What: Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (0-0) at Central Michigan Chippewas (0-0)
When: Aug. 30, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Radio: WCFX-FM 95.3, WMHW-FM 91.5
Central Michigan football opens its 112th season at Kelly/Shorts stadium Thursday against an opponent from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), Southeast Missouri State. The Chippewas are expected to reveal the first of eight uniform combinations, but the choice that’s made for Thursday’s game won’t be revealed until pregame warm-ups.
The new uniforms will include an all-maroon and all-black uniform. The black uniform will be accompanied by a new black helmet, while the other seven combinations will sport the traditional maroon helmet.
Adidas designed the new uniforms, which will feature four outfits with the same color jersey and pants – black, gold, maroon and white – and four other combinations that will mix and match the gold, maroon and white items. A different uniform will be worn at each home game this season; Thursday’s contest will be the first of seven at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Team Captains in 2012
Senior defensive back Jahleel Addae, senior defensive lineman Joe Kinville and senior wide receiver Cody Wilson will serve as team captains this season.
Offensive Player to Watch
Titus Davis had a productive freshman season in 2011, so much so that he earned First Team Freshman All-America honors from PhilSteele’s Magazine. Davis made 40 receptions for 751 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. His eight touchdowns set a Central Michigan freshman record and was the sixth highest mark in school history.
Davis should once again provide senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff with a lethal deep threat and reliable target this season. His speed should be no match for the Redhawks’ secondary and don’t be surprised if he has a touchdown or two in this one.
Defensive Player to Watch
Addae was not only named a team captain for the upcoming season, he was also named to the Preseason Watch List for the Jim Thorpe Award. The award is given to the nation’s best defensive back at the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) level.
The senior defensive back tied for the Mid-American Conference lead for interceptions in 2011, with four. He also ranked eighth in tackles per game (8.9) and ninth in total tackles (109) in the MAC. Addae will have a major impact for the Chippewas, setting the tone on defense.
He should have his way with the Redhawks’ redshirt freshman Scott Lathrop, who will be making his collegiate debut.
If the Chippewas can get going on offense, unlike last season’s opener when they struggled to move the ball and gained just 256 total yards on 13 first downs, they’ll be just fine against what is supposed to be an inferior opponent. With that said, this year’s team has talent but is still very young.
In 2011, the Chippewas had 24 different players making their first career start, with 10 true freshman seeing game action. This season 18 true or redshirt freshman are listed on the initial two-deep depth chart. How the youth on this team fares, will go along way in determining the successes and failures of the 2012 season.
Next Week: vs. Michigan State
Central will host No. 13 Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Spartans hold a 5-3 edge in the all-time series, including last’s 45-7 victory over the Chippewas in East Lansing. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
Information in this preview was provided by Central Michigan’s Athletic Communications Department.