The Central Michigan Life football reporters weigh in on their expectations for the week-nine matchup between the Central Michigan Chippewas (2-5) and the Akron Zips (1-7) Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Once again, the Chippewas will face another quality offense in Akron, and their defense has yet to prove they can stop other teams from lighting up the scoreboard. The Zips have just one win, but CMU is on a four-game losing streak and has struggled at times in the last two games. This is a must-win for the Chippewas, but I see them falling short once again in a high-scoring affair. Prediction: Akron 38, CMU 31.
Former National Championship winner Terry Bowden won’t pick up his second win as Akron head coach this weekend, but he will come close. The passing offense will give the CMU defense trouble, but senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff will have a career-day with more than 400 yards passing with four touchdowns – sophomore Titus Davis at the receiving end of two. A late Akron score puts the game in overtime, where CMU pulls out a slim victory. Prediction: CMU 41, Akron 34 OT.
The people in Kelly/Shorts Stadium will be the only ones to see Saturday’s game between the Chips and Zips, because the game will not be televised. It’s unfortunate, because there are sure to be tons of points scored between the two teams. Both have playmakers on offense and struggling defenses. I expect Ryan Radcliff, Zurlon Tipton, Titus Davis and Cody Wilson to all have big games. This might be a classic case of “whoever has the ball last is going to win,” but I expect CMU to pull it out and prevent the season from being a total disaster, at least for one more week. Prediction: CMU 42, Akron 35.
The seniors on this team realize that they’re running out of time to save their final season and will come out and play like it Saturday. Neither team is strong defensively, which will lead to yet another shoot-out between two big arms. If the past two games were considered winnable games, this one should be a no-brainer, but I’m not about to record the “W” until the Chippewas prove themselves. If head coach Dan Enos gives Anthony Garland a chance, I predict he and Zurlon Tipton combine for 150+ yards and a pair of scores. Prediction: CMU 41, Akron 28.