CMU football adjusts during BGSU loss

COach Jim McElwain hangs his head during their game against Ball State on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Kelly Shorts Stadium.

Struggling to find its footing this season, Central Michigan football went into its game against Bowling Green looking to turn things around by any means necessary. 

During their 34-18 loss to the Falcons on Saturday, the Chippewas began rotating players throughout their lineup. 

Although sophomore quarterback Daniel Richardson was CMU's starting quarterback against BGSU after one drive head coach Jim McElwain began rotating signal-callers.

With the offense struggling, McElwain called on redshirt freshman Jase Bauer, who immediately led the Chippewas down the field for a 52-yard field goal. 

"We were gonna put him in in some series anyway," said head coach Jim McElwain. "Just felt he was giving us a little bit of a spark."

The rotation of Richardson and Bauer continued through the first half, but Bauer was the primary quarterback throughout the second half.

“Jase takes the huddle and he's like the owner of it,” said running back Jake Tafelski. “So, he lifts us up and talks to us during it. So, he takes control, which is great on his part. And he's a mobile quarterback and he's a dual threat.”

Richardson made one more appearance in the fourth quarter. During the drive, the Falcons scooped up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown as Richardson was sacked. 

"But you know, that's all part of playing the position and seeing it on film and getting better," McElwain said. "But, you know, we'll evaluate, we got a little time, guys will get on the road recruiting first part of the week, and we'll put it to bed tomorrow...get ready to go play some MACtion."

Running back injuries

After a stellar performance in last week's game against Akron sophomore running back Marion Lukes was ready to take charge alongside Lew Nichols III who McElwain named as “probable” to return against the Falcons. 

As the players took the field, Nichols appeared wearing a sweatsuit. 

Injuries struck the Chippewas once again in the second quarter when Lukes was taken to the locker room. He eventually returned to the sideline in a walking boot.

With sophomore Myles Bailey and redshirt freshman Christan Brown out due to injuries, CMU was left without its first four running backs on the depth chart, giving redshirt freshman Jake Tafelski an opportunity. 

“I thought Tafelski did a great job,” McElwain said. “He was just the only healthy one we had.”

Tafelski scored his first career touchdown in the third quarter.

“I mean, first touchdown, college career, you know, not too much emotion on my part,” Tafelski said. “I was happy, but I was just worried about winning the game. So, you know, that's what my thought was.”

In addition to Tafelski, McElwain called on redshirt freshman De'Javioan Stephney to fill in at running back during the fourth quarter.

Stephney had six tackles on the defensive end and one reception for two yards on offense. 

“You know, bringing JD over…obviously he was running back for us in a real running back room a year ago and did some really good things," McElwain said. "And he’s doing good things on defense…but we'll see where we're at.”