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Week 5 MAC Football Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Boston College Eagles

Central Michigan looks to shake off their struggles against ACC teams in Chestnut Hill with Boston College

Shane Morris and the Central Michigan Chippewas (2-2, 0-1 MAC) look to find some rhythm on offense as they take on the Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-2 ACC) on Saturday in Chestnut Hill.

Central Michigan comes into this weekend hoping to bounce back after losing to the Miami in Mount Pleasant last weekend. Boston College looks to defeat their second MAC opponent, as they defeated Northern Illinois on opening weekend. Since then, the Eagles have lost three straight and look to shake off their losing streak.

So far in 2017, Shane Morris has completed 55% of his passes, accumulating 1,165 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. With Corey Willis, Brandon Childress, Tyler Conklin and (possibly) Logan Hessbrook sidelined by injuries, Mark Chapman and the younger receivers will have to keep stepping up to help out Morris. Chapman currently leads the Chippewa receiving attack with 24 catches, going for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The run game for the Chippewas has also been stepping up recently, but will need to keep it up to take the heat off their quarterback. Sophomore back Jonathan Ward has become the premiere back for the Chips, as he has carried the ball 62 times for 295 yards and a touchdown.

They’ll have to compete against a Boston College defense that has been living more on reputation than results of recent. The Eagles have been ashutdown unit in the passing game, ranking 14th in pasing yards allowed while only allowing three touchdowns on the season through the air.

The Chippewas might look to the ground in order to pull of an upset bid, as BC hasn’t stopped the run very well, if at all, so far in 2017. They rank 127th of 129 teams in total rushing defense, allowing 14 rushing touchdowns and a rushing average of 6.02 yards per carry.

The CMU defense will also need to stop a strong BC run-first offense, as the Eagles have three players with over 100 yards rushing each in the backfield.

Jon Hilliman leads the backfield with 64 carries, tallying 236 yards in the process. AJ Dillon also has a key role, as he has 54 carries for 178 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Thadd Smith has 15 carries for 109 yards as well. The Eagles will look to run the ball early and often, as they rely on a time-of-possession strategy and a bend-not-break defense.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Anthony Brown quarterbacks the Eagles offense, as he has thrown for 658 yards, with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He began the season splitting duties with Darius Wade, a redshirt junior, but seems to have won the job outright.

CMU’s defense will have to limit their own bleeding on the ground defensively (183 rushing yards allowed per game) and eliminate BC’s passing options in order to force the Eagles to be one dimensional.

Game information:

Where: BC Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

When: 1:00 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 30

Weather: Expected weather for kickoff is cloudy with a chance of showers. Expected temperature is 56 degrees, with a 58 percent chance of precipitation. Winds at 9 MPH. (Per the Weather Channel.)

TV/streaming: ACC Network, ESPN3, the WatchESPN app and the ESPN App. Check your local cable provider for more information.