Preview: CMU opens up MAC play against Eastern Michigan at Kelly Shorts
The last four weeks have all led up to this point. Mid-American Conference play is finally here and for the second week in a row, Central Michigan football faces off against a team that defeated them last season and left them shocked.
But this week, CMU is coming off a 34-30 win against South Alabama who beat the Chippewas 38-24 last season.
Now the Chippewas meet the Eastern Michigan Eagles for the 101st time, which is the longest running series between two MAC schools.
CMU closed its season to the Eagles last November where the Chippewas were stunned 38-19.
Meet the opponent
The Eagles are coming into the MAC opener off a 21-0 loss against Jacksonville State last weekend. Their other loss is against Minnesota, 25-6.
Sitting at 2-2 on the season, EMU has relied on graduate student running back Samson Evans who is just shy of 94 rushing yards to reach a career of 2,000. Evans is also one trip to the end zone away from tying Gary Patton (1984-87) for the most touchdowns in an Eagles career.
The EMU defense will look to create the same attack as they did last season against CMU quarterback Jase Bauer as he threw three interceptions and was held to 68 passing yards.
Key to victory
The Chippewas key to victory this week is to start Bauer at quarterback. Last week at South Alabama the redshirt sophomore had a breakout performance with a career high of five touchdowns.
Coming in at the start of the third series, Bauer led the Chippewas through the rest of the game with his performance, earning him MAC Offensive Player of the Week. Bauer rushed for a career high of four rushing touchdowns and one passing. One of his rushing touchdowns was a rush of four yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Bauer also had a career-high of completions (19), pass attempts (30), passing yards (224) and finished the day with a career-high 279 total yards (224 passing and 55 rushing).
The last time a player rushed for three touchdowns in a game was Bert Emanuel Jr. when the Chippewas played at EMU.
Central Michigan (2-2) versus Eastern Michigan (2-2)
All-time series: Central Michigan 63-31-6
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30
Stadium: Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Location: Mount Pleasant