At the conclusion of Saturday’s football game between Central Michigan and Miami (Ohio), one team’s hopes of playing in a bowl game will be over.
The RedHawks and the Chippewas both come into the game 4-6 overall and need to win their final two games to be bowl eligible.
“The bowl game is motivation,” senior safety Jahleel Addae said. “At the same time, this game is important, because it’s the next one. We’re coming off a good win against Eastern (Michigan), and we need to keep that rolling.”
Miami is led by senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in total offense with 314.6 yards per game. Dysert has completed 63 percent of his passes, while throwing for 2,922 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also has thrown 11 interceptions.
“Dysert is very talented,” head coach Dan Enos. “He’s got a great arm and is very accurate. He moves around the pocket very well. He can also hurt you with the run … I’m very impressed with him.”
The RedHawks will most likely rely on Dysert’s arm against the Chippewas, as the team is last in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 86.2 rushing yards per game. They have only rushed for 862 yards all season.
Miami’s leading rusher is freshman Jamire Westbrook, who has gained 298 yards on the ground this season.
The team has a trio of productive wide receivers, led by sophomore Dawon Scott, who has caught 45 passes for 700 yards and six touchdowns. Senior Andy Cruse (68 catches, 622 yards, six touchdowns) and junior Nick Harwell (51 catches, 620 yards, seven touchdowns) are also threats relied on by Dysert.
Defensively, Junior linebacker Chris Wade ranks third in the MAC in tackles with 107.
The RedHawks have wins this season over Southern Illinois, Massachusetts, Akron and Ohio. Their losses have come against Ohio State, Boise State, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Kent State.
“We want to win this game for our seniors, since it’s their last home game,” Enos said. “We also want to get to 6-6, and we can’t do that without going 5-6 first.”
Kickoff at Kelly/Shorts Stadium is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.