OPINION: Despite Recent History, CMU Should have No Problem with Eastern

Grand Central Magazine's sports blogger, Jerry Taylor, provides some insight to Saturday's match-up between the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

The Chippewas play at home this Saturday against Eastern Michigan. The Eagles come to Mount Pleasant with a big fat “0” in their win column. But, don’t write off the Eagles just yet. EMU has beat Central the last two years by a combined seven points. Last year at Eastern Michigan, the Chippewas put up 52 points – and lost 56-52. Andy Schmitt, the quarterback for EMU last year, threw 80 passes- completing over 50 of them and throwing for over 500 yards.

Schmitt, who returned for his senior season this fall, suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago when Eastern played the University of Michigan.

The Eagles also have a new head coach who is still looking for his first win as a D-1 head man. Ron English, who used to be the defensive coordinator at Michigan and Louisville respectively, was named the head coach at Eastern in late 2008. His defensive knowledge and experience has shown in the Eagles defense, as they boast the #1 pass defense in all of college football, only giving up a stingy 89.25 yards a game through the air.

However on Saturday, expect that to change. CMU will look to establish the run on Saturday with Paris Cotton and Dan Lefevour, as the Eagles rank dead last in the Mid-American Conference in rush defense, giving up 276 yards per game on the ground. As the run opens up, the passing lanes will be there for Lefevour to sling the ball anywhere he pleases.

The CMU defense should have little trouble stopping the Eagles on defense. EMU is 11th in the MAC in total scoring, averaging only 16.8 points per game. The Chippewas ranked 1st in the MAC, giving up only 16.0 per game- those to stats are not a good combination for the Eagles.

But as they say, games are not played on paper – they are played on the field.

You want a prediction? Okay, here it is –

CMU 38, EMU 17. The Chips should have no problem in this game – as it is the last game before they head to Kalamazoo to take on the Western Michigan Broncos!

Can’t wait for Saturday! To the CMU students – no matter what the tailgate rules are- don’t punish the football team – come out with all the maroon and gold you got and support the Chippewas for four quarters.

Until next time, FIRE UP CHIPS!