The game that started it all will kick off the 2014 edition when Toledo meets Northern Illinois in Tuesday night MACtion. The 2011 Toledo vs. Northern Illinois game ended in a 63-60 Huskies victory and it was a game that featured plenty of explosive offense, big plays on special teams, and basically no defense whatsoever. The term #MACtion was coined on Twitter from that game, eventually trademarked by the Mid-American Conference, and still lives within each and every one of us when we tune into a mid-week MAC game.
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois College Football Preview
Date/Time: Tuesday November 11, 8:00 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: OFF
As of Monday afternoon, no line was posted for this game because of the Toledo quarterback injury situation. Toledo is 6-3 straight up this season, but the Rockets are just 2-7 against the spread. Third-year coach Matt Campbell is now 22-12 straight up, but just 17-17 against the number. Rod Carey is in his second season with NIU and the Huskies are 19-4 straight up with a 12-11 ATS record.
The Toledo Rockets were dealt a serious blow when Alabama transfer Philip Ely suffered a torn ACL after beating Logan Woodside out for the starting quarterback position in a preseason competition. The fortunate thing for the Rockets is that Woodside was getting some reps with the first team throughout the process, so the offense barely missed a beat when Ely went down. Woodside has completed over 61 percent of his passes with a 14/5 TD/INT ratio. If Woodside is unable to go, Michael Julian is next in line. The redshirt freshman has next to no experience and that projects to be a problem for the offense if Woodside’s ankle does not respond in time for Tuesday’s game. That adds pressure to Kareem Hunt, who leads the team with nearly 8.5 yards per carry. The Toledo defense will be tested in this game. Even though the Rockets are 5-0 in conference play, their total combined margin of victory is just 43 points, which is hardly dominant.
Northern Illinois Huskies:
Drew Hare is hoping to have his name mentioned among NIU greats like Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch. Hare has an 11/1 TD/INT ratio and is the team’s second-leading rusher. The sophomore had a tough game his last time out against Ball State, so he’s certainly looking for a rebound in this game. Cameron Stingily, who missed the first few weeks due to injury, passed Hare for the team lead in rushing in his last game. The Huskies offense is the least of their worries right now with the very capable Hare under center. The defense has been plagued by some inconsistencies this season, including a game that the Huskies allowed 41 points to Miami of Ohio. They’ll have to play responsible run defense in this game, but the Woodside injury could make the Rockets more one-dimensional. First place in the MAC West Division is on the line in this game.
Free Pick: Northern Illinois
The Logan Woodside injury is a major concern for the Rockets because Michael Julian looked terrible in relief against Kent State. Kent State started to mount a comeback in that game and NIU may run away and hide if Woodside isn’t there to give the Rockets some balanced offense. The Rockets have not really been tested to this level in conference play yet and their close wins over some bad teams are definitely a concern.
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