2017 Opening Night MACtion

Anthony Joki is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Forever Rebuilding and is one half of the 1085 Gridiron Podcast covering all things Browns.

The Mid-American Conference had a good showing on Opening Night in College Football. There were three games last night and the MAC provided some great performances.

Minnesota Gophers 17 – Buffalo Bulls 7

While Buffalo was the only team in the MAC to lose last night, they played well on the road against the Gophers. Former MAC Head Coach P.J. Fleck made his debut for Minnesota and faced a familiar foe.

In the preseason polls, Buffalo was picked towards the bottom of the conference. They were 26-point underdogs going into the game, the Bulls more than covered.

Buffalo redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyree Jackson went 22 of 42 for 211 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Buffalo junior wide out had a big game reeling in 11 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Most of the scoring was done in the first quarter where the Gophers took a 14-7 lead and they would add just a field goal in the fourth quarter. Buffalo missed a field and had another one blocked.

For a team that went 2-10 last year under second year head coach Lance Leipold, the Bulls were very competitive and their season will depend on the development of Jackson.

“We took a big step forward as a program in what we’re hoping to develop, as far as playing with a relentless type of attitude,” Leipold said after the game.


Toledo Rockets 47 – elon phoenix 13

The Toledo Rockets rocketed out to a 16-0 lead against Elon and never looked back. The Rockets racked up 553 yards of total offense and also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half.

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 314 yards on 19 of 31 throws. Cody Thompson and Diontae Johnson both had over 100 yards receiving. The Rockets also almost had a pair of 100-yard rushers. Shakif Seymour finished with 102 yards and Art Thompkins had 99 yards.

The Rockets were the MAC Preseason Favorites to win the conference and they did not disappoint in game one.

Elon could not get anything going against the Rockets. They had just 175 yards and only 7 first downs.

UP NEXT FOR TOLEDO: 9/9 at Nevada

central michigan chippewas 30 – rhode island rams 27 (3ot)

This was by far the most exciting game of the night in the MAC. Michigan Wolverine transfer Shane Morris threw for 226 yards on 25 of 49 throws with one touchdown and one interception. Morris transferred to Central Michigan after last season.

Sophomore running Jonathan Ward was the bulk of the Chippewas offense running for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams scored a field goal in the first overtime period and both teams did not score in the second period. After the Rams kicked a field, Devon Spalding scored the game winning touchdown in the third overtime period with a 4-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 70 yards on the ground.

The Chippewas defense forced six interceptions from Tyler Harris of the Rams. Josh Cox and Amari Coleman had two interceptions each. Darwyn Kelly and Alex Briones each had one.

“If you’d tell me we had almost 500 yards of offense and only scored 21 points in regulation with six interceptions on defense, I’d be shocked,” head coach John Bonamego said.