In one corner, weighing in at a 5-6 record (4-3 Mid-American Conference), one win shy of being bowl eligible, in the maroon and gold, coached by Dan Enos, give it up for the Central Michigan Chippewas!
And in the opposite corner, we have the underdog. The back-to-back Michigan MAC champs, coming in with a 2-9 (1-6 MAC) record, sporting the green, white and grey, led by Stan Parrish, get on your feet for the Eastern Michigan Eagles!
The Chips, coming off of consecutive wins over UMass and Western Michigan, are one win away from being bowl eligible for their second year in a row. In those games, quarterback Cooper Rush is throwing at a 63% completion rate (29-for-46) for 398 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. For the season, Rush is completing 56.4% of his passes for 2257 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
By comparison, the Eagles have split their last two games with an overtime win over rivaled Western Michigan and a blowout to the hands of Bowling Green. With an embarrassing offensive performance last week at Rynearson Stadium where the Eagles had one completed pass for four yards, quarterback Brogan Roback has completed 28 out of his 73 attempted passes for 458 yards in his four starts. He has completed 39.3% of his passes for 501 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions for the year. Tyler Benz hasn't started since October 19 in their 56-28 loss to Ohio, but he remains the Eagles' leading passer with a 59.3% completion rate with 1485 passing yards, ten touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Both teams have a pair of running backs that are heavily relied on in their successes. CMU's Zurlon Tipton and Saylor Lavalli have a combined 229 carries for 977 yards and nine touchdowns. EMU's Bronson Hill and Ryan Brumfield have a combined 1408 rushing yards off of 258 carries for ten touchdowns.
CMU has the third best passing and ninth in rushing defenses in the MAC, allowing 208.7 passing yards per game and 202.0 rush ypg. EMU ranks last in those categories with 267.2 pass ypg and 254.64 rush ypg.