athletic Conference championship game, and the AAC is still in the bets possible position to send its champion to the New Years Six bowl line-up regardless if it is Navy, Houston or Temple.

South Florida remains in the AAC mix going into the final week of the season. If USF beats UCF and Temple loses to UConn, the Bulls will play for the AAC title against either Houston or Navy. If you are a Toledo fan, then you are buying a ticket to ride Coach T’s bus in Tampa. USF winning the AAC swings the door wide open for a MAC champion to fill the vacancy in the New Years Six reserved for the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. The odds are probably stacked against the MAC champion, be it Toledo, Northern Illinois or Bowling Green, but USF could throw a wrench in the plans for the AAC.

With the final week of the regular season coming up for the majority of the Group of Five conferences, here is a rundown of the division scenarios at play in each. The final week of the season will see five division champions determined, with three being settled on the field between division contenders. Home field advantage is also up for grabs in a handful of contests.



  • Temple wins with a win vs. UConn OR USF loss to UCF.
  • USF wins with win vs. UCF AND Temple loss to UConn.


  • Winner of Houston vs. Navy wins division


  • Navy hosts Temple/USF with win vs. Houston (best conference record)
  • Houston hosts Temple/USF with win vs. Navy (best overall regular-season record vs. Temple; best conference record vs. USF)
  • AAC East winner cannot host conference championship game according to AAC procedures.



  • Bowling Green has clinched the MAC East division and will play in the MAC Championship Game


  • Northern Illinois wins with win vs. Ohio OR Toledo loss to Western Michigan
  • Toledo wins with win vs. Western Michigan AND Northern Illinois loss to Ohio



  • Western Kentucky vs. Marshall winner wins division


  • Louisiana Tech vs. Southern Miss winner wins division




  • Air Force clinched the division when New Mexico lost to Colorado State


  • San Diego State clinched the West Division


Homefield advantage in the Mountain West Conference will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season. The highest-ranked division champion will receive the homefield advantage for the championship game.


  • Arkansas State wins with win vs. New Mexico State or Texas State.
  • Appalachian State wins with wins vs. UL-Lafayette and South Alabama AND Arkansas State losses to New Mexico State and Texas State
  • Georgia Southern wins with wins vs. South Alabama and Georgia State AND Appalachian State losses to UL-Lafayette or South Alabama AND Arkansas State losses to New Mexico State and Texas State


If the College Football Playoff selection committee had to rank the top teams in the Group of Five, here is how I think the remaining contenders would be ranked (Memphis and Boise State, for example, are out of contendion).

  1. Navy: Clearly the team to beat as Keenan Reynolds makes Heisman case.
  2. Houston: Sure, they lost, but are still a top candidate for the big prize
  3. Temple: Owls scored big win against Memphis to put them one step closer to AAC championship game
  4. Toledo: Rockets need some help from Ohio, but if they sneak by Northern Illinois, they remain in the hunt
  5. N/A: The New Year Six spot will only go to one of the above four teams mentioned, so there is no longer a need to rank a fifth team in this spot. Sorry USF, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Conference USA. It’s nothing personal.

Toledo thrashes Bowling Green, but will it matter?

Kareem Hunt
Associated Press

Toledo played a fantastic game on Tuesday night, winning 44-28 at rival Bowling Green.

The Rockets intercepted Bowling Green standout quarterback Matt Johnson on the first play from scrimmage. They scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and found points on all six of their first half touches. They led 17-0 after one quarter, 30-7 at one point in the second quarter and never allowed the Falcons to pull within one score.

Toledo displayed fantastic balance, as quarterback Phillip Ely completed 16-of-24 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Kareem Hunt rushed 29 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Its defense held Johnson, who entered the night as the nation’s second-leading passer, more than 100 yards below his season average an intercepted him twice, half the number of picks Johnson had thrown all season entering the game.

Toledo out-rushed Bowling Green 198-94 while holding the Falcons to 17 points below their season scoring average and more than 200 yards below its yearly yardage average.

All this while playing on the road against a hated rival.

Again, Toledo played a fantastic game on Tuesday night. Perhaps the best any MAC team has posted all season.

But while the Rockets (9-1, 6-1 MAC) went a long way to proving themselves the MAC’s best team, they may not get a chance to win the hardware proving themselves the conference’s top dog.

