MACtion football is back: Full Week 1 TV schedule & more to know about conference’s 2020 return

MACtion is back for the 2020 college football season.

The Mid-American Conference football schedule opens Wednesday with a full slate of conference games, and that return to weekday football might just have you humming this 1990s tune.  

Each MAC team will play six regular-season games this season, and the conference championship game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.  

No general public attendance or tailgating will be allowed at MAC games, but the institution of weekday #MACtion offers a rare opportunity for normalcy in 2020.  

Here is a look at the Week 1 schedule and a reason to watch each one of those six games on Wednesday night:  

MAC football schedule  

Wednesday, Nov. 4

MAC football games will be broadcast across the ESPN family of networks on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The MACtion starts at 6 p.m. ET with Eastern Michigan at Kent State on ESPN+ and Western Michigan at Akron on ESPN3. Three games start at 7 p.m. ET highlighted by Ball State at Miami on ESPN and Ohio at Central Michigan on ESPN2. Bowling Green at Toledo is the final game of the evening shown, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Reasons to watch MACtion in Week 1

Eastern Michigan at Kent State  

Sean Lewis flipped the Golden Flashes into a bowl team in just two seasons, and quarterback Dustin Crum (20 TDs, 2 INTs) had the highest-quarterback rating in the conference last season. Chris Creighton is 25-26 the last four seasons with the Eagles, a remarkable accomplishment considering the state of the program when he arrived. EMU has a talented receiving tandem in Dylan Drummond and Quian Willliams.  

Western Michigan at Akron  

Western Michigan has the top returning defensive player in the conference in Treshaun Heyward, who had 142 tackles and 11 tackles for loss last season. Akron was 0-12 in Tom Arth’s first season, but the Zips return dual-threat quarterback Kato Nelson.  

Buffalo at Northern Illinois  

The Bulls are the media’s pick to win the MAC East, and they return two 1,000-yard backs in Jaret Patterson (1,799 yards, 19 TDs) and Kevin Marks (1,035 yards, 8 TDs. Buffalo is 18-9 the last two seasons under Lance Leipold. Northern Illinois won the MAC West seven times from 2010-19, but second-year coach Thomas Hammock and is turning to Cal transfer Ross Bowers at quarterback.  

Ohio at Central Michigan  

Central Michigan reached the MAC championship game last season under Jim McElwain, and the offense returns seven starters around quarterback David Moore. Ohio lost several starters from last year’s 7-6 team, but Frank Solich – entering his 16th season with the program – will keep the Bobcats in the MAC East hunt.  

Ball State at Miami, Ohio  

The RedHawks are the defending MAC champions, and sophomore quarterback Brett Gabbert should make the jump with Chuck Martin after learning as a freshman. Ball State led the MAC in scoring last season with 34.8 points per game, and the senior tandem of quarterback Drew Plitt (2,918 yards, 24 TDs) and Caleb Huntley (1,275 yards, 12 TDs) returns.  

Bowling Green at Toledo  

The Battle of Interstate 75 is one of the MAC’s best rivalries, and Toledo is the coaches pick to win the MAC West. Senior quarterback Eli Peters returns, and the defense is now led by former Mount Union coach Vince Kehres. Bowling Green should improve under second-year coach Scott Loeffler, and Boston College transfer Matt McDonald is the new quarterback.  

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