Football / Sports

COLUMN: Football report card week two

The Central Michigan football team’s home game against then No. 11 Michigan State Sept. 8 was potentially the most-anticipated event in the history of the program.

That anticipation quickly turned into disappointment by halftime when the Spartans led 24-0 in rout to their 41-7 win.

Let’s take a closer look at the Chippewa performance.

Passing Offense: (C) Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff was very inaccurate against the Spartans. He finished just 17 for 38, missing open receivers on numerous occasions. Radcliff also threw two interceptions in the game.

Rushing Offense: (B) CMU rushed for 72 yards against a Spartan defense that finished top-10 in the country last year – a far cry from the 324 yards gained against Southeast Missouri State Aug. 30. But when the Chippewas ran the ball, they were actually pretty effective. Junior running back Zurlon Tipton averaged 5.6 yards per carry but only had 11 rushes, because the Chippewas were forced to throw after falling behind by a large deficit in the first half.

Passing Defense: (C) MSU junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell and the Spartan receiving core looked much better against the Chippewas than in week one. Maxwell completed 20 of his 31 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Bennie Fowler caught eight passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Ten different Spartans caught a pass against CMU, which at times left receivers wide open. Sophomore cornerback Jason Wilson did account for the only score of the game for CMU when he intercepted MSU backup quarterback Connor Cook’s pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.

Rushing Defense: (B) The Chippewas held Le’Veon Bell to 71 yards on 18 carries, though he did get into the end zone twice. Senior running back Larry Caper added 66 yards on nine carries. MSU threw the ball a lot against CMU, probably to get Maxwell and his receivers going, so the run game wasn’t as featured.

Overall: (C) CMU went up against a superior team in MSU – a top-10 program. The Chippewas are still trying to be relevant in their own conference, though they did have a chance to make plays early in the game and failed to capitalize.  Eventually, the Spartans took over, which led to the lopsided final score. The blowout shouldn’t be much of a surprise to most.

The Chippewas (1-1) will travel to Iowa City Saturday to take on a 2-1 Hawkeyes team at Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.


  1. Brandon,
    You are awfully generous with your grades for Chippewa Football. You must not watch much college football, and do not have a clue of what a good football looks like. If you are correct, then we will finish with a winning record, and may win 6 games, since you are giving out mostly C’s & B’s after 2 games. You are missing one important category… Coaching! This deserves an F. So if you do this grade sheet after another 2 or 3 games, make sure you include coaching. When we will lose the next 5 games, I would like to see you next grade sheet include coaching..Will you been this generous and grade on the curve once we start the season 1 and 5? or more like 1 and 6. Have you even looked how SE Missouri State has done since they lost to us? Just last week, they were blowed out by Southern Ill. 35-14, so we didnt beat much.

  2. CMU Alum 2008 says:

    What the heck is this guy thinking? How can you give such high scores? How can you give the offense a C and B when they didn’t even score a TD or FG!? The offense was shutout, hello! 3.3 yards per carry I mean come on man get real. The offense was terrible.The defense also gets a C and B even though they gave up 500 yards and 41 pts!? MSU ran for 173 yards, how can you give the chips a B on rushing defense?! The author of this article is delusional and should have actually watched the game. Should be a D in every category. Also, this was not one of the most anticipated events in CMU history because anyone with half a brain knew CMU was going to get blown out. The athletic department just promoted it hugely and was super excited so they could actually fill some seats and make some money, but they knew it was gonna be a terrible game. I and many other CMU alums were not super excited for this game. Be an honest journalist and not a homer dude. Go Chips!

    • In terms of “anticipation,” yes, it was a well-hyped game. From the town, students’, etc. perspective, it was the most anticipated game. Everyone was excited to see MSU play an hour north.

      In terms of “most important, big games,” I still think the 2008 game against then-No. 11 Ball State (which CMU lost) was the game that meant the most recently at Kelly-Shorts Stadium. Win, go on to the MAC Championship Game and potential AP ranking (Which, of course, they did not do).

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