The Central Michigan Chippewas look to become bowl eligible for the fifth-straight season, as they play host to the Ohio Bobcats on Tuesday night in Mount Pleasant.
The Bobcats coming into this game are riding a three-game win streak after a seven point loss to Eastern Michigan back on October 15th. The Chips, on the other hand, look to snap out of a three-game losing streak. Tuesday will mark Senior Day at Kelly/Short Stadium, and the CMU senior class, led by starting quarterback Cooper Rush, will be looking for one last home win.
On the season, Rush has completed 208 out of 349 passes for 2775 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Chippewas average about 280 yards through the air and only about 128 yards on the ground, concerning numbers against an Ohio defense that has shown the ability to limit gameplans.
Jahray Hayes should continue to fill in for the injured Devon Spalding. Hayes, who has accumulated 387 yards rushing on 107 carries and scored seven touchdowns, has had a great senior campaign and looks to go out with a bang in his final game at home.
Greg Windham will try and spoil senior day for CMU. Windham has gone 124-for-220 passing and has thrown for 1366 yards, with nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. The Bobcats have a much more balanced offensive attack, as they have ran the ball well, averaging about 196 yards on the ground and 224 yards through the air.
Dorian Brown, starting running back for the Bobcats, has carried the ball 114 times this season, rushing for 656 yards and three touchdowns. Maleek Irons has also earned some carries, as he has carried the ball 75 times for 372 yards and five touchdowns.
The Central Michigan defense has really struggled to slow down any offenses in the past few weeks, struggling against Kent State’s and Miami’s running-based games, so a balanced offense predicated by the run will be a big problem.
The Bobcat defense has only allowed about 115 yards on the ground to opposing teams on the season, so look for the Bobcats to stuff the run early and often, forcing the Chips to throw the ball even more then usual.
A win for CMU will clinch bowl-eligibility for the fifth-straight season, while a loss forces a win-or-stay-home situation against EMU the next week. A win for Ohio should clinch a trip to Detroit for the Bobcats as MAC East champs; they attained bowl-eligibility last week. A loss would force Ohio to have to earn their MAC East crown in the final week against Akron.
Ohio can also clinch the East if Miami loses to Ball State.
The game will be televised on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.