This Week’s MAC Schedule
Saturday, December 7
2019 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game
Miami RedHawks vs. Central Michigan Chippewas at Noon ET (ESPN2)
Anish Shroff, John Congemi, Kris Budden
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Last Week’s MAC Games
Tuesday, Nov. 26
*Ohio 52, Akron 3
*NIU 17, Western Michigan 14
Friday, Nov. 29
*Central Michigan 49, Toledo 7
*Buffalo 49, Bowling Green 7
*Ball State 41, Miami 27
*Kent State 34, Eastern Michigan 26
*Mid-American Conference contest
2019 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game To Feature Miami vs. Central Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Noon ET (ESPN2)
The 2019 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will feature the East Division Champion Miami RedHawks against the West Division Champion Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Noon ET in front of a national television audience on ESPN2. This contest will mark the 23rd annual championship game for the MAC and will mark the 16th neutral site game at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Central Michigan as the West Champion is the designated home team.
Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2 MAC) clinched the MAC West Division title with a 49-7 win over Toledo on Nov. 29. Central Michigan will be making its first trip to Detroit since 2009 and the program’s fourth appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Central Michigan has won three previous title games (2007, 2008, 2009) and will be searching its eighth overall MAC championship. Central Michigan enters the game having won three consecutive games and six of its last seven contests. The Chippewas stunning turnaround comes after finishing last season with a 1-11 overall record, 0-8 in league play.
Miami (7-5, 6-2 MAC) clinched the MAC East Division title back on Nov. 14 and had the luxury of having the East crown locked up for the last three weeks. Miami will be making its first visit to Detroit since 2010 and the program’s fifth appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Miami has won the title game twice (2003, 2010) and will be searching the program’s 16th overall MAC football championship. Miami had its five-game winning streak snapped on the final date of the regular season with a 41-27 loss at Ball State on Nov. 29.
Central Michigan and Miami last faced each other during the 2017 regular season as the RedHawks defeated the Chippewas, 31-14, on Sept. 23, 2017 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
MAC QUICK NOTES:
- Miami (7-5, 6-2 MAC) is making its first appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2010. This is Miami’s fifth appearance in program history as the RedHawks look to repeat their success from nine years ago when they defeated Northern Illinois, 26-21. Miami is bowl eligible for the third time in the last four years.
- Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2) is making its first appearance in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2009 and the program’s fourth trip to Detroit. Central Michigan is the most improved football team in FBS this year with a seven-game improvement over last season. In 2018, Central Michigan went 1-11 overall, 0-8 in the MAC, as head coach Jim McElwain was hired and led the Chippewas to an 8-4 overall record, 6-2 in the MAC.
- Central Michigan and Miami have met only one other time in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Central Michigan defeated Miami, 35-10, on Dec. 1, 2007 at Ford Field.
- This year the MAC has set a record with eight teams bowl eligible— Central Michigan (8-4), Western Michigan (7-5), Miami (7-5), Buffalo (7-5), Ohio (6-6), Kent State (6-6), Eastern Michigan (6-6) and Toledo (6-6). The 2019 bowl season will be set this Sunday, Dec. 8 as bowl invitations will be extended to eligible teams. The MAC’s previous record was seven bowl eligible teams as the MAC had seven programs accept bowl invitations during both the 2012 and 2015 bowl seasons.
- Over the last four seasons, the MAC will have eight different programs participate in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. In 2016 Western Michigan defeated Ohio, 29-23, while 2017 witnessed Toledo with a 45-28 win over Akron. Last year, NIU defeated Buffalo, 30-29.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN MOST IMPROVED FBS TEAM IN 2019
Central Michigan’s dramatic turnaround from a 1-11 record last season to a 8-4 overall record this season is the best FBS win turnaround this 2019 season. The Chippewas seven win turnaround (1-11 in 2018; 8-4 in 2019) tops Navy’s (3-10 in 2018; 9-2 in 2019) five win improvement from the previous season.
BULLS ACCEPT INVITE TO MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL
Buffalo accepted an invitation to play in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on Friday, Dec. 20 at 2:00 pm ET on ESPN. The Bulls will face Charlotte of Conference USA at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. It will mark the second straight year and fourth time in school history Buffalo will play in a bowl game.
Buffalo won five of its last six games to finish the regular season 7-5 overall and 5-3 in MAC play. Running the ball and defense have been the keys to success for the Bulls this season. Buffalo leads the MAC in rushing offense, averaging 254.2 yards per game as well as total defense, allowing 293.1 yards per contest. The Bulls were led by sophomore running back Jaret Patterson led the MAC with 1,626 yards rushing and ranked second in the league with 17 rushing touchdowns. In the regular season finale, Patterson set a MAC single-game rushing record with six rushing touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Bowling Green.
It will be the Bulls’ first-ever meeting with Charlotte. The 49ers are 7-5 on the season and finished with a 5-3 conference mark. Charlotte is led by quarterback Chris Reynolds who has thrown for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year.
CHIPPEWAS 1-11 TURNAROUND A SIMILAR SCRIPT BY MIAMI
Central Michigan’s turnaround from a 1-11 overall record in 2018 to an 8-4 mark this year and a MAC West Division title and the best turnaround this season in FBS football is a script that Miami is very familiar with. In fact, the Miami RedHawks did the exact same flip back in the 2009 season with a 1-11 overall record, then won the MAC East Division with an 8-4 regular season record to win the MAC East Division in the 2010 season. Miami went on to win the 2010 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game with a 26-21 win over Northern Illinois and also defeated Middle Tennessee in the bowl game based in Mobile, Ala. at that time — the GoDaddy.com Bowl — with a 35-21 bowl victory.
Since that 2009 season, the MAC has witnessed four teams turn a 1-11 overall record to a bowl appearance in the very next season.
MAC Team: 1-11 Record; Following Year Record; Bowl Appearance
Central Michigan: 1-11 in 2018 ^8-4 in 2019 TBA on Dec. 8th
Eastern Michigan: 1-11 in 2015 7-6 in 2016 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Western Michigan: 1-11 in 2013 8-5 in 2014 Famous Idaho Potato
Miami RedHawks: 1-11 in 2009 *10-4 in 2010 GoDaddy.com Bowl
^CMU won 2019 West & will face Miami in Marathon MAC Championship
*Miami won 2010 East & defeated Northern Illinois 26-21 in the Marathon MAC Championship Game, also beat Middle Tennessee in GoDaddy.com Bowl (35-21).
WESTERN MICHIGAN’S BELLAMY TOPS FBS WITH 23 RUSH TDS
Western Michigan senior running back LeVante Bellamy leads the nation with 23 rushing touchdowns and ranks eighth in the country with 1,412 yards rushing.
Western Michigan senior running back LeVante Bellamy was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2019 Doak Walker Award. The award is given annually to the top running back in college football. A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Bellamy leads the country in rushing touchdowns with 23, tied for second in total points scored with 138. He stands second nationally in points per game (11.5) and eighth in total rushing yards (1,412). Bellamy’s 23 rushing touchdowns this season ranks tied for fourth best in a single-season in MAC history.
BULLS PATTERSON SETS MAC SINGLE-GAME RUSHING MARK
Buffalo sophomore running back Jaret Patterson set a MAC single-game rushing record with six rushing touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 29. Patterson rushed for a school-record 298 yards, which ranks 13th best in MAC single-game history.
This season, Patterson leads the MAC with 1,626 yards rushing, which also ranks fifth best in the country. Patterson’s 1,626 yards rushing ranks 16th best in a single-season in MAC history.