Bonamego not 'satisfied,' expects better play at Ball State


Football Head Coach John Bonamego walks towards reporters after football practice on Oct. 18 at Kelly Shorts Stadium. 

Head coach John Bonamego blamed himself after the Central Michigan football team's 30-10 loss to Toledo on Homecoming last weekend. 

However, Bonamego is confident his team will not be fazed while preparing for another conference matchup on Saturday. 

CMU (3-4,1-2 in Mid-American Conference) will travel to Muncie, Indiana to face the Ball State Cardinals (2-4, 0-2 in MAC) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at Scheumann Stadium. 

Without their starting quarterback and running back, the Ball State Cardinals have lost their last two games by more than 25 points. 

Against Western Michigan, Ball State fell 55-3, then lost 31-3 to Akron on Saturday. The Cardinals have lost three straight games.

Last season, CMU stole two fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the game against Ball State on homecoming in Kelly/Shorts Stadium, 24-21. 

Bonamego said the team was preparing junior quarterback Riley Neal, who missed time last week due to a leg injury. 

“By no means is anybody satisfied (in the locker room),” Bonamego said. “There is still a lot left to play for. It’s the MAC, so every week is going to be a dogfight.”

Defensive back Josh Cox said the team’s record is in a similar place as it was last year. However, he agreed with Bonamego and said the feeling in the locker room was strong. 

“Last year, we broke down internally as a team,” Cox said. “This year, that is definitely not the case. Our seniors are really stepping up to leadership roles and I think that will definitely turn around (our season).”

The Chippewas may be without senior running back Devon Spalding and junior tight end Logan Hessbrook, who are doubtful to play on Saturday. 

Senior wide receiver Corey Willis, who suffered a broken bone in his hand earlier this season, is slowly making his return to the offense. 

“Corey (Willis) is giving us what he is able to,” Bonamego said. “Every day he gets a little bit more comfortable, but it takes a long time to come back from a broken bone.”

Rest of Season

The Chippewas’ final Saturday game of the season is this weekend. 

After Ball State, CMU has four regular season games remaining. All are weekday games. The benefit from having weekday games is CMU could get more notoriety and attention, Bonamego said. 

“Attendance is where it hurts you. You have students that must get up and go to class the next day and season ticket holders that live out of town, so I think it hurts the attendance of the league.”

CMU has two remaining home games. The Chippewas host Eastern Michigan on Nov. 8. before taking on Northern Illinois at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Nov. 24. 

The Ball State game is available on ESPN3 or WatchESPN.