This game goes down on the ESPNU network and it features Central Michigan University Chippewas taking on the Temple University Owls at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Mid American Conference champions Central Michigan got off to a good start under new head coach Dan Enos as his Chippewas defeated Hampton 33-0 this past Saturday. The Chippewas have owned the MAC over the previous four seasons, winning three of the last four league titles.
Coach Enos wasn’t the only thing new for the Chippewas as they where moving forward without college footballs all time leader Dan LeFevour in combined touchdowns. The Chippewas new quarterback sophomore Ryan Radcliff, 20-34 242 one touchdown, also had an impressive debut. Kito Poblah is the top returning receiver and started the season off right with 4 catches and 45 yards. Central Michigan got major contributions from its ground game from the likes of Paris Cotton, 94 yards one touchdown, and Carl Volny, 52 yards one touchdown.
The Chippewas defense also had an impressive debut for coach Enos as they forced two turnovers and held Hampton to 80 yards in the air.
The Owls season opened with a thrilling victory over Villanova in the Mayor’s Cup. Al Golden’s squad needed a 43-yard field goal by Brandon McManus in the final seconds of regulation and on the ensuing kickoff the Owls returned a fumble, giving them a 31-24 decision. The Owls have won six straight home contests and with a victory over Central Michigan would tie a school-record of seven consecutive victories.
The Owls got a better showing from last years quarterback Chester Stewart, 200 yards one touchdown on 16-of-27, as he connected with Michael Campbell, 8 catches 127 yards and one touchdown. The ground game also showed up for the Owls as Bernard Pierce, 75 yards, and Matt Brown, 54 yards one touchdown, helped Temple display a real balance attack on offense.
The Owls defense was nothing to report about especially in the run game where they allowed 4.3 yards per carry. Defensive end Adrian Robinson recorded 5 tackles and one sack.
This will be the third meeting between these two schools as Central Michigan holds a 2-0 edge over Temple that includes a 24-14 victory over the Owls back in 2008.
PICK: Temple University Owls
I’m sure St. Louis Rams fans will or have scoured the names of eligible college quarterbacks and envision them in a Rams uniform for the upcoming NFL Draft in April. However Ram fan, that’s the wrong position your organization needs to tend to with the number one overall pick, it’s time to think smart and not what would be pretty. I’m not saying the Rams don’t need to get a quarterback because they do but this draft doesn’t present itself with that clear cut number one overall guy to build a franchise around.
Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Dan LeFevour, Jimmy Clausen are great quarterbacks but with all the scrutiny that comes from being a number one overall, they are not your answer. Sam Bradford could be the exception however after shoulder surgery that leaves a huge question mark whether that’s the right move.
The answer lies on the defensive side of the ball and his name is Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle out of University of Nebraska. It’s that simple for the Rams, just continue to build on the defense since St. Louis already has brought in former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spanuolo last year to be the head coach and in 2008 selected with the number two overall pick defensive end Chris Long out of the University of Virginia. Suh will clog the middle of line and demanding double teams allowing Long or Leonard Little to be freed up. ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member safety Eric Berry out of Tennessee could be another option but what Suh does at the line of impact, it’s a cant miss.
So St.Louis your on the clock but don’t make the mistake that puts you right back on the clock in April 2011.
Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour set the major college football record for combined touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving.
LeFevour surpassed the mark set by both Hawaii’s Colt Brennan in 2007 who was matched by Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell in 2008. Florida’s Tim Tebow ranks second among active players with 140 career TDs, entering the SEC championship game against Alabama.
He threw two passes for scores giving him 148 career TDs to help the Chippewas (11-2) beat Ohio (9-4) 20-10 for the Mid-American Conference championship. LeFevour’s second passing TD against Ohio was the 101st of his career, breaking the MAC career record set a decade ago by Chad Pennington at Marshall. He has 46 rushing scores and one receiving TD.
The Chippewas and LeFevour are expected to play in GMAC Bowl.
Everything is on the line when the Central Michigan Chippewas battle the Ohio Bobcats in the Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field.
The Bobcats had an outstanding season, winning nine of their 12 games and come into this contest with a four-game winning streak. The most recent victory was the most important win to date for Ohio on the year, as the Bobcats dismantled Temple, 35-17, clinching the East Division of the MAC. This is the second time in four seasons that Ohio has participated in the MAC title game. However, the team has not claimed the conference championship since 1968.
As for the Chippewas, they were once again the class of the conference, winning all eight of their league games, while finishing the year with a 10-2 mark. The only losses for Central Michigan came against Arizona and Boston College. The Chippewas are no stranger to playing in the MAC title game, as the team will be looking to collect its third league title in the last four seasons, and seventh overall in school history.
In regard to the all-time series, the Chippewas have handled Ohio throughout the years, posting a 20-4-2 mark against the Bobcats. The biggest showdown between the two teams in recent memory happened in 2006 when CMU and Ohio battled in the that year’s MAC title game and unfortunately for Ohio the contest was not close, as Central Michigan went on to win by a 31-10 margin.
