CMU drops third straight game to Miami (Oh)

Bowl eligibility will have to wait another week for the Central Michigan football team, as Miami's offense overpowered CMU en route to a 37-17 victory Friday night.

It was the third straight loss for CMU, dropping its record to 5-5 and 2-4 in Mid-American Conference play.

The Chippewas made a field goal with just seconds remaining before the end of the first half to make the score 20-17 going into halftime. But CMU was unable to score in the second half. 

"It's frustrating," head coach John Bonamego said. "We've got to pick up the pieces and see what we can salvage for the rest of the season."

If CMU is unable to win one of its next two games, it would be the first time the team did not make a bowl game since 2013.

"It would be very disappointing (to not become bowl eligible)," senior safety Tony Annese said. 

Miami quarterback Gus Ragland had a career-best day, passing for 218 yards and four touchdowns. MU was also able to capitalize on multiple big plays throughout the game, having six plays go for over 20 yards.

"We had trouble stopping them and we couldn't get off the field when we needed to," Annese said. "We just have to get better and come back to work this week. (We need to) find out what we did wrong, make corrections and move forward."

Senior quarterback Cooper Rush was held without a touchdown pass for the first time in the 2016 season. He finished the game with 242 yards passing and one interception.

The interception came in the first half when Rush tried to squeeze the ball into a receiver in traffic. His pass was tipped in the air and taken away by the defense.

"It was a bad read. I thought I could fit in there," Rush said. "I thought it had a chance, but I can't throw that."

Both of CMU's touchdowns came on one-yard rushes from senior running back Jahray Hayes.

The Chippewas had some success running the ball early in the game, but were ultimately out-gained on the ground 218-50. CMU's defense was only able to force the RedHawks to punt one time during Friday's game.

CMU will have an extended break before hosting Ohio (7-3, 5-1 MAC) in Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Nov. 15.