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NCAA FOOTBALL 2014 PREDICTS THE FUTURE: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Miami RedHawks

Unlike last week’s blowout, this matchup featured back-and-forth action from the start.

James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports


Last week’s matchup was one of epic proportions as Toledo and Tulsa tussled for the top “T” school title. Tulsa won that matchup 88-50 in a (probably) unrealistic shootout to the finish that saw backup QB Michael Julian take the load for the Rockets.

In real life, it was Toledo that won out the day on a Jameson Vest walk-off field goal by a final score of 54-50. That’s a difference of 34 combined points. It was suggested to us later on Twitter that we should change up some of the settings to get more realistic games. So we did! Instead of 15 minute quarters at Heisman level, we simmed seven minute quarters at the same level. Thank you, @AdamHThe1!

To spice things up, we put it up to a public vote this week and after 199 votes over a 24-hour period, YOU, the People of Hustle Belt, spoke:

Without further ado: here goes!

Like everyone expected, it was an offensive shootout from the start as the Miami University RedHawks travelled to the banks of the Chippewa River to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas.

At the end of the day, it was the RedHawks who prevailed in enemy territory behind Gus Ragland’s four total touchdowns on the day by a final score of 35-31.

Miami QB Gus Ragland (14) runs in for one of his four total touchdowns in a 35-31 victory over Central Michigan in our NCAA Football 2014 sim.
James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports

Ragland would finish the day 31-of-43 passing for 271 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the air and 76 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown to earn player of the game honors.

It most certainly wasn’t an easy victory, however.

The Chippewas played the RedHawks tough, despite being a 5-level underdog by overall rankings. WIth updated depth charts, the Chippewas had to get creative at the receiver spots, starting Cameron Cole alongside Mark Chapman and deploying Logan Hessbrook and Jonathan Ward out wide as third and fourth options.

It was CMU who opened up the scoring account in the first quarter, as Romello Ross scored a 13-yard rushing touchdown in relief of Devon Spalding late in the first quarter after each team’s first drive went for no points.

CMU running back Romello Ross (center) kneels in the endzone after a 13-yard rushing touchdown in a 35-31 loss to Miami in our NCAA Football 2014 sim.
James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports

Miami found its way onto the scoreboard in the second quarter after missing two field goals in the first quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by tight end Andrew Homer out of the fullback postion.

CMU responded with a 39-yard field goal by Michael Armstrong and that’s how the half would end, with CMU up 10-7 over the RedHawks.

The Chippewas would build on that lead thanks to a Shane Morris 18-yard scamper to put CMU in the driver’s seat just 45 seconds into the second half. That’s when things started heading south for the Chips.

After a Ragland-to-Ryan Smith connection for a touchdown, CMU repossessed the ball and threw an interception to Junior McMullan. CMU turned around and picked off Ragland on the ensuing possession thanks to Sean Bunting’s shadowing of James Gardner, but couldn’t convert the turnover into points.

In the next possession, Ragland would go on to run in for a three-yard touchdown to end the drive with a minute left to go in the third quarter.

Miami DB Junior McMullen (5) intercepts a pass intended for Central Michigan TE Logan Hessbrook (87) during a 35-31 win in our NCAA Football 2014 sim.
James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports

The game exploded in a cacophony of offense in the fourth quarter, as Miami led 21-17 coming into the final stanza.

CMU came out gunning, driving the ball 80 yards primarily through the air before backup tight end Jonathan Carson hauled in a four-yard reception to put the Chippewas ahead 24-21.

Gus Ragland and the Miami offense lulled the Chips defense to sleep with the running game before firing off a 22-yard bomb to Kelly Row to reclaim the lead by a 28-24 margin, capping off a three-and-a-half minute drive. It was Row’s only reception.

James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports
Central Michigan QB Shane Morris (11) looks for an open receiver during a 35-31 loss to the Miami RedHawks in our NCAA Football 2014 sim.

Shane Morris (who went 27-of-36 for 235 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and 71 rushing yards on 13 carries for a touchdown) engineered a perfect drive on the next possession, running the clock down to 41 seconds left in the game before scoring what might have been the game-winning touchdown on a Cameron Cole reception in the redzone.

It ultimately wasn’t meant to be for the upstart Chippewas.

Ragland would find James Gardner for the game-winning 32-yard reception with 13 seconds left in the game to seal the deal for the RedHawks.

Miami WR James Gardner (81) hauls in the game-winning touchdown reception over CMU DB Josh Cox (14) to bring the score to 35-31 in our NCAA Football 2014 sim.
James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports

On offense, Jared Murphy led all receivers with 68 yards. CMU running back Devon Spalding led all receivers with nine receptions, finishing with 41 yards receiving.

For CMU, Logan Hessbrook (two receptions, 44 yards) and Jamil Sabbaugh (three receptions, 38 yards) led the primary receivers. Gardner (four receptins, 55 yards and a touchdown) and Smith (five receptions, 38 yards and a touchdown) led the RedHawks’ passing game.

Miami QB Gus Ragland was the leading rusher in yards, carrying the ball 13 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. His peer Shane Morris had virtually identical numbers (13 carries, 71 yards and a touchdown.) Miami running back Kenny Young led in carries, but only had 63 yards as the only primary running option for the ‘Hawks.

Devon Spalding was CMU’s leading primary running option, collecting 37 yards on 11 carries.

On defense, it was a heck of the game. CMU collected nine tackles for loss and four passes defended, while Miami earnd five sacks, eight tackles for loss and three passes defended.

Miami’s Junior McMullen led all tacklers with 13 tackles (12 solo) and an interception. CMU safety Josh Cox was next in line, with 10 tackles (all solo.) Joshua Allen had four tackles (all for loss) and two sacks.

The opening line had CMU as a two-point home favorite, but our sim suggests Miami will win outright. Let’s see if real life can imitate art!

Here are the final stats for the game in one handy little chart:

James H. Jimenez | Screenshot: EA Sports