Staff Predictions: Central Michigan vs. Miami (Ohio)
The Central Michigan Life football reporters weigh in on their expectations for the week-12 matchup between the Central Michigan Chippewas (4-6) and the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (4-6) Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Ryan Zuke (5-5)
I still don’t trust the CMU defense, especially against the second-ranked passing offense in the MAC. But I think the importance of this game for the program and Dan Enos will carry CMU to victory Saturday. It might not be pretty, but I say the Chippewas get the job done. Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff and senior receiver Cody Wilson will hook up for a couple touchdowns, and running back Zurlon Tipton will have another big day en route to a victory. Prediction: CMU 38, Miami 34.
Matt Thompson (6-4)
Dan Enos talked about how Zac Dysert is the best quarterback in the league and an NFL prospect – he is the reason I think CMU's bowl eligibility chances will end Saturday on senior day. The emotions from the seniors playing their last game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and an early interception will keep CMU in the game until the fourth quarter when Dysert will throw two touchdown passes. Senior Cody Wilson will end his career at home with a receiving and rushing touchdown, though. Prediction: Miami 34, CMU 24.
Brandon Champion (7-3)
Saturday’s bowl elimination game should be a close, high-scoring game. Miami is a pass-heavy team, and CMU has struggled to defend the pass at times this season. Zac Dysert will probably have a big game, as will CMU quarterback Ryan Radcliff, but I think Miami will score in the red zone more often. The Chippewas will battle, but, in the end, they’ll lose on senior day and see its bowl aspirations disappear for another year. Prediction: Miami 31, CMU 28.
Justin Hicks (6-4)
Miami's run offense is dead last in the MAC, averaging 86.2 yards per game. While CMU's isn't much better, ranked 10th of 13, it will be matching up against the second-worst rushing defense in the conference Saturday. If the Chippewas are wise, they will capitalize, handing the ball to Zurlon Tipton all day. He and the rest of the offense will need a big day to keep up with quarterback Zac Dysert and, unfortunately for the seniors, I don't think it will. Prediction: Miami 41, CMU 31.