Football Notebook: Bowl eligibility, injuries, school spirit
With five interceptions against Eastern Michigan in a 42-30 victory last week, Central Michigan football has the most takeaways out of any NCAA Division I team with 27 takeaways.
Head coach John Bonamego said the defense has been playing with a collaborative effort from all phases. Even with the injury bug biting the defensive line, the has still forced enough pressure to log 16 interceptions through 10 games this season.
CMU (6-4, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) brings its opportunistic defense to Kent State (2-8, 1-5 MAC) this coming Tuesday at Dix Stadium. The Chippewa’s want to impress the bowl selection committee as well as stay in the hunt for 1st overall in the MAC West.
Here are some reports before the 7 p.m. kickoff.
For the sixth year in a row and the 10th time in 12 years, CMU has become bowl eligible.
While six wins makes a team bowl eligible, it doesn’t guarantee the Chippewas a bowl game.
Bonamego said he’s happy with the team’s progress but acknowledges there are areas the team must improve on.
A win over Kent State will guarantee a bowl game for the Chippewas. Possible bowl games for MAC schools include the Bahamas Bowl, the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field and the Idaho Potatoes Bowl, among others.
Senior defensive end Joe Ostman remains on the injury report with nerve sensitivity, however, he did clear the concussion protocol and remains questionable for Tuesday’s tilt against Kent State.
Others listed on the injury report are sophomore defensive lineman Mike Danna, junior defensive lineman Mitch Stanitzek and senior defensive lineman Michael Steinhauer.
Bonamego said all starters on the defensive line are dealing with some sort of ailment as that’s the “nature of the beast.” He also mentioned the team’s biggest challenge in preparing for the Golden Flashes will be the physical aspect.
Kent State head coach Paul Haynes and CMU head coach Jon Bonamego have more in common than being football coaches.
They both married Jacksonville, Florida women during their time coaching under Tom Coughlin with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the early 2000’s.
Bonamego said he has great respect for Haynes and the two are always happy to reconnect at MAC league meetings.
Bonamego expressed his gratitude for all the students that showed up and stayed for the game against EMU on Wednesday.
“For a mid-week game that went late I thought it was a good turnout for the student section.” Bonamego said. “To all the students who stayed in the cold for the entire game, I tip my hat to you.” Bonamego said.
On to Kent State
KSU may sport a 2-8 record, but the Golden Flashes have played top notch programs this season.
In week one the golden eagles played fourth-ranked Clemson and in week four they played last year’s Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville.
A 3-6 KSU team came into Kelly/Shorts Stadium last year and pulled off the 27-24 upset over the 5-4 Chippewas.
To avoid another letdown against the golden eagles this year, Bonamego said the team needs to get physically prepared and play sound defense against a KSU team that ranks last in the MAC in total offense and points per game.