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The Scoop on Akron vs. Toledo

Midweek MACtion comes to an end tonight with the Battle of I-80 when Akron visits Toledo at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 

After ripping off eight straight wins, Matt Campbell's team has now lost two straight games, including last week's 31-24  decision to cede the MAC West to Northern Illinois. A win tonight is imperative for the Rockets to improve their bowl standing, as the MAC bowl picture could be quite crowded with the possibility of producing six eight-win teams. The MAC has three direct bowl tie-ins and two secondary tie-ins, so the Rockets don't want to risk getting lost in the shuffle. 

At 1-10, Terry Bowden and Akron haven't had much success this season. The Zips can do one thing exceedingly well - throw the ball. They lead the MAC with over 317 passing yards per game, but with 28 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, the second most in the MAC, Akron drops to seventh in passing efficiency. Akron has thrown the ball a MAC-leading 537 times, and throws the ball on more than 60 percent of its snaps. 

Toledo, for its efforts, ranks just 10th in the conference in total defense and ninth in passing efficiency defense. A successful offense (455 yards, 33 points per game) will be buoyed by a defense that allows 450 yards and 36 points per game.

There may not be a whole lot on the line tonight, but, if nothing else, expect Midweek MACtion to go out in style.

Muschamp: Stats don't matter to me

The wins aren't always pretty, but Will Muschamp and his staff have Florida sitting at 10-1 and have found ways to win all season long, despite what the stat sheet says.

"I've seen a lot of coaches that weren't good coaches that were stat guys," Muschamp explained to the Orlando Sentinel. "They worried about stats and they wanted to grab the stat sheet when the game was over. At the end of the day, the most important thing is winning the game and doing what it takes to win games."

"That's what we're judged on at the end of the day -- not style point, not stats. None of those things matter to me."

A win on Saturday against Florida State, however ugly or pretty it may be, will give Florida four wins against teams currently ranked amongst the top 12 in the country. That fact alone is far more impressive than any resume that any other top 5 team could currently put together.

"Our record speaks for itself. Being at the University of Florida, playing in the Southeastern Conference and playing the teams we've played, I don't feel like you need to politick much, other than to put your shirt on and show where you are and who you are."

Good point. When you win games in the SEC, you deserve a shot at the title. That is hard to argue.

Mark Helfrich: "That's the billion dollar question"

Coming off their first loss of the season, Mark Helfrich and the Oregon staff were impressed with the focus that the team exhibited the first day back out on the field.

Helfrich was asked after practice yesterday if it takes a greater effort from the players to maintain a sense of consistency after a loss rather than after a win.

"That's always the billion dollar question," Helfrich responded. "How hard is it to deal with everything that goes along with being undefeated, and being in those situations and the pressure, and the outside influences that our guys have to deal with versus taking one on the chin?"

"I don't know. For some people, that may be a sigh of relief that some of that pressure is now off...but it's not really off, and that's why we always try to handle things, good, bad or indifferent, the same way. It's how you build up to a perceived 'bigger game' and 'lesser game' the same way." Helfrich responded.

Chip Kelly has always maintained the perspective that you prepare for your biggest games the same way that you would against an FCS opponent, and theoretically, that mentally prepares you for the grind of a season. It sounds like the focus was right back where it needed to be yesterday, as they prepare for their big rivalry game with Oregon State.

"No speech will help us win more than Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday"

NAIA Southern Oregon has put together one of the most impressive offenses in the country, regardless of level.

Craig Howard, who is in his second season with the program, has led the program to a 9-2 record and the school's first playoff victory this season. Offensively, the Raiders have put up 589 points and over 7,100 yards of total offense. To put that in perspective, the #1 offense in the FBS (Louisiana Tech) has just under 6,400 yards of total offense so far this season.

They lead all NAIA teams in total offense by more than 170 yards per game (656) and have hit the 45 point mark in ten of their eleven games, and reached the 60 point mark four times in their final six games of the regular season

Individually, Southern Oregon's offense has produced a 1,200 yard rusher, two 1,300 yard receivers, and a quarterback that is just shy of 5,000 yards passing. Very impressive.

Below is the video that the team watched just before taking the field against Carroll College, which was named the NAIA national game of the week. You can see that this staff has done an impressive job of putting their playmakers in a great positions to make plays, and that they understand how to motivate a group of young men. 

Listen to one of the assistants opening lines. Jim Harbaugh would definitely like it.

Tuesday TV - MACtion tonight

Akron (1-10, 0-7) is still searching for their first conference and FBS win, and will look to do so against a very tough Toledo (8-3, 5-2) team who is looking to stop a two game losing skid (each by seven points).

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Akron at Toledo - 7 - ESPN2

High School:

No games

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