Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

Wednesday's MAC Action

Editor's note: Brian Edwards went 6-0 in college football this past Saturday. His guaranteed plays are #2 on and they're on a 12-4 roll (75.0%, +7.6 Units!), so don't miss out on his pay-if-it-wins-only selection for tonight!

Bettors have more mid-week MACtion on tap with Wednesday’s doubleheader. Let's break down both contests before exploring some national topics in Bonus Nuggets below.

Buffalo at Ohio

-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had Ohio (6-4 straight up, 6-4 against the spread) installed as a two-point home favorite with a total of 66. The Bulls were +110 on the money line (risk $100 to win $110).

-- Ohio is undefeated in four home games with a 3-1 spread record. Frank Solich’s 14th team in Athens saw its three-game winning streak snapped in last week’s 30-28 loss at Miami (OH.) as a 4.5-point road favorite. The 58 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 59-point total. After scoring on Maleek Irons’ three-yard TD run to draw first blood last Tuesday in Athens, the RedHawks scored 28 unanswered points to take a 21-point lead into intermission. Ohio would rally, however, trimming the deficit to 14 on Nathan Rourke’s nine-yard TD pass to Papi White with 2:32 left in the third quarter. Then with 9:14 remaining, the Bobcats blocked a punt that was scooped up by Dylan Connor and returned 28 yards for a score. Ohio was buried deep at its own 1-yard line and three players later, Miami’s Doug Costin sacked Rourke for a safety. The Bobcats would get the ball back and get to within 30-28 on Rourke’s 18-yard scoring strike Andrew Meyer. After a stop, Ohio got to Miami’s 45 but Rourke’s Hail Mary on the games final play was unanswered.

-- Ohio’s stretch of four consecutive covers also came to an end. Even worse, the Bobcats’ MAC record fell to 4-2 to leave it two games back of Buffalo in the East. They’ll need to win back-to-back contests to close the regular season and hope Bowling Green can upset Buffalo next week.

-- Rourke completed 16-of-27 passes for 163 yards and two TDs without an interception in the loss at Miami. A.J. Ouellette had 168 rushing yards on 15 attempts, while White had five receptions for 44 yards and one TD. Ouellette had three catches for 29 yards.

-- Rourke, the junior QB who was a second-team All-MAC selection in 2017, has the MAC’s highest QB Rating (163.66). He has completed 62.3 percent of his throws for 1,932 yards with a 19/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rourke has also rushed for 653 yards and eight TDs, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

-- Ouellette is third in the MAC in rushing yards (777), fourth in TD runs (eight) and ninth in YPC average (5.4). Irons has run for 613 yards and seven TDs with a 6.4 YPC average. He has five catches for 34 yards and one TD, while Ouellette has 16 receptions for 146 yards and one TD.

-- Ohio is ranked 12th in the nation in scoring (39.3 points per game), 19th in rushing yards and 29th in total offense.

-- Buffalo (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) is a perfect 4-0 both SU and ATS in four road assignments this season. The Bulls are on a five-game winning streak both SU and ATS since suffering their only loss of the year in a 42-13 setback vs. Army as a 7.5-point home ‘chalk.’ They’ve won four of the five games by 14 points or more and all five by at least seven points. They’re off last Tuesday’s 48-14 win over Kent St. as 17-point home favorites. Buffalo darted out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, led 34-0 at intermission and 48-0 going into the final stanza. The Golden Flashes got a pair of fourth-quarter TDs to avoid taking cream-cheese treatment and make the score look a tad more respectable. True freshman RB Jaret Patterson stole the show by turning 18 carries into 187 rushing yards and two TDs. QB Tyree Jackson threw for 111 yards and one TD without an interception, in addition to rushing for a score.

-- Buffalo can clinch the MAC’s Eastern Division with a win in this spot. Even if the Bulls come up short, they’ll still go to the MAC Championship Game if they can win at Bowling Green next week.

