Before the game started it was likely that if we told you the Central Michigan Chippewas would create four turnovers that would lead to 20 points and hold a 17-7 second quarter lead over the Kentucky Wildcats, Chips fans would be right to think they were about to beat their third P5 opponent in as many years. Unfortunately, the Wildcats would use quick scores before halftime to build momentum and shut CMU out in the second half to seal the victory and prevent the CMU upset, the kind of upset that has seemingly become a fall ritual.
Defensively, it was a stellar first half for the Chips, creating four first half turnovers and making the Kentucky offense, lauded this offseason as a potential sleeping giant behind Benny Snell and Terry Wilson, look pedestrian, sloppy, and unable to control the ball. Kentucky switched QBs midway through the game and would finish with just 128 passing yards.
The largest question at the start of the night was the Chips’ offense. Answers never came. Tony Poljan finished with 137 yards passing (17/27) and 47 yards rushing. Nine different receivers caught passes for the Chips. On the ground, CMU was paced by Jonthan Ward with 36 yards on 11 carries but missing a significant amount of game action due to injury. The Chips only mustered 97 second-half yards.
CMU will have the opportunity to hang their 3rd P5 victory banner next week when they host the Kansas Jayhawks in the Mount Pleasant home opener.
More coverage of the Chips’ opener is coming.