The MAC was one of four FBS conferences that shut down play to begin the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19. After monitoring the progress of other conferences, the MAC decided to play a conference-only schedule beginning November 4. Over the next six weeks, the conference played as many games as possible to crown divisional champions. All six West division teams completed six games. In the East, only Akron was able to get to six games as COVID protocols wreaked havoc with schedules.

Buffalo emerged from the East in impressive fashion. The Bulls went 5-0 in the regular season, averaging nearly 52 points a game and winning their games by an average margin of over 30 points a game. Runner-up Kent State finished 3-1, their only loss to Buffalo. Miami (OH) and Ohio were only able to get in three games, each finishing 2-1.

Ball State dropped their opening game to Miami (OH) and then proceeded to win out, finishing 5-1 to win the West division over Western Michigan and Toledo (both finishing 4-2). The Cardinals were masters of close games winning 4 one score games to position themselves against Buffalo in the MAC Championship.

Despite being nearly 13 point underdogs, Ball State was able to put the clamps on the Buffalo offense and score the upset 38-28 to win the MAC Championship.

Due to pandemic, 19 bowl games were cancelled. These cancellations, coupled with the MAC’s abbreviated schedule resulted in only two teams participating in bowls. They made the most of it as both Buffalo and Ball State won their bowl games. Ball State, once again a hefty underdog, defeated previously undefeated San Jose State to capture their first bowl victory and cap a 7-1 campaign. Buffalo rebounded from the MAC Championship loss to best Marshall 17-10 in the Camellia Bowl.

2020 Mid American Conference Final Standings
2020 Final Standings MAC
Division/TeamConferenceAll Games
Kent State310.750199152310.750199152
Miami (OH)210.6678680210.6678680
Bowling Green050.00057225050.00057225
Ball State510.833202165710.875274206
Western Michigan420.667250205420.667250205
Central Michigan330.500188181330.500188181
Eastern Michigan240.333199216240.333199216
Northern Illinois060.000149232060.000149232
2020 Mid American Conference Season Awards
Jaret PattersonBuffaloVern Smith Leadership (MVP)
Jaret PattersonBuffaloOffensive Player of the Year
Brandon MartinBall StateDefensive Player of the Year (Tie)
Troy HairstonCentral MichiganDefensive Player of the Year (Tie)
D’Wayne EskridgeWestern MichiganSpecial Teams Player of the Year
Lew Nichols IIICentral MichiganFreshman of the Year
Lance LeipoldBuffaloCoach of the Year
2020 Mid American Conference Team Statistical Leaders
Click to Scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
Team Scoring Offense and Defense
Points Scored Per Game-TotalKent State49.8
Average Game Margin-TotalBuffalo21.6
Points Scored Per Game-ConfBuffalo51.8
Average Game Margin – ConfBuffalo30.8
Passing Offense
Pass Attempts Per GameNorthern Illinois36.8
Pass Completions Per GameToledo23.8
Completion PercentageKent State71.4%
Passing Yards Per GameToledo325.8
Passing TDs Per GameKent State3.5
Rushing Offense
Rushing Attempts Per GameKent State50
Rushing Yards Per GameBuffalo287.1
Average Yards Per CarryBuffalo6.7
Rushing TDs Per GameBuffalo4.6
Total Offense
Plays Per GameKent State81.5
Total Yards Per GameKent State606.5
Average Yards Per PlayKent State7.4
Penalties Per Game (Fewest)Akron4.0
Penalty Yards Per Game (Fewest)Akron31.7
Offense Turnovers
Fumbles Per Game (Fewest)Buffalo, Miami (OH)0.3
Interceptions Per Game (Fewest)Ohio0.0
Total Turnovers Per Game (Fewest)Ohio, Miami (OH)0.7
Team Scoring Defense
Points Allowed Per Game-TotalOhio16.7
Points Allowed Per Game-ConfOhio16.7
Passing Defense
Completions Allowed Per GameKent State11.8
Passing Yards Allowed Per GameKent State162
Passing Completion % Per GameKent State51.6%
Passing TDs Allowed Per GameKent State0.5
Rushing Defense
Rushing Yards Allowed Per GameMiami (OH)125.3
Rushing Yards Per Carry AllowedCentral Michigan3.1
Rushing TDs Allowed Per GameOhio1.0
Total Defense
Yards Allowed Per GameBuffalo360.4
Total Yards Allowed Per PlayBuffalo5.2
Interceptions Per Game (Most)Ohio1.7
Fumbles Recovered Per Game (Most)Eastern Michigan1.5
Total turnovers Forced Per GameCentral Michigan2.5
2020 Mid American Conference Individual Statistical Leaders
Click to scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
CompletionsDrew PlittBall State164
Completion %Dustin CrumKent State73.5%
Passing YardsDrew PlittBall State2,164
Passing Yards Per AttKaleb ElebyWestern Michigan11.2
Passing TDsKaleb ElebyWestern Michigan18
Passer EfficiencyKaleb ElebyWestern Michigan194.8
Rushing AttemptsJaret PattersonBuffalo141
Rushing YardageJaret PattersonBuffalo1,072
Rush Yards Per AttXavier WilliamsKent State8.0
Rushing TDsJaret PattersonBuffalo19
ReceptionsTyrice RichieNorthern Illinois53
Receiving YardsD’Wayne EskridgeWestern Michigan768
Yards Per ReceptionJaylen HallWestern Michigan26.9
Receiving TDsD’Wayne Eskridge, Yo’Heinz TylerWestern Michigan, Ball State8
Total Offense
Yards From ScrimmageJaret PattersonBuffalo1,072
Total YardsDrew PlittBall State2,213
Total Yards Per PlayKaleb ElebyWestern Michigan9.3
TouchdownsJaret PattersonBuffalo19
TDs Responsible ForKaleb ElebyWestern Michigan22
Extra Points MadeAlex McNultyBuffalo42
Field Goals MadeChad RylandEastern Michigan11
Field Goal PctMarshall MeederCentral Michigan100.0%
Avg. Punt YardsJake JuilenEastern Michigan44.3
Solo TacklesBradon Martin, Bubba ArslanianBall State, Akron46
Total TacklesBradon MartinBall State90
Tackles for LossTroy HairstonCentral Michigan13
SacksTroy HairstonCentral Michigan5.5
InterceptionsWillie ReidCentral Michigan3
Passes DefendedJordan Gandy, Kadofi Wright, Samuel WomackNorthern Illinois, Buffalo, Toledo7
Fumbles ForcedAnthony Ekpe, George Wolo, Troy BrownBall State, Buffalo, Central Michigan2