-- Buffalo is led by Jackson, the 6’7” junior signal caller who has completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 2,338 yards with a 24/8 TD-INT ratio. Jackson also has 95 rushing yards and six TDs. He has two prime targets in K.J. Osborn and Anthony Johnson. Osborn has 45 catches for 761 yards and six TDs, while Johnson has 35 receptions for 699 yards and nine TDs.

-- Patterson has rushed for a team-best 728 yards and 10 TDs while averaging 6.0 YPC. Kevin Marks has 616 rushing yards for eight scores with a 5.0 YPC.

-- Although Lance Leipold’s squad lost at home to Army, Buffalo did post non-conference wins at Temple (36-29) and at Rutgers (42-13).

-- Buffalo has been a road underdog on Leipold’s watch 18 times during his four-year tenure, producing a 7-8-1 spread record. However, the Bulls are 2-0 ATS in a pair of such spots this year and 5-1-1 in their past seven games as road ‘dogs.

-- When these schools collided at UB Stadium last year on Nov. 24, Buffalo captured a 31-24 win as a 6.5-point home underdog. The 55 combined points hit right on the total for a push. Jackson led the Bulls by throwing for 294 yards and two TDs without an interception. Emmanuel Reed’s one-yard TD run untied the game and provided the winning points with 8:10 remaining. Johnson had six receptions for 155 yards and two TDs. Rourke completed 15-of-30 passes for 265 yards with one TD and one interception. The Ohio QB rushed for 49 yards and two TDs on 16 attempts.

-- The home team has won eight games in a row in this rivalry and has covered the number in five straight encounters.

-- The ‘over’ has hit in back-to-back Buffalo games to improve to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in its road contests. The Bulls have watched their games average combined scores of 58.7 PPG.

-- The ‘over’ is 5-4-1 overall for the Bobcats, 2-1-1 in their home outings. They’ve seen their games average combined scores 66.8 PPG.

-- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

Miami (OH) at Northern Illinois

-- As of early this morning, most books had Northern Illinois (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) installed as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk’ with a total of 48. The RedHawks were +200 on the money line (risk $100 to win $200).

-- NIU clinched the MAC West to garner a spot in the conference’s championship game with last week’s 38-15 win over Toledo as a 3.5-point home favorite. Since losing 37-10 at FSU on Sept. 22, the Huskies have won six games in a row while compiling a 5-1 spread record in the process. They’re 6-0 in MAC play and won a 7-6 decision at BYU last month. NIU took its two other L’s at Iowa (33-7) and vs. Utah (17-6).

-- Rod Carey’s club has won three of its four home games while going 2-2 ATS. The Huskies covered the spread in their only home loss to the Utes, who needed a pick-six late in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. Nevertheless, NIU still took the money as a 12.5-point home ‘dog. The Huskies are 1-2 ATS as home favorites this year, 12-15 ATS in 27 such spots since Carey took over in 2013.

-- Sophomore QB Marcus Childers has connected on 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,383 yards with a 10/6 TD-INT ratio. He’s run for 328 yards and five TDs. Tre Harbison paces NIU in rushing with 804 yards and four TDs with a 5.5 YPC average. Marcus Jones has 478 rushing yards, three rushing scores and a 5.8 YPC average.

-- Childers has a pair of primary targets in Jauan Wesley and D.J. Brown. Wesley has 42 receptions for 473 yards and two TDs, while Brown has caught 41 balls for 351 yards and three TDs. Brown also has 81 rushing yards and one TD on 14 carries for a 5.8 YPC average.

-- Miami (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) is hoping to win its next two games to get bowl eligible for the second time in three years. As previously noted, the RedHawks won a tight 30-28 decision over Ohio last week as home underdogs. Gus Ragland connected on 20-of-32 passes for 199 yards and one TD without a pick against the Bobcats. Alonzo Smith ran for 94 yards and two TDs on 29 attempts, while Kenny Young turned 15 touches into 105 all-purpose yards and one TD.

