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Looking for a road win: Chippewas square off against Bowling Green


Central Michigan players run onto the field to play New Mexico State Oct. 12 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Jim McElwain and Scot Loeffler have been well-traveled coaches in their careers. 

They have both been at different stops throughout their careers, McElwain all over the country and Loeffler mainly on the eastern region. 

Loeffler played quarterback at Michigan before a shoulder injury cut his career short and joined Lloyd Carr's coaching staff, coaching both Brian Griese and Tom Brady. 

After three seasons on Michigan's staff as a student and graduate assistant, Loffler moved on to become the quarterbacks coach at Central Michigan. 

In his two seasons guiding the Chippewa quarterbacks in 2000-01 under head coach Mike DeBord, quarterback Derrick Vickers threw for over 1,000 yards in each season under Loeffler's tutelage. 

Loeffler also coached at Florida and was the quarterback coach for Tim Tebow his senior season, 2009. That Gator team lost the SEC Championship Game to Alabama, with McElwain as the offensive coordinator. 

The two crossed paths the next season as Alabama dismantled the Tebow-less Gators, 31-6, in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide went on to defeat Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl while the Gators defeated Penn State in the Outback Bowl. 

After McElwain made stops at both Florida and Michigan, both he and Loeffler are coaching in the Mid-American Conference. 

McElwain at Central Michigan, Loeffler at Bowling Green. 

At MAC Media Day in July, Loeffler was among many coaches throughout the conference that has respect for McElwain. 

"I think he's a very good football coach," Loeffler said. "I've studied his work. We all steal from each other. When he was at Alabama, I know I was looking at his 12-personnel shift system. He's a great football coach with a lot of great experience."

McElwain reciprocated the respect for Loeffler, especially how he has left his impression throughout the Bowling Green program.

"I've got tons of respect for Scot and what he's done through the years," McElwain said. "We're going to have to put a package together to go down there and get a win, they're playing their tails off and hats off to Scot for what he's doing." 

The two will meet Saturday in Bowling Green. 

Scouting the Falcons

BGSU is coming off a huge, 20-7, win over Toledo at home last week in a game where it was a 22.5-point underdog. 

Grant Loy took over at quarterback for Darius Wade and turned in a decent performance through the air. He was 14 of 21 passing for 185 yards, a touchdown and an interception. 

However, Loy was a force on the ground. He totaled 149 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, which were all team-highs. Davon Jones had 69 yards on 17 carries at the running back position. 

"We're going in there and playing one way," said defensive end Sean Adesanya. "We're going to take what the opponents give us and whatever the coaches draw on the board."

The Falcons (2-4, 1-1) rank 118 in The Athletic 130, making a jump from 127 last week. BGSU had lost four straight games in blowout fashion before defeating the Rockets, including a 62-20 loss to Kent State. 

Bowling Green scores 15.5 points per game and averages 174.2 yards through the air and 169.7 yards on the ground. 

Toledo had two turnovers, a fumble and an interception in the loss to BGSU, who scored on the drive following the fumble recovery. The Falcons have scored 14 points off turnovers so far this season. 

CMU will need to take care of the ball to find success against the Falcons.

"Every game it's important to hold the ball," said wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan. "As long as you keep the ball in your hands and you're putting up points, the game should be easy, they can't stop us." 

The Chippewas

CMU played well in its 42-28 win, and is 4-0 at home. However, the Chippewas are winless on the road after losing to Wisconsin, Miami (Florida) and Western Michigan. 

The rushing defense has been strong this season thus far where it allows just 101.3 yards per game, which is the best in the MAC and 19th in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

However, the passing defense has struggled for the Chippewas throughout the season allowing 266.4 yards, which ranks 10th in the conference and 106th in the FBS. 

Offensively, the running back tandem of senior Jonathan Ward and sophomore Kobe Lewis have been huge for CMU, just as they were expected to this season. Ward has 531 yards and five touchdowns in his senior season while Lewis has 491 yards on the ground which makes the pair tough to handle. 

Quarterack Quinten Dormady made his return to the Chippewa offense after missing the previous four games when he suffered a knee injury against Wisconsin in Week 2. 

The senior graduate transfer was 14 of 24 for 134 yards and two scores against New Mexico State, including a 44-yard rocket to wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton. 

Central Michigan (4-3, 2-1) @ Bowling Green (2-4, 1-1)

Time: 2 p.m.

Date: Oct. 19, 2019

Stadium: Doyt L. Perry Stadium

Location: Bowling Green, Ohio

Odds: CMU -10.5

Over/Under: 53

TV: ESPN3 (Shawn Kenney, Forrest Conoly)

Radio: 98.5 WUPS (Don Chiodo, Brock Gutierrez and Adam Jaksa)