Ohio is currently averaging 26 ppg, with the majority of the success due to the passing attack which is led by Theo Scott. Scott comes into this game with 2,120 yards and 19 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. His favorite target is Taylor Price, who is leading the team with 51 receptions and 733 yards. But he isn’t the only weapon in the recieving core as the Bobcats also have LaVon Brazill, who not only is a threat on special teams, but has also collected 49 passes for 670 yards and six scores.
The Ohio defense has been the strong point to the Bobcats season, holding teams to just 21 ppg and only give up 198.9 ypg through the air. The Bobcats force its oppenets to make mistakes and have collected 19 interceptions, while recovering 16 fumbles on the year. Ohio has only allowed opponents to convert on 35 percent of their third down chances, but inside the red zone is a different story, as the Bobcats have been scored on 85 percent of the time when their backs are against the wall. Noah Keller is the clear cut leader of this defense, as the linebacker is leading the way with 122 tackles.
The Chippewas possess the most balanced offensive attack in the MAC, and come into the title game averaging 34 ppg, behind 419.9 total ypg. Dan LeFevour leds the team on the ground and also with his arm. LeFevour has rushed for 650 yards on the season, while also throwing for 2,788 yards. The senior has thrown for 25 touchdowns against just five interceptions, and has also rushed for 14 scores.
LeFevour is currently tied for the NCAA’s record for the most touchdowns scored in a career with Colt Brennan (Hawaii 2005-07) and Graham Harrell (Texas Tech 2005-08). LeFevour has 146 touchdowns (99 passing, 46 rushing and one receiving), and that is six more that Florida’s Tim Teabow.
Antonio Brown has been the main target for LeFevour all season and comes into this game with 89 receptions, 954 yards and nine touchdowns. Bryan Anderson gives LeFevour a consistent second option, as the wideout has hauled in 50 receptions for 646 yards and five scores.
Central Michigan’s defense comes into this title game holding opponents to just 17 ppg. The Chippewas are limiting opponents to just 120.2 rushing ypg on a mere 3.6 yards per carry and while the unit is allowing 210.8 ypg through the air, teams have only scored 10 passing touchdowns against CMU. Nick Bellore is currently leading the team with 112 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss.
PICK: Central Michigan University Chippewas
The Central Michigan Chippewas (8-2) will try to remain perfect in Mid- American Conference action when they take on the Ball State Cardinals (1-9) at Scheumann Stadium.
After suffering a 31-10 setback to Boston College on Halloween, the Chippewas rebounded in their next match-up by pounding Toledo, 56-28. With the victory the Chippewas are now 6-0 in MAC and could match their 1979 season win a win. Since taking over at Central Michigan, head coach Butch Jones has led the Chippewas to an outstanding 19-3 mark against league foes.
As for the Cardinals, it has been a nightmare of a season, as the team has dropped nine of its 10 match-ups, including two in a row. The most recent loss for Ball State was a 26-20 loss to Northern Illinois. In the all-time series the Chippewas have a slim, 23-19-1 edge over Ball State, but the Cardinals won the most recent match-up by a 31-24.
The Chippewas have one of the most dangerous offensive units in the MAC, and that is largely due to the man under center in Dan LeFevour. LeFevour has dominated league opponents for four years now, as the signal caller has completed 70.0 percent of his passes for 2,189 yards and 18 scores against 5 interceptions. What makes LeFevour more valuable is that he producing on the ground as well, rushing for 567 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Wideout Antonio Brown has even rushed 298 yards and two touchdowns while being the top option for LeFevour, and comes into this matchup with 69 receptions, 734 yards and eight touchdowns. LeFevour threw for 341 yards in the latest game with two scores, and one of those touchdowns went to Brown, who finished with 129 yards on 13 receptions.
Usually overlooked because of the success of offense has been the play of the CMU defense. Central Michigan is currently holding the opposition to just 18 ppg, and has done a tremendous job against the run, limiting teams to just 119.1 ypg on a mere 3.5 ypc. The team has been good at getting to the quarterback as the team has racked up 18 sacks. Nick Bellore racked up 10 tackles in the latest game and now has a team best 98 stops on the year.
Offense has been tough to come by for Ball State, as the team heads into this match-up averaging just 20.5 ppg behind a lackluster 308.7 total ypg. The majority of the team’s success has come from the ground game, which is churning out 165.0 ypg. MiQuale Lewis is currently pacing the team with 792 yards and four touchdowns, while Cory Sykes has rumbled for 404 yards and three touchdowns.
On top of the poor play offensively, the defense has also been a mess for Ball State, as the Cardinals head into this contest allowing 28 ppg behind 366.5 total ypg. The major problem for this unit has been its inability to stop the pass, as opponents are torching this defense for 211.4 ypg, and out of the 33 touchdowns surrendered by this unit, 21 have come via the pass.
PICK: Central Michigan University Chippewas
***If anyone has any pictures they would like to share of any TALENT from Central Michigan University or Ball State it would be appreciated.***