-- Miami has lost three of its five road games outright, but it has gone 3-2 versus the number. The RedHawks are 2-2 ATS in four games as road underdogs this year, 15-9 ATS in 24 such instances during Chuck Martin’s five-year tenure.

-- Ragland, the senior QB, has enjoyed an outstanding career. He has started 26 games and posted a 55/11 TD-INT. Ragland has 864 career rushing yards and 12 TDs. In Miami’s past four games, Ragland has thrown seven TD passes without being picked off. After the RedHawks started 0-3, Ragland has led his team to a 6-1 spread record while throwing 13 TD passes compared to merely one interception. His senior could’ve been better if not for the season-ending loss of senior WR James Gardner, who was a third-team All-MAC selection in 2016 and a first-team All-MAC choice last season. Gardner went down in a 26-3 loss at Minnesota in Week 3. He had 12 receptions for 157 yards at that point.

-- Smith has rushed for 499 yards and six TD with a 4.8 YPC average. Young has 296 rushing yards and four TDs while averaging 6.6 YPC. Ragland has run for 196 yards and five TDs.

-- Jack Sorenson has a team-best 43 receptions for 629 yards and two TDs, and Young has caught 41 balls for 365 yards and four TDs.

-- Miami will be without three starters on defense, including senior NT Nate Trawick, senior LB Junior McMullen and senior DB De’Andre Montgomery. Another senior starter, Deondre Daniels, has missed five consecutive games and is ‘questionable’ at NIU.

-- Miami has lost three one-possession games, including a 40-39 home loss to Western Michigan and a 31-30 overtime loss at Army.

-- NIU has been victorious in seven of the past eight head-to-head meetings between these MAC adversaries, but the RedHawks have covered the spread at a 5-1 ATS clip in the last six encounters. They were double-digit underdogs in each of those instances. Miami’s five straight covers ended last year when NIU won by a 45-12 count in Oxford as a 17.5-point road ‘chalk.’ -- The ‘under’ is 8-2 overall for the Huskies, 4-0 in its home games. They’ve watched their games average combined scores of 42.1 PPG.

-- The ‘over’ is 6-4 overall for Miami, 4-1 in its five road assignments. The RedHawks have seen their contests average combined scores of 56.0 PPG.

-- ESPNU will have the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

-- Duke’s second-leading tackler Dylan Singleton underwent season-ending ankle surgery this past Sunday after sustaining a fracture in last week’s 42-35 home win over UNC. The Blue Devils, who are big underdogs Saturday at Clemson, have won outright in all four of their games as road ‘dogs this year. They’ve won at Northwestern, at Baylor, at Georgia Tech and at Miami.

-- Maryland QB Kasim Hill (9/4 TD-INT) tore his ACL last week for the second time in 14 months. He had started all 10 games for the Terrapins, who will turn to Tyrrell Pigrome as their starter when they host Ohio State.

-- According to a report from ABC’s affiliate in Boulder, fifth-year Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre will be fired at season’s end. The Buffaloes’ AD denied the report on Tuesday afternoon. There are already job openings at Bowling Green, Kansas, Louisville and Maryland. I think Alabama OC Mike Locksley will get the Maryland gig. I doubt Purdue’s Jeff Brohm would turn down his alma mater, Louisville, but he does have Purdue on the rise and a superstar in true freshman Rondale Moore to build around for at least two more seasons. If Brohm passes on the U of L gig, the school might go back after Charlie Strong at USF. Todd Graham and Les Miles have expressed interest in the KU job (talk about desperation mode!).

-- Virginia Tech junior DE Houshon Gaines will miss the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. Gaines had recorded a team-high 4.5 sacks.

-- Georgia Tech has won five of its past six games both SU and ATS. The Yellow Jackets, who lost outright to their first three FBS foes and started 0-4 ATS, will welcome Virginia to The Flats in Midtown Atlanta on Saturday.

-- South Carolina senior LB Bryson Allen-Williams is out for the last three games of the regular season after undergoing ankle surgery. The Gamecocks are hopeful that he might be able to return for a bowl game.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

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