The Michigan MAC trophy has already been clinched by Western Michigan beat Central Michigan in a wild shootout at Waldo Stadium, but there's still bragging rights in play for two natural rivals when CMU takes on Eastern Michigan at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Black Friday.
In the last meeting between these two sides, CMU ran all over the grey turf and gave the Eagles a hard day's work at The Factory, as Devon Spalding an Saylor Lavallii combine for four touchdowns and the Chippewas accumulated 501 total yards to the Eagles' 97, with the final score of 38-7.
Central Michigan (6-4, 4-2 MAC) is already bowl eligible, an every win will count for the Chippewas as they look to receive their third bowl bi in four years. Cooper Rush has looked somewhat pedestrian in the last couple games in terms of touchdowns, but has been a solid leader on the offensive side of the ball, passing the 300 yard mark for the seventh time this season against Kent State last week. The Chips also got decent contributions from their backfield against the Flashes last week, with two rushing touchdowns.
Eastern Michigan (1-10, 0-7 MAC) has been in a world of trouble this season, as the Eagles' propensity for creating turnovers (no, not the good kind of turnovers) has come back to bite them in countless games this season. Brogan Roback has 2,098 yards,14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The gunslinging, risk-taking quarterback, while being helpful in terms of stability at the quarterback spot, has also shown wild inconsistency at the spot. The EMU defense has been Swiss Cheese too, ranking among the nation's worst. The Eagles showed signs of life against the Minutemen in Week 12, but ultimately lost 28-17.
For Central Michigan, Romello Ross will be an interesting name to keep an eye on. Ross rushed for 43 yards against Kent State last week and showed good cutting ability, acting as a sped compliment to Jahray Hayes. Last season's EMU game was a coming out party for then true-freshman Devon Spalding, and it could be the same for Ross, given the EMU run defense. On defense, Blake Serpa will be expected to create the majority of the panic in the backfield, as he looks to be back in the swig of things after an injury suffered in the non-conference season.
Eastern Michigan will be reliant on the legs of Darius Jackson, their best all-around skill player, to make his own plays against a stout CMU defense, which is considered one of the best in the conference. Jackson has 996 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground and 198 yards and a score through the air. On defense, Great Ibe collected 21 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack against Massachusetts, gathering national honors in Week 12 for his efforts. An already weak CMU run offense could face problems against Ibe and the rest of a good linebacking corps.
How to Watch:
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mt. Pleasant, MI
When: Friday, November 27th at 1 p.m.
TV/Streaming: The game will not be televised. However, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App will be streaming the game live. A valid cable subscription is required.
Radio: Central Michigan fans can tune in to 95.3 WCFX, or to the IMG Sports Network via the Central Michigan Gameday App, which can be downloaded in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Eastern Michigan fans can tune in to 89.1 WEMU.
Odds and Ends:
Odds: Central Michigan are 23.5 point favorites, with an over/under of 59, according to OddsShark.
Weather: The expected forecast calls for morning showers and a high of 43 degrees, with an 11 MPH northern wind, according to The Weather Channel.