Hopes for the football team to compete for the Mid-American Conference Championship are fading in the month of October, and the team’s goals have shifted.
To attain those goals, including the six-win mark that allows for bowl eligibility, Central Michigan (2-5) will need to end a four-game losing streak at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium against Akron (1-7).
“Group goals are out there still,” senior cornerback Lorenzo White said. “If we win the last five games, that puts us at seven, and that’s bowl eligible. There’s still the Michigan MAC Trophy with Eastern (Michigan) Western (Michigan); we’re looking to get that trophy back. And then the Cannon Trophy against Western; we’re looking to bring that trophy back to Mount Pleasant.”
CMU needs four wins out of the remaining five games to become bowl eligible. The combined record of EMU, Massachusetts and Akron are 2-20.
Head coach Dan Enos said CMU is in no position to view those games as easy wins.
“We are very confident,” he said. “But we are 2-5, too. They are probably looking at us the same way. The teams in this league are very close.”
Akron is ranked 112 nationally for allowing 38 points per game. CMU sophomore running back Anthony Garland said he thinks Akron’s aggressive defensive style is something they can exploit.
“They press and put a bunch of people in the box (to stop the run),” he said. “We think we (can) get them on play-action. And, when we run, we think we can run by (the blitz).”
Garland also said while the team can still be bowl eligible, the “one game at a time” mentality remains intact, trying to win that game first.
His coach echoed that.
“The big thing we talked about is just winning the next game,” Enos said. “Before we can start talking about bowl eligibility, we have to go get win number three.”
Today, the CMU Hall of Fame will induct six new members who will be recognized at the game Saturday. Former players to be honored include Allison Campbell (soccer), Craig Fuller (cross country/track and field), Carleton Kinkade (wrestling), Hope Robertshaw (softball), David Webber (men’s basketball) and Kevin Young (baseball).