Dan LeFevour reflects on legendary games from hall of fame career

Senior quarterback Dan LeFevour helps Drum Major David Bechard lead the fight song after Saturday's 48-21 win against Akron at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Ashley Miller/Photo Editor

Dan LeFevour, who quarterbacked Central Michigan’s football team from 2006-09, was one of six Chippewas to be inducted into the CMU Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020. In his time at quarterback, LeFevour led the team to three Mid-American Conference championships and two bowl wins. He was 38-17 as the team's starter. 

LeFevour was a three-time first team All-MAC selection and a two-time conference offensive player of the year. He is the only player in NCAA history to throw for 12,000 yards and run for 2,500. He ranks first in a number of categories in Chippewa history, including passing yards and total touchdowns, a category in which he ranks third all-time nationally. 

LeFevour spoke with Central Michigan Life’s Christian Booher ahead of his induction to discuss some of his most memorable games as a Chippewa. 

NOTE: These responses have been edited for length and clarity. 

Aug. 31, 2006 -- vs. Boston College (Debut)

Result: Boston College 31, CMU 24

Statline: 22-for-37 passing, 221 yards, one touchdown, one interception. Fourteen carries, 72 rushing yards, two touchdowns. 

LeFevour: “Coach (Brian) Kelly told us, going into that game, that all three quarterbacks were gonna play. We had three guys that were gonna play, me, Duane Brooks and then Brian Brunner. We were all gonna, kinda, split time. But obviously my opportunity came a little quicker when Brian suffered from that concussion and, you know, I had to get my mindset right a lot quicker than I thought I was going to. 

It was a great opportunity. It was great to compete on such a big stage, to finally get an opportunity to play after two years. Just a lot of excitement and made me realize that I was able to play at that level.

It was hard to get any intensive praise as a quarterback from coach Kelly, but I remember one play where we had two different reads on the field. If they played one coverage we were going to the right, different coverage we're going left. And obviously, I made the right read and it was the more complicated play and threw a completion. It was just a seven-yard gain or something like that but I remember looking over to the sideline, getting the thumbs up from coach Kelly and I'm like, 'Okay, he thinks I'm doing okay, I must be doing alright.'" 

Nov. 30. 2006 -- vs. Ohio (First MAC championship game)

Result: CMU 31, Ohio 10

Statline: 22-for-30 passing, 314 yards, three touchdowns, one interception. Seven carries, 10 rushing yards. 

LeFevour: “I just remember being very focused. Our whole group was extremely focused, we had such a good season. We played well in conference play, mostly, every week, week in and week out. It was just time to finish the job. We set out with a specific goal. We were finally there. It was right in front of us and we just wanted to finish the job the right way."

Oct. 6, 2007 -- at Ball State (506 yards of total offense)

Result: CMU 58, Ball State 38

Statline: 30-for-38 passing, 360 yards, five touchdowns, one interceptions. Sixteen carries, 146 rushing yards, one touchdown. 

Lefevour: “That was just one of those games that, gosh, any play that we called seemed to work. We had so many ways to attack, we had so many weapons on offense and we were just clicking. Anything that we seemed to call on offense was working and we were clicking and didn’t stop for 60 minutes.”

During his sophomore season, LeFevour also became the second college football player ever to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same season. 

LeFevour: “It was great. Gosh, it’s just a statistic but I was lucky to play in the type of offense that gave me so many opportunities. There’s not that many names on the list so it’s special for sure. I’m just lucky I had so many guys around me like Bryan Anderson, and Antonio Brown doesn’t hurt either, having that guy to throw to.” 

Dec. 26, 2007 -- vs. Purdue (Motor City Bowl comeback)

Result: Purdue 51, CMU 48

Statline: 17-for-34 passing, 292 yards, four touchdowns. Thirty-three carries, 114 rushing yards, two touchdowns

LeFevour: “I think we just kept on playing. We knew it was only halftime (The Chippewas trailed 34-13 at the half) and we were a team sort of built to play 60 minutes. We practiced playing at such a fast pace and we were in such good shape and if we could keep them playing at our pace things could go our way. But yeah, it was a daunting task. We had just a few big plays go our way and got ourselves in it quickly, you know, in a real quick hurry. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t finish the job but it was a real great game.” 

Sept. 6, 2008 -- at Georgia (Playing top team in the country)

Result: Georgia 56, CMU 17

Statline: 22-for-43 passing, 250 yards, two touchdowns, one interception. Four carries, 19 rushing yards. 

