Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Close games and comebacks by Ball State and Central Michigan in MAC

On Saturday, the Bowling Green football team almost upset Mississippi State, but could not reach field goal range in the final four minutes, giving the Bulldogs (3-3, 0-2 SEC) a 21-20 victory.

Mississippi State running back Dak Prescott led the Bulldogs with 139 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. He and LaDarius Perkins made up for quarterback Tyler Russell’s lack of touchdowns as they rushed for three combined. Russell threw for only 102 yards and was aided by Prescott as he took 11 snaps and threw for 75 yards.

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian File Photo

The Falcons (5-2, 3-0 MAC) prevented the Bulldogs from converting on a fourth and 1 at the Bowling Green six-yard line. With 4:21 left in the game, they had the opportunity to win but were unsuccessful in putting together a game-winning drive.

The Falcons were led by quarterback Matt Johnson, who threw for 224 yards and completed 20 of 34 passes. Toward the end of the second quarter, Johnson put together a 96-yard drive, which ended on a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Andre Givens. Mississippi State immediately answered, however, as they drove for 75 yards and scored on a 10-yard Prescott run.

Next week, Bowling Green will take on Mid-American Conference opponent Toledo, and Mississippi State will play SEC rival Kentucky.

Ball State becomes bowl eligible

Ball State is now bowl eligible for the third year in a row after narrowly defeating Kent State 27-24 on Saturday.

With 3:46 left in the game, the Cardinals (6-1, 3-0 MAC) trailed by four points. Quarterback Keith Wenning connected with wide receiver Willie Snead for a 45-yard gain, advancing the ball from the Ball State 43 to the Golden Flash (2-5, 1-3 MAC) 12. After running back Jahwan Edwards advanced the ball to the Kent State seven-yard line on two rushes, Wenning found Snead in the end zone to take the lead with 1:39 left in the game.

Wenning ended the day throwing for 305 yards on 23-of-46 passing, with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Snead snagged 10 of Wenning’s passes for 152 yards and also scored two touchdowns.

Despite losing the game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Kent State quarterbacks Colin Reardon and David Fisher threw for 184 combined yards and two touchdowns. The Golden Flash corps of running backs posted over 100 yards more than the Cardinals did, as they rushed for a combined 223 yards.

The Cardinals will face winless Western Michigan next Saturday, and the Golden Flash will travel to Southern Alabama to take on the Jaguars.

Central Michigan scores in the final minute to beat Ohio

In another come-from-behind game, Central Michigan rallied to beat Ohio 26-23.

Down 23-19 with 4:40 to go, the Chippewas (3-4, 2-1 MAC) took control of the ball at their own 25-yard line. The Bobcats’ (4-2, 1-1 MAC) defense, however, prevented Central Michigan from gaining enough yards for a first down.

The Chippewas proceeded to punt and recovered the ball after Ohio cornerback Travis Carrie fumbled on the Ohio 39. Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush immediately connected with wide receiver Andrew Flory for a 21-yard gain, which brought the ball to the Ohio 16.

After advancing the ball to the Ohio seven-yard line on a pass and two rushes, both teams proceeded to call timeouts. With 42 seconds left, the Bobcats’ defense forced the Chippewas to a third down. Rush, however, then connected with wide receiver Courtney Williams for a five-yard score. The touchdown, followed by a made field goal, put Central Michigan up 26-23.

Rush ended the game throwing for 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Despite not scoring, Chippewa running back Saylor Lavallii rushed for a game-high 184 yards.

Next week, Central Michigan faces undefeated MAC rival Northern Illinois, while Ohio takes on Eastern Michigan.

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]


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