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MAC ROUNDUP | Saturday’s games

By DAN HINER

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Akron 41, Morgan State 7

AKRON

Kato Nelson passed for three touchdowns, Van Edwards ran for two and Akron rolled to a win over Morgan State in the Zips’ season opener. Nelson was 16 for 26 for 232 yards and Edwards rushed 17 times for 109 yards as Akron rolled up 437 yards. The Zips’ were just as impressive on defense, holding the FCS Bears (0-2) to 192 yards, 111 in the fourth quarter when they scored their touchdown with 11 seconds to play. Edwards scored on a 21-yard run and Kato connected with Kwadarrius Smith for a 35-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead. Nelson’s second touchdown pass, a 32-yard connection with Andre Williams, made it 27-0 with less than a minute to go in the first half. Nelson found Jonah Morris for a 33-yard score and Edwards went for 20 yards for his second TD in the third quarter.

Kent State 54, Howard 14

KENT

Jo-El Shaw ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns to help Kent State roll to a victory over Howard. Kent State (1-1) surpassed 50 points for the first time since 2008 and has beaten Howard (0-2) in consecutive home openers. Shaw scored on a 15-yard run following a blocked punt in the first quarter and had two scoring runs from inside the 4-yard line. Justin Rankin burst up the middle and ran untouched for 61 yards into the end zone to stretch the Kent State lead to 33-7 in the third quarter. Rankin, who led the Golden Flashes in yards rushing and receptions last season, finished with 147 yards on the ground and had a pair of catches for 22 yards. Will Matthews and Woody Barrett also had touchdown runs for Kent State. Caylin Newton was 11-of-25 passing for 159 yards and threw two, third-quarter touchdown passes for the Bison.

Kansas 31, Central Michigan 7

MOUNT PLEASANT, MICH.

Pooka Williams rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns as Kansas won at Central Michigan. Central Michigan quarterback Tony Poljan was intercepted four times by Kansas (1-1), which won on the road for the first time since Sept. 12, 2009. Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender was 17-of-26 passing for 130 yards, connecting with wide receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. for a 31-yard touchdown to open the scoring. After two Williams scores, Central Michigan cut the lead to 21-7 on a 31-yard reception by Jamil Sabbagh from Poljan in the third quarter.

Buffalo 36, Temple 29

PHILADELPHIA

Tyree Jackson passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns, and Kevin Marks ran for 138 yards and two scores to propel Buffalo to a victory over Temple. It gave the Bulls their first 2-0 start since 1983 and their first as an FBS member. Temple pulled even when Ty Mason blocked a Buffalo punt and recovered the ball in the end zone, and Frank Nutile connected with Ventell Bryant for a 2-point conversion to make it 22-all. The Bulls scored on Jackson’s 5-yard strike to Antonio Nunn for a 29-22 lead. The Owls (0-2) used a 50-yard run by Ryquell Armstead to set up Nutile’s 3-yard scoring lob to Mack to pull even at 29 with 4:53 left.

Utah 17, Northern Illinois 6

DEKALB, ILL.

Zack Moss ran for a touchdown while Chase Hanson added another score on a late interception return as unranked Utah extended its nonconference winning streak to 21 with a come-from-behind victory over Northern Illinois.

Tyler Huntley was 20-of-31 passing for 286 yards for the Utes (2-0). Marcus Childers passed for 111 yards and rushed for 12 more while kicker Andrew Gantz had a pair of field goals for the Huskies (0-2). Huskie defensive end Sutton Smith, who topped the nation with 14 sacks in 2017, hit Huntley for a four-yard loss with seconds left in the first half to help stop a late Utes drive. But Huntley set up Utah’s go-ahead touchdown with a 41-yard third-quarter strike to Jaylen Dixon to the Northern Illinois 35. Seven plays later, Moss, a junior running back, scored from the 1 for his second touchdown of the season as the Utes claimed their first lead at 7-3. The Huskies narrowed the margin to 7-6 on a 27-yard Gantz field goal with 6:51 left after a promising drive stalled at the Utes 9. Gay’s 40-yard field goal opened a 10-6 lead with 4:38 showing. Hanson’s 22-yard interception return two minutes later capped the scoring. Saturday’s game was the first between the teams. They’ll play again in 2019 at Utah.

Cincinnati 21, Miami (OH) 0

CINCINNATI

The 123rd Battle for the Victory Bell saw Cincinnati beat Miami (OH) at Paul Brown Stadium. Michael Warren II put Cincinnati (2-0) ahead 7-0 two-yard touchdown rush by Michael Warren II to go up 7-0 with 5:33 left in the first quarter. The RedHawks utilized a personal foul and a couple first downs to get into UC territory on the following possession, but a fourth down try fell short at the Bearcats’ 29 as the ball went back to Cincinnati on downs. Cincinnati drove into Miami territory, but a holding penalty on a fourth-down conversion was wiped out and forced a UC punt early in the second quarter. The teams combined for eight punts in the first half as Miami remained down a touchdown at the break. Defense played a big role in the second half as the first five combined possessions ended in a punt. The RedHawks got hemmed deep in their own territory early in the fourth quarter and a Gus Ragland pass was deflected and intercepted by Cincinnati, with Darrick Forrest returning it to the Miami one. Warren then punched it in on the next play to put the Bearcats up 14-0 with 13:18 left. Miami got one first down on its next two possessions and eventually Cincinnati used a 12-play touchdown drive to milk nearly six and a half minutes off the clock and put the game away as Desmond Ridder hit Josiah Deguara from nine yards out to make the score 21-0 with 3:21 left. Cincinnati outgained Miami by a 233-198 count with the bulk of the damage a 188-59 advantage in rushing yards. Didder led all players with 100 yards on the ground. Miami’s offense was led by James Gardner’s seven catches for 80 yards as Gus Ragland went 22-of-41 for 139 yards passing.

Staff/wire report