Nick Fries: Let me start off by saying, for some reason, Buffalo has never been an easy game for Central Michigan. In the last couple of match-ups, you guys somehow manage to keep the score close, but can never come out with the victory. But this year, we have an even stronger team that's ready to finally blow out the Buffalo Bulls.
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Ohio Bobcats football preview: Talkin' sMACk
The Bobcats are sitting pretty at 5-1 while the Broncos are coming off a big win against Central Michigan. A couple of our Hustle Belt writers took the time to talk about how this one will play out.
Gritz: It's all about the big plays from the Buffalo defense. While Rush will get stats Brandon Berry and Okezie Alozie will make their presence known, and I'm always excited for games in the trenches. On run blocking Buffalo's size (average OL: 314 pounds) likes to push people around but Serpa can present a big problem. The pass game hasn't been there like it was last year, even if the raw numbers look OK. UB has the tools in Anthone Taylor and Jordan Johnson to win the game on the ground and control the clock but whether they do that is anyone's guess.
Fries: If the Chippewa defensive line can prevent big plays in the running game, I can see Central pulling away with this one. Our pass defense has been stout, as we kept Connor Cook (!!) under 200 yards passing. Has Joe Licata played up to expectations, so far? He will be facing a strong Chippewa defensive secondary.
Gritz: I've generally been less impressed with CMU's play than most, but I'll give you the MSU game. On Licata, No. Not at all. He had a record-breaking junior year and was on pace to enter top five all time in MAC passing TDs but this season has put up alright numbers alongside not particularly sharp play. It's not a secondary that will trouble him, but rather issues in his offensive line and sometimes predictable play calling. Fact is he's never been great when asked to throw 40+ times a game, and against Nevada and Bowling Green the defense did enough to win while the offense shot themselves in the foot time and time again. One thing he does have going for him is a great connection with TE Matt Weiser. Does the CMU secondary have anyone for a 6-5, 255 pass catcher with 18 receptions in the last two games?
Fries: CMU's safety Kavon Frazier will most likely be responsible for Weiser. He is a safety with the size and strength of a linebacker, which makes him a perfect candidate to guard such a big target.
So, I predict the game will end with a Chippewa victory, 31-16.
Gritz: That doesn't seem too far off, but as you started, Buffalo-CMU gets tight. I might not be surprised by 16 Buffalo points, but 31 CMU points and a two-touchdown margin of victory feels wrong. CMU 28-24.