After Saturday’s Northern Illinois-Purdue game, which kicks off at 11 a.m. locally, Huskies fans may want to turn to ESPN3 at 2 p.m.
People who do will witness a huge contest in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference between Toledo and Ball State.
Both teams come into the game 1-0 in MAC play after wins last week, and boast high-powered offenses. It’s still early on in the season, but it’s looking like the MAC West will be a three-team race between Ball State, NIU and Toledo.
The Cardinals had 543 yards of total offense in a 52-20 win over Eastern Michigan Saturday, and Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning has averaged 329 yards passing a game this season.
As usual, the Rockets’ offense has been potent. In Saturday’s win at Central Michigan, Toledo tailback David Fluellen ran for 197 yards and two scores.
“I really think it’s who he’s been all year. I don’t think if it’s anything other than what he’s been for the past two years,” Rockets coach Matt Campbell said. “He’s a guy, he’s a constant competitor and he’s certainly a guy that got into rhythm throughout that football game.”
Toledo even broke out some wildcat in the Central win.
“They give you an awful lot to prepare for,” Ball State coach Pete Lembo said. “As I was watching their offense last night and I’m starting to count all the run plays they have, between inside zone, the outside man scheme play, the counter and the draw, the trap, the tackle wrap, the wham play. That’s a lot of runs, then you throw the wildcat package in there.”
Sebastiano day-to-day: NIU wideout Angelo Sebastiano left Saturday’s game against Eastern Illinois after being hit by Panthers cornerback Pete Houlihan, who was ejected due to the new targeting rule
Huskies head coach Rod Carey said Sebastiano had tests done on his head and neck Saturday, but said the sophomore could practice this week.
Fleck comes home: On the way out to Iowa last week, P.J. Fleck took his Western Michigan team out to Kaneland High School, his alma mater. The Broncos had a quick practice in Maple Park, which worked out due to it’s location roughly halfway between Kalamazoo, Mich. and Iowa City.
“It was just easy because I knew that we could do it. I knew the surroundings and how to get there, I knew people would be friendly and open to us coming there,” Fleck said. “And it was just a wonderful experience to be back to the high school that did so much for me.”
The game at Iowa didn’t go so well, as the Hawkeyes returned two punts and two interceptions for touchdowns.
“We flat out got beat in every aspect: offense defense and special teams,” Fleck said. “It was almost like the perfect storm for them. They played almost a perfect game.”