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WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

High Praise for MAC

Where does the Mid-American rank among the nation's football conferences. The staff at CBSsports.com has bumped the MAC up to No. 5, ahead of the Big East and the ACC. Here's what it says:

"As we explained on Saturday in a bit more detail, this is a very special season for the MAC. If you include Ohio's loss to rival Miami, then MAC teams have taken down three undefeated opponents in the last two weeks. The league is second among FBS conferences with six teams already bowl eligible. There might be no MAC teams left in the polls, but I'll take Toledo, Kent State or Northern Illinois over most of the Top 25."

--Bob DiCesare

 

Video: UB men's basketball coach airs his concerns and expectations

Video: Joe Mihalich, NU men's basketball coach, speaks about the talent on his team

Zordich "shook up" but should be ready for Miami (Ohio)

Starting quarterback Alex Zordich left Saturday’s Toledo game after being “shook up’’ according to UB coach Jeff Quinn, not because of ineffective play. The junior from Youngstown, Ohio is expected to start on Saturday against Miami (Ohio).

“He was very upbeat [Monday],’’ Quinn said. “I don’t think he feels pain because he’s that kind of tough kid.’’

Zordich rushed for 67 yards but toiled in the passing game completing just 5 of 16 passes for 118 yards and a 42-yard touchdown to tailback Devin Campbell in the second quarter. He was replaced by former Williamsville South quarterback Joe Licata.

“We put Joe in there because of that and we left him in there,’’ Quinn said. “Alex Zordich, who is probably one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached in my entire career, he was shook up. We did not pull Alex Zordich out of the game … it was done because he was shook up. We thought I was in best interest of our football team to put Joe in there and it was great to see him command the offense.’’

Licata went 5 of 11 for 68 yards and a TD – an 8-yard pass to Alex Neutz in the fourth quarter – but fumbled after being sacked on the Bulls’ final drive.

“He does have a good sense and understands the game,’’ Quinn said. “I’m excited about continuing to watch his growth and development. … It was nice to see Joe be able to get in there and move the offense and get us a nice score right at the beginning to the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough.’’

---Rodney McKissic

Video: Niagara women's basketball coach happy with team's components

Live chat: UB & MAC football with Bob DiCesare at 2 p.m.

MAC Power Rankings

Bob DiCesare's MAC football power rankings:

1. Northern illinois: Stopping Jordan Lynch more complicated than Illinois toll system.

2. Kent State: On a rampage. How did they lose to Kentucky?

3. Toledo: Offense sputtering of late but Fluellen's a horse.

4. Ohio: Weren't best team in MAC even before loss to Miami.

5. Bowling Green: 5 straight wins and 10 days to prep for Ohio.

6. Ball State: Dangerous and at Toledo next.

7. Miami: Dysert-to-Harwell Show visits UB Saturday.

8. Eastern Michigan: Why isn't Zurlon Tipton carrying 25+ every game???

9. Western Michigan: Just not the same without Carder.

10. Eastern Michigan: FBS win separates Eagles from rest.

11. Buffalo: Absence of passing game dragging Bulls down.

12. Akron: Dalton Williams is this year's Chazz Anderson ... for what that's worth.

13. UMass: At NIU next. Egad.

UB-Toledo Game Wrap

Toledo 25, UB 20

Game Analysis: This one had an eerie resemblance to UB's 38-31 loss at Ohio. That game was tied late in the second half until the Bobcats put together a pair of scoring drives. This time UB had a 14-7 halftime lead but saw the Rockets go 73 yards on their first second-half possession, 86 yards on its second and 84 yards on its third. Meanwhile, the Bulls got pass-happy with the ball in the fourth quarter after Bo Oliver ripped off consecutive runs of 12, 8 and 10 yards. This from a team that says the run game is its identity.

Turning Point: UB called timeout after David Fluellen opened Toledo's second second-half possession with a 17-yard burst. Whatever was said won't make it into the realm of great inspirational talks. Fluellen went 49 yards on the next play and was in the end zone two plays later.

Player of the Game: Fluellen gouged the Bulls for 140 yards in the third quarter and finished with a career-high 228 yards and two touchdowns.

What It Means: Toledo (8-1, 5-0) could be looking at its first national ranking since 2001 after running its winning streak to eight games. UB (1-7, 0-4) remains a half-game out of last in the MAC East and hasn't beaten an FBS team in more than 11 months.

Stat Check I: UB punted 10 times but held Toledo's dangerous Bernard Reedy to just one return for minus-6 yards.

Stat Check II: Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer made five field goals in last week's upset of Cincinnati. Saturday he was 1 of 4 on extra points.

He Said It: ""I feel he's one of the better running backs in the country."" -- Toledo coach Matt Campbell on Fluellen.

In the House: It wasn't Canisius-St. Joe's. There may have been 2,500 in the house out of an announced crowd of 10,658.

Next Up: The Bulls continues their four-game homestand at noon Saturday against Miami and NFL QB prospect Zac Dysert. The RedHawks knocked off No. 22 Ohio Saturday.

-- Bob DiCesare

Buff State, ECC earn preseason basketball rankings

The Buffalo State women's basketball team begins the season with plenty of expectations as the Bengals were ranked No. 23 in the DIII News National Preseason Poll.

Rp_primary_Smiley2

The Bengals went 25-3 last year, tying the school record for wins in a season. Buffalo State won the regular season SUNYAC title but lost to Oneonta in the championship game.

Returning this year for coach Sue Roarke, last year's SUNYAC Coach of the year, are seven players including junior power forward Bianca Smiley (Sweet Home). Last season, she became just the second Bengal to earn All-American honors in the program, averaging 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. She had 11 double-doubles and 48 steals.

The Bengals open the season on Nov. 16 hosting Alfred in the opening round of the Betty Abgott Invitational.

Meanwhile, Erie Community College has both its men's and women's teams ranked the NJCAA Division II preseason polls. The men are ranked eighth as the Kats are coming off back-to-back NJCAA national tournament appearances. ECC returns Eyimofee Edukugho who was an All-Region III forward. They open the season Nov. 3 hosting Delaware Tech in the first round of the Cole's/Brennan's Tournament.

The ECC women were ranked 20th after capturing their first Region III Title and advancing to the national tournament. THe Kats return Charmaine Weaver (Cheektowaga) and open their season Nov. 9 in a tournament at Garrett (Md.) College.

--- Amy Moritz
www.twitter.com/amymoritz

Photo of Bianca Smiley from Buffalo State Athletics. 

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | rmckissic@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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