Saturday marks the last time the 18 seniors on the Central Michigan football team will ever run through the helmet and play for the Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
“It’ll be pretty emotional,” three-year starting quarterback Ryan Radcliff said. “You’re normally locked in for the game, but this will be different. There’s an excitement because of the finality to it.”
This senior class is 11-10 at home the past four years. Miami (Ohio) will be the team standing in the way of a winning-record at home at 1 p.m.
Both teams are 4-6 and need to win their remaining two games to have an opportunity at a bowl game. If CMU wins out and is invited to a bowl game, it would be the seniors’ second time playing in the postseason.
“We’re very blessed to have a very good group of seniors,” head coach Dan Enos said. “We’ve counted on the senior leadership to handle adversity. Every Sunday or Monday, when we come in after a loss, the seniors had a great example for the younger players of ‘let’s get back to work and win the next game.’
“Our underclassmen want to send them out the right way.”
Miami comes in with the second-best passing attack in the Mid-American Conference. Senior quarterback Zac Dysert has thrown for 2,922 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.
NFLdraftscout.com ranked Dysert the fifth-best senior quarterback for the NFL Draft.
“The keys to the game will be slowing down their quarterback,” Enos said. “He’s an NFL player and probably the best quarterback in this league – and that is saying a lot, because there are a lot of good quarterbacks in this league.”
Offensively, Radcliff said he is excited to see a lot of man-on-man coverage, because he is confident in his receivers’ ability to beat the coverage.
The seniors to be honored Saturday include: Jahleel Addae, Taylor Bradley, Eric Fisher, David Harman, Jerry Harris, Curtis Huge, Darren Keyton, Joe Kinville, Mark Lathers, Radcliff, Chris Reeves, Mike Repovz, Caesar Rodriguez, Lorenzo White, Nate Williams, Cody Wilson, Steve Winston and Anthony Young.
“(This game) means a lot; blood, sweat and tears have been put in on this field,” Addae said. “I love this program. It means a lot to come on this field for my last game; I’m going to give it my all.”