Football team hosts Ball State for Homecoming game Saturday
Saturday’s Homecoming football game between Central Michigan and Ball State marks a pivotal point in the season for the Chippewas.
After six games, CMU has lost three-straight since defeating Iowa 32-31 on Sept. 22.
The Cardinals are coming off a 30-24 overtime win over Western Michigan Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
They bring the conference’s top-ranked offense to Kelly/Shorts Stadium, averaging 483.1 yards per game. The Chippewas are ranked seventh in total defense, allowing 443.3 yards per game.
“They’re a very good team,” head coach Dan Enos said. “I’m very impressed with them. They have a lot of older players, which usually bodes well. They have upperclassmen on the offensive line, and their quarterback is playing at a high level.”
CMU is looking for a bounce-back performance from senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff, who was benched in the fourth quarter after throwing for just 139 yards against Navy.
The Chippewas receiving core, led by senior Cody Wilson and sophomore Titus Davis, will attempt to exploit a BSU pass defense that ranks eleventh in the conference.
“I really like their receivers,” Ball State head coach Pete Lembo said. “They’re really athletic and CMU has a very balanced attack.”
Saturday’s game marks the beginning of the second half of CMU’s season, and, if opponents’ records are any indication, the Chippewas still have plenty of opportunities to produce some positive results in 2012.
“I really think Central Michigan has a very good team,” Lembo said. “They’re very talented, very physical; they have played a tough schedule so far.”
The Chippewas first six opponents – Southeast Missouri State, Michigan State, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Navy – have a combined record of 25-14.
Its next six opponents, including the Cardinals, have a combined record of 11-29. Two of those teams – Eastern Michigan and Massachusetts – do not have a win in 2012.
Despite the numbers, Enos knows that results of past games don’t mean everything.
“The schedule doesn’t get any easier,” Enos said. “Every week will be a challenge. We have some home games coming up, and we’re looking forward to playing again.”
CMU will be without some experienced players against the Cardinals.
Senior offensive tackle Jake Olson is likely out for the year. The Chippewas will also be without senior defensive end Alex Smith and senior wide receiver Jerry Harris.
CMU (2-4, 0-2 MAC) leads the all-time series with Ball State (4-3, 2-2 MAC) with 22-21-1 record. The Chippewas lost to the Cardinals last season by a score of 31-27.
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