The Central Michigan Life football reporters weigh in on their expectations for this week’s matchup between the Central Michigan Chippewas (2-2) and the Toledo Rockets (4-1) Saturday at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio.
This grueling three-game road trip will end against another tough opponent in Toledo. The Rockets were picked to finish first in the MAC West division, and, so far, their 4-1 record and 2-0 mark in conference play have done nothing to hurt those chances. CMU’s offense should be able to match Toledo’s, but the key will be for its defense to make stops on third down and create a turnover or two—something the Rockets have done only three times this season. I think it will be close, but Toledo’s offense will just be too much to handle. Prediction: Toledo 41, CMU 31
As Dan Enos said this week at practice, the Toledo offense will be the best CMU will see all year. To keep up, Ryan Radcliff will need to be on point, and the offense can’t turn the ball over or have miscues. I think CMU hangs in for awhile in the Glass Bowl, even picking off Terrance Owens for the first time this season, but the Rockets run away in the second half. Prediction: Toledo 41, CMU 30
In order for the Chippewas to have a chance to win against Toledo, the defense is going to have to play much better than it did against Northern Illinois when it gave up 622 total yards. Like the Huskies, Toledo is one of the favorites in the Mid-American Conference West Division. If CMU wants to play a factor in this year’s championship race, it has to win this game, but I don’t see the Chippewas stopping Toledo junior quarterback Terrance Owens or the Rocket’s rushing attack, led by junior David Fluellen. Prediction: Toledo 41, CMU 21
Ryan Radcliff will throw for more than 300 yards against a pass defense ranked 12th in the conference. Teams have averaged 306.6 passing yards against the Rockets this season, which is good for the senior quarterback. Unfortunately, Toledo also leads the MAC with seven interceptions – an aspect Radcliff has struggled with in the past. The Rockets are the better team on paper, but might hurt themselves with its lacking discipline (last in the MAC in penalties). Prediction: Toledo 35, CMU 27