The Chattanooga Mocs had upset on their mind coming into the half, after scoring 16 unanswered points in the first half. That all changed with a Jesse Kroll touchdown reception with just under two minutes to go in the second quarter. After that, it was all Central Michigan, as the Chips went on to score 13 points in the third quarter, while stifling the Mocs' offense with gusto, winning 20-16.
Offensively, the Chips seemed to be extremely timid as Cooper Rush was overthrowing most of his receivers badly, and his receivers were dropping passes. Rush finished 15-26 with 173 yards and two touchdowns. Titus Davis was a virtual no-show on the offensive side, as he was kept well in check throughout the game. One bright spot in the Chippewas offense was Thomas Rawls, who made his case to be the primary running back from the start, with a beautiful cut-and-run for eight yards on his first touch. That ferocity, as well as his power on the outside, led to 121 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Chippewas were on fire in the second half, only allowing seventeen yards, and cleaning up with three interceptions, including a game-sealing interception by Tony Annese for the victory (Annese also had the lone interception of the first half.) The first half was a different story, as they allowed 236 yards and all of Chattanooga's sixteen points in the first half.
The major news of the night came from of all places, special teams (aka Ron Coluzzi's leg and eleven other guys). Coluzzi, officially listed as placekicker/punter/kickoff specialist, did very well with the last two jobs, but his placekicking was disastrous, as he missed a 43-yard try and an extra point. Also occurring during special teams was an injury to Davis on a fluke punt return play in the fourth quarter.
The ball had bounced off a Chippewa, creating a live ball, and as Davis slid to recover it, he took a monstrous hit from a Chattanooga player to the side of his left knee and immediately crumbled to the turf. He got up, but required assistance from his teammates, and was visually shaken and frustrated as the medical staff pulled him out of the game. Davis' knee was iced and was seen on crutches during the post-game festivities. An early report via Dan Enos is that it's a sprain, though tests still need to be run.
Overall, the Chippewas won the old fashioned way-- with a strong defense and power running game. We'll have to wait and see if they can potentially live without Davis in their game at Purdue on September 6th.