Friday, Sep 21, 2018
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MAC thoughts: Akron carries the banner with win over Northwestern

  • Akron-Northwestern-Football-1

    Akron cornerback Alvin Davis, center left, celebrates with quarterback Kato Nelson after scoring a touchdown against Northwestern during the Zips' win Saturday.


  • Akron-Northwestern-Football

    Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) shows a "Hail Mary" pass while being defended by Akron linebacker Josh Ward. The pass on the final play fell incomplete, sealing the Zips' win in Evanston.



For the second week in a row, the Mid-American Conference claimed a win against a Big Ten foe. On top of that, it was a busy week in the league, with conference play beginning. Here are three notes from the week of play.

■ Zips carry MAC flag: A week after Eastern Michigan topped Purdue, Akron scored a road win at Northwestern for its first victory against a current Big Ten foe since 1894. An opportunistic Zips squad scored three defensive touchdowns, including two interception return TDs from Alvin Davis. Akron won the MAC East last season before Toledo beat the Zips in the MAC championship game. The Zips defense looks to be scary for future conference opponents.

■ Buffalo off to fast start: Buffalo, one of the teams picked to challenge Ohio in the MAC East, beat Eastern Michigan 35-28 to go 3-0 for the first time since 1983. Dynamic star quarterback Tyree Jackson threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns. EMU came in 2-0 and had just scored a road win at Purdue last week. Buffalo looks like a MAC contender.

■ NIU rebounds from tough nonconference games: In the other MAC opener, MAC West favorite Northern Illinois rebounded from a grueling first two weeks to top Central Michigan 24-16. The Huskies lost to Iowa and Utah to start the season. Marcus Childers tossed three TDs for NIU. The Huskies continue their nonconference slate with struggling traditional power Florida State next week.

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