Central Michigan beats Ohio 20-10 for MAC title

Dec 5, 2009 - 6:00 AM By LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer

DETROIT(AP) -- Dan LeFevour was more excited about winning another Mid-American Conference title than any of his personal accomplishments.

LeFevour had a pair of record-breaking touchdown passes in the first half and Central Michigan beat Ohio 20-10 on Friday night in the MAC championship game.

He set a major college football mark for combined touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving in the first quarter with his 147th. He threw for another score late in the first half to break Chad Pennington's MAC record and give the Chippewas a 17-7 lead.

"It's pretty cool," said LeFevour, who obliged university president Kathy Wilbur and several others by stopping to pose for postgame pictures on the field. "When you play four years in a spread offense, you're going to get a shot at some of those."

Central Michigan didn't do much offensively after halftime, but held on to win the conference title for the third time in four years and MAC-best seventh since 1975.

"It wasn't pretty, but we found a way to win," coach Butch Jones said.

The Chippewas (11-2) are expected to play in GMAC Bowl. In the meantime, their coach might have decisions to make about his future because he'll probably be a candidate for some openings.

Would it be tough to leave?

"Central Michigan means something to me," Jones said, dodging a reporter's question.

Ohio (9-4) likely will make a return trip to Detroit for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

"We obviously would like to come back," said coach Frank Solich, who has revived his career by turning around the Bobcats after getting fired at Nebraska.

LeFevour was 28 of 39 for 255 yards with two TDs and an interception. The shifty senior also ran for 51 yards.

His 14-yard TD pass to Cody Wilson in the first quarter broke the mark set by Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2007 and matched by Texas Tech's Graham Harrell in 2008. Florida's Tim Tebow ranks second among active players with 140 TDs entering the SEC championship game Saturday against Alabama.

LeFevour connected with Bryan Anderson in the second quarter for career TD pass No. 101, breaking the MAC record set a decade ago by Pennington at Marshall.

"That's secondary," he said. "It's all about winning."

The senior from Downers Grove, Ill., has rushed for 46 touchdowns and caught one TD pass.

"He'll definitely leave his legacy," Jones said.

Anderson extended his NCAA all-division record with a catch in his 53rd straight game and finished with seven receptions for 54 yards.

Theo Scott was 10 of 23 for 138 yards for the Bobcats, who had a chance to win their first MAC title since 1968.

"We're not too far off and we're making progress," Solich said.

Terrence McCrae had seven receptions for 141 yards and caught a 29-yard pass from wide receiver Taylor Price on a trick play that pulled Ohio within three late in the first quarter.

Ohio's Noah Keller had 16 tackles, setting a MAC championship game record.

Freshman Matt Weller matched Ohio's single-season record with his 20th field goal in third to make it 20-10.

"Our kids made it a ballgame," Solich said.

The Bobcats got into Central Michigan territory the next two times they had the ball, but came away with a punt and a missed field goal.

On their last drive, they converted two fourth downs before Scott was stopped by defensive end Larry Knight on a fourth-down run, allowing LeFevour to kneel for the victory.

"I think it's the first time the team has actually won the conference that has been picked to win it," Jones said. "These individuals had a target on their back each and every week and it's so much harder to be the hunted rather than the hunter.

"What these individuals have accomplished this year is legendary, to be 11-2 and for the seniors to have three Mid-American Conference championships."

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