By virtue of a 32-27 loss to Northern Illinois last Wednesday, the Rockets ceded control of the MAC West to the Huskies – and they aren’t likely to give it back. NIU faces Western Michigan (Wednesday) and Ohio (next Tuesday) to close the season, both at home. Western Michigan is improved, but the Huskies own a six-game winning streak in the series. Ohio is 7-4 on the season, but has been outscored by an average of 51-18 in losses to the three best MAC opponents its faced to date this fall.

And, by the way, Northern Illinois has dropped just one MAC home game in the past seven seasons.

So it is Northern Illinois, not Toledo, that has the inside track to face MAC East champion Bowling Green (8-3, 6-1 MAC) in Detroit for the conference title.

But while Toledo may not have the opportunity to claim a conference championship, they do have the satisfaction of owning an emphatic sixth straight victory in a hated rivalry that dates back to 1919.

Not a bad consolation prize.

Week 11, Statistically Speaking

stats word on a lptop computer
Associated Press

A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

.886 — Percentage of plays that have been rushing attempts for Navy (537 of 606) in 2015, the highest in the FBS.

.9 — Yards per carry South Carolina averaged on 23 carries in a 24-14 loss to Florida.

2 — Number of players who caught passes for Northern Illinois in its Thursday night win over Buffalo.  Aregeros Turner hauled in a career-high nine passes for 49 yards, while Kenny Golladay totaled six receptions for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

6 — School-record passing touchdowns for Jake Rudock in Michigan’s double-overtime win over Indiana.  Four of those went to Jehu Chesson, which tied a school record as well.

Miami v North Carolina7 — Career punt returns for touchdowns by North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer, one off the FBS record of eight held by Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins and Texas Tech’s Wes Welker.

13 — Players who were credited with at least one carry in Navy’s 55-14 win over SMU.

15 — Consecutive 100-yard rushing games for Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, the top such streak in the country.

21 — Teams that have multiple national championships and produced at least one Heisman winner: Alabama, Army, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and USC.

23 — Consecutive games in which TCU has scored a first-quarter touchdown.  It’s the second-longest streak the last 20 years, behind only Stanford’s 25 straight from 2009-11.

28 — Consecutive regular season conference games in which Ohio State has scored at least 20 points, the longest active streak among Power Five schools.  Georgia Tech and TCU are next at 20 straight.

Maryland v Michigan State28 — Interceptions Maryland has thrown this season.  The next closest is Charlotte with 21.

31 — Including the Week 11 matchup with Virginia Tech, the number of Thursday night ESPN games Georgia Tech has appeared in, the most of any FBS team.  23 of those games were played at Bobby Dodd Stadium, also the most at this level.  Tech’s opponent this past Thursday, Virginia Tech, is next at 30 total appearances.

32 — Wins for Stanford’s Kevin Hogan and Michigan State’s Connor Cook, the most of any active FBS quarterbacks.  Wisconsin’s Joel Stave and Navy’s Keenan Reynolds are next with 29 each.

55 — Different mascot headgears Lee Corso has donned making his selections on ESPN‘s College GameDay show after picking Baylor to beat Oklahoma.

78— MAC head-coaching wins for Ohio’s Frank Solich, moving him past Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry‘s 77 from 1955-64 and into fourth place on the conference’s all-time list.  Next up is the 79 by Marshall’s Bob Pruett (1997-03).

Wake Forest v Notre Dame98 — Yards on a touchdown run by Josh Adams against Wake Forest, the longest play from scrimmage in Notre Dame history

134 — Touchdowns allowed by the Alabama defense since 2009, the fewest in the FBS. Florida is next with 174, followed by LSU’s 179.

227 — Games Memphis has gone without returning a kickoff for a touchdown.  The last one came in November of 1996 against Tennessee.

230 — Rushing yards for Marlon Mack in USF’s upset of Temple that made the Bulls bowl-eligible.  Mack averaged 11 yards on his 21 carries.

238 — Rushing yards for Jordan Howard in Indiana’s loss to Michigan.

244 — Career-high rushing yards for Appalachian State’s Jalin Moore.  The freshman came into the win over Idaho with 203 career yards to his credit.

248 — Career-high rushing yards for Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington in a 15-point win over Kansas State.  Washington’s previous best was 188 in a Week 4 loss to TCU.