LeFevour: “Yeah, it was not good. It was another, like, 100-plus degree day. And it just seemed like every guy that subbed out for them, another new guy came in that looked the exact same. Same body type, just different number on the jersey. They were just such a deep team that it was hard to play in those conditions. Number one team in the country, so not that the score should’ve been any closer or anything like that, but gosh they were so deep and had so many weapons.”

Sept. 12, 2009 -- at Michigan State (The upset)

Result: CMU 29, MSU 27

Statline: 33-for-46 passing, 328 yards, three touchdowns, one interception. Thirteen carries, 10 rushing yards. 

LeFevour: “I just remember we didn’t end the year before the way we wanted to. We went to Arizona the first game of that year (2009) and lost that one. It stinks knowing you’re in like a four-game (losing) stretch over two seasons. As a team, we kind of had enough of what was going on. I think we had a lot of talent, obviously. We had a very good senior class, we had underclassmen that were extremely talented as well. We just knew that it was our opportunity to make a statement for the season and just sort of turn things around. Once the game started, we felt like we could hang with anybody, that specific team. We were able to showcase that on that specific Saturday.

On the final minute, which featured a touchdown, failed two-point conversion, recovered onside kick and game-winning field goal by Andrew Aguila: Football, I guess, in general is a game of extreme highs and extreme lows. You could sum that up in that 60-second stretch. We’re right there on the brink of it, we’ve gone for two in other games and our percentage was pretty high, which is why we decided to go for it. It didn’t work and things changed. Our course changed that quickly, so the very next play we had another opportunity.” 

Nov. 11, 2009 -- vs. Toledo (Primetime blowout)

Result: CMU 56, Toledo 28

Statline: 29-for-36 passing, 341 yards, two touchdowns. Fourteen carries, 19 rushing yards, four touchdowns.

LeFevour: “I think at that point we were just rolling as a team. So I just think we had started the season on a high against Michigan State, rode that into conference play. Gosh, Toledo was a big win. We had a lot of big games in offense that year and that just happened to be one of them.” 

Nov. 27, 2009 -- vs. Northern Illinois (Senior day)

Result: CMU 45, NIU 31

Statline: 27-for-41 passing, 255 yards, three touchdowns. Six carries, 24 rushing yards. 

LeFevour: “Just spending so much time (at Kelly/Shorts Stadium) and with those guys too, that was sort of the first reminder that it was coming to an end rather quickly. There was no reason to be down about anything. We accomplished so much together and we still had so much we wanted to do. We finished off our MAC play perfect for the year and it was really just that next step toward getting to the championship. And the championship was the next week, but we didn’t want to fall flat in our last game at home.” 

Dec. 4, 2009 -- vs. Ohio (The final MAC championship)

Result: CMU 20, Ohio 10

Statline: 28-for-39 passing, 255 yards, two touchdowns, one interception. Seventeen carries, 51 rushing yards. 

LeFevour: “I remember other games starting earlier in the day, so that one, having to wait til night, was nerve-racking. Just being in the hotel all day. I remember it was a rather slow start for us. 

I remember some of the defensive guys saying that after the game, like, ‘we were all waiting for the offense to get going as we had so many times that season.’ And we just started slow. And the defense really carried us that game until about the second half when we were able to separate ourselves and we looked like the normal team that we had played like all year. You know, just taking care of business in conference play. Yeah, I remember it was a long day, took a long time for game time to show up and then sort of a slow, sluggish start. But we were a team, and the defense held us for two-and-a-half quarters.”

Jan. 6, 2010 -- vs. Troy (GMAC Bowl win)

Result: CMU 44, Troy 41 (2OT)

Statline: 33-for-55 passing, 395 yards, one touchdown, one interception. Nine carries, 12 rushing yards, one touchdown. 

LeFevour: “It was the last time we were ever gonna put the uniform on to represent the Chippewas. I think we all took that very personal. Bowl camp was long in general, I think we were the second to last game, we were the day before the national championship game. It was an especially long bowl camp. We wanted to finish it the right way. 

We had already got our third championship, but we had an opportunity to finish in the top-25, last time wearing the jersey representing Central Michigan, we wanted to finish this the proper way and send the whole senior class out with a victory. It was a great game, overtime game, we had to fight back. That was just an awesome game and an awesome memory to have with those guys.” 

LeFevour’s career stats

Passing: 1,171-for-1,763, 12,905 yards, 102 touchdowns, 36 interceptions. 

Rushing: 671 carries, 2,948 yards, 47 touchdowns.