Mid-American: Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois
NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Boomer Mays (ILB – Northern Illinois)
Conference championship weekend kicks off Friday night with MACtion. For the third straight year, the conference title game features Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. Each team has a win in the previous two contests, with the Huskies coming out on top last season.
Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson leads the nation in passing yards, but that doesn’t mean the Falcons can’t move the ball on the ground. Running back Travis Greene is a potential late-round pick and will look to help Bowling Green maintain balance offensively. That’s where Northern Illinois middle linebacker Boomer Mays comes in. He’s one of the most reliable tacklers in the MAC, and his ability to stuff the run and force Bowling Green into long passing situations will be key.
The NIU secondary has been excellent at creating turnovers this season, so forcing Johnson and the Falcons to become one dimensional will only enhance that. Johnson is completing 76 percent of his passes on third and five or less. That rate drops to 64 percent when it’s third and at least six. Boomer Mays limiting yardage on first and second down is exactly what Northern Illinois needs to win this game.