CSJ’s FBS G5 Week 10 Game of the Week and Fearless Predictions
October 31, 2017
We have five match-ups this week pitting two CSJ Sagarin Top 25 teams this week. The biggest is the Top 10 ranking meeting in the MAC with Toledo hosting Northern Illinois but another big one is top ranked UCF visiting #11 SMU.
The month of November is here and this is the time in the football season in all conferences where champions emerge. Toledo and Northern Illinois will do battle in a crucial Mid-American Conference West Division matchup in just might decied this dvivsion’s race.
The winner will claim sole possession of first place in the West Division and will be able to control its own destiny in the MAC title race over the final three games.
Toledo, winners of four straight contests, is coming off a 58-17 whipping of Ball State last Thursday. The Rockets rolled up 602 yards of total offense thanks to six plays of at least 60 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Diontae Johnson scored three touchdowns and senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 267 yards and three scores. Led by junior defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (three TFLs), Toledo’s defense held Ball State to just 309 yards of total offense.
Northern Illinois has won four straight MAC games to keep pace with the Rockets. Last week the Huskies had to go overtime before knocking off Eastern Michigan, 30-27. NIU has the top ranked defense in the MAC, allowing an average of 18.0 points and 307.1 yards per game. Freshman Marcus Childers has been effective since taking over as the starting quarterback. He has thrown for nine touchdown against just one interception in his last four games.
By notching its sixth win of 2017 last week versus Eastern Michigan, NIU is bowl eligible for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. The Huskies’ had their MAC and school record eight consecutive bowl appearances streak snapped last year.
Toledo owns a 30-14 lead in the all-time series; the Rockets’ 31-24 win at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago last year snapped NIU’s six-game winning streak over UT.
In his five seasons at the helm, Head Coach Rod Carey has led NIU to a 30-6 regular season record versus MAC foes for an .833 winning percentage, and a 42-21 (.677) overall mark.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Huskie’s defensive performance this year has been the improvement from a year ago. NIU is holding opponents to more than 20 points and more than 170 yards below their seven game averages from a year ago.
With three tackles for loss last week, sophomore defensive end Sutton Smith has tied NIU’s 33-year-old school record for TFLs in a season with 20. Smith leads the FBS in tackles for loss (2.5/game), and is tied for second in quarterback sacks with 9.5 (1.19/game).
The Rockets rushed for a season-high 335 yards vs. the Cardinals, their third straight game with at least 300 yards rushing. Three different players had a rush of at least 60 yards: Nevone McCrimmon (73 yards). Terry Swanson (71 yards) and Shakif Seymour (63 yards).
Toledo has scored 106 points in its last two games.
The Rockets begin the MAC season with a 4-0 league record for the third time in the last four years, and are now bowl eligible for the eighth straight season.
Toledo leads the MAC in total offense (516.6) and passing offense (289.5). In conference games only, Toledo ranks first in total defense (303.0) and rushing defense (95.2).
Woodside leads the MAC in passing yards (286.9), passing efficiency (171.3) and total offense (294.0).
Terry Swanson leads the MAC with 104.0 rushing yards per game. He has run for over 100 yards five times this season, including 105 yards in 11 carries at Ball State.
Toledo is 48-12 in MAC games since 2010, including 24-6 at home.
One interesting fact, however is that NIU has won three consecutive games at the Glass Bowl.
Coach’s Press Conferences
Jason Candle, 17-5 (2nd year) at Toledo, same overall. 1-0 vs. Northern Illinois.
This game should come down to which performs better–the Toledo offense or the NIU defense. I like where Toledo is going and the fact that this game is at home for them (despite having lost the last three in the Glass Bowl against NIU). I will take the Rockets by a touchdown.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States-- the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.