The Central Michigan Life football reporters weigh in on their expectations for the matchup between the Central Michigan Chippewas (2–3) and Navy Midshipmen (2–3) tonight at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
CMU returns home after a three–game road trip, and Kelly/Shorts Stadium should feature a big crowd. The Chippewa defense will be tested by the Midshipmen’s triple–option offense that runs the ball nearly 70 percent of the time. I expect the CMU offense to continue to move the ball, it just can’t turn the ball over. The game will be close, but I expect quarterback Ryan Radcliff to lead a late fourth–quarter drive for the win. Prediction: CMU 38, Navy 34
The triple option gave CMU fits in week one against Southeast Missouri State, so I think Navy will be able to have some success with it. The CMU defense has improved since week one, and the one-deminsional offense will slow down in the second half when CMU takes the lead and slightly pulls away. It won’t be a Mid-American Conference shoot out but a solid win for the Chippewas. Prediction: CMU 27, Navy 20
Kelly/Shorts Stadium should be electric when the Chippewas return home for the first time since Sept. 8 to host Navy. The Midshipmen will be starting freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds against the Chippewas because of an injury to starter Trey Miller. My only concern is CMU’s ability to stop Navy’s triple–option offense. CMU struggled against a similar offense in its season opener against Southeast Missouri State. If senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff can protect the ball and the special teams can avoid giving up big plays, I think the Chippewas will pull off a huge home win on national TV. Prediction: CMU 28, Navy 24
Navy’s offense relies on trickery and deception, which killed the Chippewas against Northern Illinois on Sept. 29. While I expect the CMU offense to have a good night, I don’t have enough faith in its defense. Sure, Navy is one-dimensional, but CMU has given up an average 234 rush yards per game. Navy return man Marcus Thomas will show glimpses of his high school days as a three–time All-State sprinter against an ugly CMU special teams unit. Prediction: CMU 35, Navy 42