Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Tuesday sports card features three college football in the Mid-American Conference.

Akron travels to Ohio for a game that starts at 7 PM ET. Unfortunately for the Zips, they picked up last Wednesday right where they left off last season -- an 0-12 campaign -- with a 58-13 loss at home to Western Michigan.  Redshirt freshman Zach Gibson made his third career start under center for Akron with their senior quarterback, Kato Nelson, recovering from shoulder surgery over two months ago. Gibson completed 18 of 30 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception for second-year head coach Tom Arth. Thirteen starters are back from the team last year that is still looking to deliver their first victory to their head coach.

The Bobcats were upset last Wednesday at Central Michigan by a 30-27 score as a 2.5-point favorite. Freshman quarterback, Kurtis O’Rourke, the younger brother of Ohio’s starting quarterback Nathan a season ago, completed 12 of 19 passes for 231 yards in his first career collegiate start with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Head coach Frank Solich has 15 returning starters in his 16th year with the program from the team that finished 7-6 last season. The Bobcats culminated their season with a 30-21 victory over Nevada in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Ohio is a 27.5-point favorite with the total set at 57 (all odds from BetOnline). The CBS Sports Network has the broadcast.

Bowling Green hosts Kent State at 7:30 PM ET. The Falcons come off a 38-3 loss at Toledo last Wednesday as a 24-point underdog. Boston College transfer Matt McDonald struggled in his first start for Bowling Green as he completed only 8 of 30 passes for 128 yards with two interceptions. Head coach Scott Loeffler has 12 starters back in the second year with the program from the team that finished 3-9 last season. 

The Golden Flashes defeated Eastern Michigan in their opening game last week by a 27-23 score as a 4.5-point favorite. Kent State’s Dustin Crum may be the best quarterback in the MAC. The senior completed 21 of 29 passes for 219 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. He added another 35 yards on the ground with a touchdown. The Golden Flashes were 7-6 last season for third-year head coach Sean Lewis in a campaign that concluded with the first bowl win in school history in their 51-41 victory over Utah State in the Frisco Bowl. Thirteen starters are back from that team. Kent State is a 20.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 54.5. ESPNU broadcasts this game. 

ESPN has Miami (OH) visiting Buffalo at 8 PM ET. The RedHawks upset Ball State last Wednesday as a 1-point home underdog. Sophomore quarterback Brett Gabbert left that game with a head injury that leaves him questionable for this game. He completed 5 of 8 passes for 76 yards before being knocked out of that game. Redshirt sophomore A.J. Mayer completed 16 of 24 passes in relief for 212 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions to lead the team to victory. Miami won the MAC championship game by a 26-21 score against Central Michigan before losing to Louisiana in the Lending Tree Bowl by a 27-17 score to complete their 8-6 season. Head coach Chuck Martin has 17 starters back from that team in his seventh season with the program. 

Buffalo opened up their season last week with a 49-30 win at Northern Illinois as a 14.5-point favorite. The Bulls scored three defensive touchdowns to overcome only having the football for 22:49 minutes of that game. Junior Kyle Vantrease completed 12 of 18 passes for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Fourteen starters are back from the team last year that finished 8-5 with a 31-9 victory over Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl for head coach Lance Leipold in the sixth year with the school.

Buffalo is a 9.5-point favorite with a total of 56.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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