DETROIT — It was the 12th Mid-American Conference football championship held at Ford Field in Detroit and Bowling Green State University bested Northern Illinois, 34-14. NIU has been in the last six championship games.
Because of injuries the Huskies started freshman quarterback Tommy Fielder. He couldn’t sustain consistent drives for Northern Illinois. Matt Johnson, BGSU senior quarterback did though. He was 25-37 for 235 yards and 2 TD’s. Contributing for the winners was redshirt-senior Travis Greene with a career-high 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Bowling Green improved to 10-3 on the season and won their 12th Mid-American Conference Championship in school history.
With his touchdown pass to Derek Lee in the second quarter, Johnson set the new MAC single-season record for passing touchdowns with 42. He now has 43 touchdown passes on the season.
Last year, NIU beat Bowling Green 51-17 for the MAC crown.
All week it was rumored that second year BGSU head coach Dino Babers would be leaving for the Syracuse job. He said postgame, “My future right now is with these guys. We’re going to celebrate this win and it’s going to be special. I’m not going to let anyone take that away from us and we’ll go to sleep, and we’ll get together over the weekend, and then we’ll start and we’ll talk about other things, but right now it’s about the MAC championship.”
The MAC tied a conference record with seven teams bowl eligible: Bowling Green (10-3), Northern Illinois (8-5), Toledo (9-2), Ohio (8-4), Central Michigan (7-5), Western Michigan (7-5) and Akron (7-5).
2015 MAC Specialty Award Winners
Coach of the Year: Matt Campbell, Toledo
Freshman of the Year: RB Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Jatavis Brown, Akron
Special Teams Player of the Year: KR Aregeros Turner, Northern Illinois
Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner: QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green