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How did EMU’s 2012 opponents do in week 1?

September 2, 2012

EMU’s opponents went 7-4 this week. Most of the games were about as expected, but there were a few noteworthy surprises. Ohio was generally favored to beat Penn State, but it still seemed to surprise a lot of people when they did it. Northern Illinois and Toledo played Iowa and Arizona close, and Bowling Green stayed a lot closer to Florida than most people probably expected. On the other hand, Central Michigan had a disturbingly hard time with Southeast Missouri State, and as for Kent State against Towson…well, read on. Next weekend two future EMU opponents face each other when #13 Michigan State travels to Mount Pleasant to play Central Michigan.

Team W L Total % Conf W L Conf % Last Next
Ball State 1 0 100% MAC 1 0 100% Won 37-26 vs. EMU 9/8 at Clemson
Illinois State 1 0 100% Missouri Valley 0 0 N/A Won 56-14 vs. Dayton 9/8 at EMU
Purdue 1 0 100% Big Ten 0 0 N/A Won 48-6 vs. Eastern Kentucky 9/8 at Notre Dame
Michigan State 1 0 100% Big Ten 0 0 N/A Won 17-13 vs. Boise State 9/8 at Central Michigan
Kent State 1 0 100% MAC 0 0 N/A Won 41-21 vs. Towson 9/8 at Kentucky
Toledo 0 1 0% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 24-17 at Arizona 9/8 at Wyoming
Army 0 0 N/A Independent N/A N/A N/A N/A 9/8 at San Diego State
Bowling Green 0 1 0% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 27-14 at Florida 9/8 vs. Idaho
Ohio 1 0 100% MAC 0 0 N/A Won 24-14 at Penn State 9/8 vs. New Mexico State
Central Michigan 1 0 100% MAC 0 0 N/A Won 38-27 vs. Southeast Missouri State 9/8 vs. Michigan State
Western Michigan 0 1 0% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 24-7 at Illinois 9/8 vs. Eastern Illinois
Northern Illinois 0 1 100% MAC 0 0 N/A Lost 18-17 vs. Iowa 9/8 vs. Tennessee-Martin
Total 7 4 64%   1 0 100%    
Past 1 0 100%   1 0 100%    
Upcoming 6 4 60%   0 0 N/A    

EMU’s next opponent, Illinois State, pounded fellow FCS team Dayton (Pioneer Football League, which does not allow member schools to offer athletic scholarships), 56-14. The Redbirds dominated the Flyers thoroughly on both offense (quarterback Matt Brown threw for three touchdowns while two running backs rushed for more than 100 yards each) and defense, though not so much on special teams, as the Flyers returned a punt 77 yards for one of their touchdowns.

Purdue won easily over FCS team Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley Conference). Not much to say about that one. The Boilermakers will have a much tougher test when they travel to Notre Dame next week.

#13 Michigan State had a big home opener against a talented but extremely inexperienced #24 Boise State team, and did just enough to win. Michigan State dominted in most facets of the game, outgaining Boise State 461-206 in total yards, but 4 turnovers by the Spartans kept the Broncos in the game. Le’Veon Bell lead the way for the Michigan State offense, carrying the ball 44 times for 210 yards and both of Michigan State’s touchdowns. Next week the Spartans continue their “Celebrate the State” series with a game at Central Michigan.

Kent State won fairly easily over FCS team Towson (Colonial Athletic Association), with the game never really in question after the Golden Flashes raced to a 17-0 first quarter lead, but the game did produce one…um…highlight. With 25 seconds left in the second quarter, and a 4th-and-13 near midfield, the Flashes punted the ball. The ball grazed the arm of the Towson punt-returner and Kent State player Andre Parker scooped up the ball and ran it 58 yards before being run out of bounds by two Towson players.  Parker did a bit of trash talking…until someone pointed out to him that he ran the wrong way! Fortunately for Kent State, it was not a fumble but a muffed punt, so the ball became dead when Parker picked it up. Next week Kent State will play at Kentucky

In his coaching debut at Arizona, Rich Rodriguez did what he was unable to do at Michigan and beat Toledo, although it took overtime to do it. In 2008, Michigan kicker K.C. Lopata missed what would have been the tying field goal as time ran out, denying the Wolverines another chance in overtime. Last night, Arizona blew several chances to put the game away sooner. The Wildcats piled up 624 yards to 358 by Toledo in the frenetic game that saw both offenses go no-huddle and totalled 192 plays, but Arizona had two touchdowns called back by penalties, turned the ball over three times, and missed two short field goals, including a 25-yarder as time expired. In the end, it didn’t matter on this go-round, since the Wildcats quickly scored a touchdown in overtime, and Toledo ended the game with quarterback Austin Dantin throwing four interceptions. Next week the Rockets will play at Wyoming

Army had their “bye” week to start the season; they’ll have no mid-season break, though due to the special scheduling for the Army-Navy game they’ll have a break near the end. The Black Knights will play their first game next weekend at San Diego State.

Bowling Green played at #23 Florida and didn’t suck, losing 27-14. Their last game against a ranked opponent was last October, when they lost 55-10 at #22 West Virginia, and for the last such game in which they weren’t embarrassed you have to look all the way back to September 2009, when they lost 27-20 at #25 Missouri. Next week the Falcons host a terrible Idaho team that just got embarassed 20-3 by FCS team Eastern Washington.

Ohio, picked by some sportswriters (not me!) to finish 12-0, got things off to a good start in what is probably the touchest game on their schedule and beating Penn State by a convincing 24-14. Next week the Bobcasts will host New Mexico State.

In Mount Pleasant, Southeast Missouri State lead on and off for most of the first three quarters, with Central Michigan taking the lead with a touchdown with 2:19 left in the third quarter and securing the win with a second touchdown mid-way through the fourth quarter. Junior running back Zurlon Tipton did most of the work for the Chippewas, carrying 17 times for 180 yards (10.6 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. Let’s be honest, this win was nothing for Chippewa fans to celebrate. Southeast Missouri State finished last year with a 3-8 record competing in the Ohio Valley Conference (FCS) and they aren’t expected to be much better this year; barely beating a team like that after trailing for much of the game points to Dan Enos’s seat getting a lot hotter this fall. Things get much tougher for the Chippewas next week, when they host #13 Michigan State.

Western Michigan had a rough start to the season, losing 24-7 to Illinois even after the Illini lost starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to a third-quarter ankle injury. Next week the Broncos will hope to regroup with a much easier home game against Eastern Illinois.

For the second year in a row, Northern Illinois “hosted” a B1G opponent at Soldier Field, and although they did better than 2011’s 49-7 embarassment by Wisconsin, the result was the same. The Huskies led Iowa for most of the game, and limiting the Hawkeyes to field goals only until the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left. With Chandler Harnish gone, Northern Illinois went to a Ron English-esque run-first offense; quarterback Jordan Lynch led the way with 18 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown, while completing just 6 passes for 54 yards. Like many other MAC schools, the Huskies get their first real home “tune-up” game next weekend, when they’ll host Tennessee-Martin.

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