The halfway point in the 2019 college football season just passed and the competition has never been tighter in the Mid-American Conference. The Toledo Rockets (4-1, 1-0) lead the MAC West while Ball State (2-3, 0-1) trails them for second place. Ohio (2-3, 1-0), Miami (2-3, 1-0) and Kent State (2-3, 1-0) are all tied at the top of the MAC East after winning their first conference game.
Following their 42-16 loss against Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan hosts Ball State for Homecoming weekend. Head coach Chris Creighton was looking forward to getting back home and seeing some familiar faces: "It's good for us to be back home. We're really familiar with their quarterback. His first career start was against us. He throws a really good ball, he's good with his feet and we really like the way that he leads."
The University of Toledo earned a 31-24 win over Western Michigan during Week 6 and now set their sights on rival Bowling Green. The 84th edition of the Battle of I-75 will kickoff from Bowling Green at 12 p.m. on Oct. 12. Toledo's head coach, Jason Candle, spoke on what the game would mean for his Rockets: "MAC West games are really hard to win. The history and close proximity of these schools, there is a lot at stake. It means a lot to a lot of people."
Northern Illinois will head down to Ohio to take on the Bobcats. The Huskies, who won the MAC championship game last season, are coming off a 27-20 loss against Ball State. Northern Illinois is just 1-4 overall and has yet to win a game on the road, going 0-3. The Huskies allowed Ball State's running back Caleb Huntley to gain 157 yards on the ground. NIU head coach, Thomas Hammock, reflected on what went wrong for his Huskies.
"It was a tail of two halves. We came out ready to play in the first half and in the second half we did not have the same level of execution," Hammock said, before highlighting strong performances by Tre Harbison and Antonio Jones Davis. "The yards after contact give him (Harbison) the ability to break long runs. Davis had a career-high 17 tackles, a sack and an interception. He's a leader in the locker room and continues to be more and more consistent."
Looking ahead to Week 7 contests, the Buffalo Bulls will enjoy the week off as they prepare for Week 8 against the University of Akron, who hasn't won a game this year as they're 0-5. Central Michigan will be playing the only out-of-conference game of the week as they play host to New Mexico State. The Chippewas are 2-1 in the MAC.
Ball State will be on the road at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti as they take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles. In the Battle for the Wagon Wheel, Kent State travels to take on the rival Akron Zips. Miami will travel to Kalamazoo to take on the Western Michigan Broncos (3-3, 1-1). In the final game of the day, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m., Northern Illinois takes on Ohio in Athens.