Football / Top Stories

CMU 26, Ohio 23: Chips upset MAC East favorite as Saylor Lavallii rushes for another career high

ATHENS, Ohio — No Titus Davis, no problem for the Central Michigan football team.

With their star receiver out with an injury, the Chippewas turned to their rushing attack on Saturday to get things going, avoided a bevy of special teams blunders and finished with their diverse receiving corps en route to a 26-23 upset win over Ohio before 23,826 at Peden Stadium.

They improve to 3-4 on the season and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

A five-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Rush (20-for-28, 3 TDs, INT) to junior receiver Courtney Williams with 22 seconds left in the game proved to be the difference, only after redshirt freshman Joe Bacci recovered a miffed punt return by Ohio cornerback Travis Carrie less than three minutes prior.

Williams (five catches, 43 yards) was one of 10 CMU players to record a catch in the game, a cumulative effort to try and duplicate the production Davis typically brings.

“When one of us goes down, we’re expected to pick up the group,” Williams said. “With him being out, it took a little from us. But in the end, we had some players step up.”

Sophomore tailback Saylor Lavallii rushed for 184 yards on 26 carries, setting a career-high in his second consecutive game. Although he didn’t account for any points in the first half, he helped guide it, rushing for 131 yards at a 10.1-yard-per-carry clip.

When Ohio’s defense decided to stack the box, loading more defenders near the line to try and stop him, he chipped in with a 7-yard touchdown catch with 9:07 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Chippewas up 19-17. A missed extra point by sophomore kicker Ron Coluzzi prevented CMU from taking a three-point lead.

“The offensive line did a great job, opened up some cut-back lanes,” Lavallii said. “In the second half, they wanted to stop the run. Cooper (Rush) made a lot of great throws and the receivers made some big catches, too.”

Coluzzi, who had missed his previous two field goal attempts entering Saturday, continued to struggle. He was 2-for-4, missing kicks from 36 and 23 yards, respectively. Enos showed frustration with his kicker after Coluzzi’s second miss, with 8:01 left in the third quarter and CMU holding on to a 10-3 lead.

The Bobcats offense began to wake up late in the third quarter, when quarterback Tyler Tettleton (24-for-32, 319 yards) found tight end Troy Hill for a 5-yard touchdown pass to close the Chippewas’ lead to 13-10.

Ohio (4-2, 1-1 MAC) followed up on its next drive when Tettleton found streaking receiver Chase Cochran up the middle for 69 yards, giving the Bobcats a 17-13 lead with 13:16 left in the game.

Enos declared last week finishing plus-2 in the turnover margin as one of his keys to beating Ohio. Well, the Chippewas finished plus-3, forcing four turnovers, only capitalizing offensively on one.

But it was the one that mattered.

“We were concerned with how we were going to get explosive plays, but I think we were able to run the ball effectively. Our guys stuck together, we had great week of practice and we beat a good team today.

“That bus ride home is going to be a lot nicer, I can tell you that.”

Contact Aaron McMann: Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.


  1. Well, Lavallii was awesone. I am happy for the team. Now the Chips might finish 6-6 and Heeke will give Enos a five year extension.

  2. This the biggest win of Enos’ career. I can’t remember the last time we beat a good team that had an actual winning record. Ohio made lots of mistakes and the Chips were able to capitalize. Cooper took some shots though, that line looked real shaky at times. It was nice to actually enjoy watching a game again, it’s been a long time for that, great game for Central!

    I think these next few games will really show where this program is at. Enos really needs to step up and show that the “rebuilding” process is over and it’s time to start being a possible contender for the MAC Championship again. Anything less, by this point, is a failure and he should be canned.

  3. The Chips were Fired Up! Outstanding win and congrats on a great upset.

  4. Charles W. Murphy says:

    Where are all the Enos bashers tonight?


    Deal with it.

    • One game does not a season make. Had Central not been completely outcoached at UNLV (UNLV coaches made halftime adjustments, Central’s didn’t), the Chips would be 4-3 and in good shape for a bowl bid.

      • In the UnlV game CMu threw 2 interceptions in the redzone, and missed wide open receivers a few times. UNLV has averaged over 40 points their last 3 games. CMU was almost 20 point underdogs to Ohio, Did Enos outcoach Solich? Typical fan that does not know what he is talking, with his irrational nonsense.

    • We’re right here, not posing or hiding! No muffed punt, and you’re looking at a loss! This is the kind of stuff that got Solich canned at Nebraska!

    • Looks to me like it’s the same people on this board as there always is, so nobody is running and hiding.

      Being a Chippewa fan doesn’t mean you have to put blinders on and just deal with it. There’s no getting around that Enos has stunk this program up for the last three years. Hey I hope I’m wrong and he can turn it around and we can contend the MAC Championship this year. Anything less and he should be let go. It’s time he put up some W’s. Championship culture right!?

    • The Chippewas and Enos deserve credit for the victory. It could be their defining win of the season, depending on how the rest of the season plays out. It was fun watching them win the game and pull the upset.

      However, if this one game defines the season and this becomes a 6-6 squad that uses the crutch that “hey, no one else was eligible so we get to go to a bowl game” as the definition of success this year, I’ll be upset.

      This wasn’t supposed to be a year to repeat last year’s “success.” It is a year to build on it and prove this program is headed in the right direction. The Chippewas needed this victory to get itself started on the right path to progress this year – but it was just the first step. And if they don’t take any more steps, well, then this season has been kind of a failure.

      Games like this week’s contest with NIU at home are the next challenges to prove progress and make a record better than 6-6 during the regular season a possible reality. I hope the Chips, and Enos, proves they are up to the task. I hope Enos proves all my past posts about questioning his ability completely wrong by ending the season with a long win streak. Past “negative” posts about Enos (at least from me) weren’t made hoping he’d remain a failure. They were just comments based on what we’ve seen to this point. I still doubt his ability to really guide this team to any reasonably solid level, but I hope he proves me wrong. And he’s got a stage to do just that the rest of this season. Let’s see what happens.

  5. Good win for the Chips against one of the better MAC teams.

  6. Unimpressed Chip says:

    Congratulations Chippewa players.

  7. Charles W. Murphy says:

    Fake names for fake fans.

    Deal with it.

  8. Real name. Do a google search.

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