271 — Career-high passing yards for Karson Roberts in a win over Utah State, the most by an Air Force quarterback since 1989 (Dee Dowis, 306 vs. Notre Dame).  This was the first time Roberts had passed for 200 or more yards; his previous career-high was 156, set just last weekend.

New Mexico v Boise State281 — Career-high receiving yards for Boise State’s Thomas Sperbeck in the loss to New Mexico.

292 — Combined rushing yards for Chase Price (152) and Donnel Pumphrey (140) in San Diego State’s 38-3 win over Wyoming.

402 — Career points for UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, breaking the Pac-12 record of 390 set by fellow Bruin kicker John Lee from 1982-85.

405 — Career-high passing yards for Jake Browning in Washington’s come-from-ahead loss to Arizona State.  The true freshman also tossed a career-high three interceptions.

453 — Season-high passing yards for Cal’s Jared Goff.  The junior also tossed a career-high six touchdowns in the 54-24 win over Oregon State.

461 — Career-high yards of total offense (361 passing, 105 rushing) for Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson in the win over Syracuse.

471 — Career-high passing yards for Nick Arbuckle in Georgia State’s 41-19 win over Texas State.  It’s the second time this season and fifth in his career he’s gone over 400 yards in a single game.

493 — Points through nine games for Baylor, the third-best nine-game stretch to a start a season behind only 2013 Baylor (551) and 1944 Army (504).

490147750501 — Passing yards by three Southern Miss players  (Nick Mullens, 386; Tyler Matthews, 109; Tyler Sarrazin, 6) in a 65-10 win over Rice.  The three also combined for seven touchdowns, with Mullens tossing five of them.

503 — Career-high passing yards for Brett Rypien in Boise State’s loss to New Mexico.  The true freshman had set his career-high the previous week with 469.

761 — Combined passing yards for Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel (386) and Tulsa’s Dane Evans (375) in the Bearcats’ 49-38 win.

1,311 — Games played by Rutgers in its history, the most of any FBS program.

1916 — The last season Arkansas scored 50-plus points in back-to-back-to-back games, a streak that was ended by LSU Saturday.

1980 — The last time North Carolina started 6-0 in ACC play prior to this season.

Ohio State one win shy of becoming fourth team with 30-game intra-conference winning streak

Cardale Jones, Marcus Baugh
Associated Press

The streak is, admittedly, a little screwy, since there’s a loss mixed in there among all those wins. But the streak is the streak.

Following Saturday night’s 28-14 win over Minnesota, Ohio State has now won 29 consecutive regular season Big Ten games, nudging them up the list of longest intra-conference winning streaks in college football history.

The full list, via Eleven Warriors:

1. Florida State (1992-95) – 29
1. Ohio State (2012-current) – 29
3. Florida State (2012-15) – 27
3. Alabama (1976-80) – 27
3. Miami (1999-03) – 27
6. Florida (1994-97) – 24
6. Florida State (1998-01)
6. TCU (2008-11) – 24
6. Northern Illinois (2011-14) – 24
10. Georgia (1980-83) – 23

10:40 p.m. ET Update: So the original list circulating the internet was wrong. Here’s the correct list:

1. Oklahoma (1952-59) – 44
2. Boise State (2001-05) – 31
2. Oklahoma (1984-88) – 31
4. Ohio State (2012-current) – 29
4. Florida State (2012-15) – 29
6. Florida State (2012-15) – 27
6. Alabama (1976-80) – 27
6. Miami (1999-03) – 27
9. Florida (1994-97) – 24
9. Florida State (1998-01)
9. TCU (2008-11) – 24
9. Northern Illinois (2011-14) – 24
13. Georgia (1980-83) – 23

The 29-game streak excludes the Buckeyes’ 34-24 loss to Michigan State in the 2013 Big Ten Championship, which cost Ohio State a shot at Florida State in the final BCS National Championship.

The streak would be one of many set in an already noteworthy season in Columbus. Last month the Buckeyes passed Oklahoma for the most weeks as the Associated Press’s No. 1 ranked team, and on Saturday Meyer became just the third coach in college football history to win 47 of his first 50 games at a school.

Ohio State has a chance to become college football’s first team to win 30 straight regular season games against conference opponents Saturday at Illinois. In other words, buy your champagne now, Buckeye fans.