The Chippewas switched things up this year, choosing to open the schedule against a Power Five opponent instead of their typical FCS foe. After the game-winning field goal vs. New Hampshire in 2013 and the 20-point rally vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2014, this was probably a good idea.
Central Michigan (0-1, 0-0 MAC) held up admirably against Oklahoma State (1-0) in front of a national television audience, losing 24-13. In that game, Cooper Rush threw for 225 yards and one interception (on the first pass of the game) and ran for 50 more with a rushing touchdown. CMU also held the 'Pokes to only 24 points despite giving up 419 yards, and kept CMU in the game well into the fourth quarter before wearing out.
This week, the Chips will face Monmouth, one of the lesser teams in the Big South Conference. Monmouth (6-5, 1-4 Big South in 2014) dug themselves an early grave and just couldn't rally back in a 27-19 loss against the Holy Cross Crusaders. Momouth's quarterback, Cody Williams, showed gunslinger potential in last week's game, throwing for 268 yards and a touchdown. However, his two interceptions were crucial in dooming the Hawks. The Monmouth defense allowed only 165 yards for the Crusaders, but caused no turnovers, which doesn't bode well for an FCS program looking to knock off a FBS-level opponent.
This will be the first game between the two squads, with Monmouth playing an FBS opponent for the first time in the program's 23-year history.
When and Where
Game Time/Date: Saturday, September 12th at 3 p.m.
Location: Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255) in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
How To Watch/Listen
TV/Online Stream: There will be no television coverage of this game. However, you will be able to watch the game on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App with a valid cable subscription.
Radio: There are multiple feeds through which to hear the game. For CMU fans, 95.3 WCFX and 98.5 WUPS are the flagship stations for the IMG Sports Radio Network. You can also download the CMU Gameday App on both the Apple Store and Google Play Market. Monmouth fans can access their radio broadcast through the Shore Sports Network.
Odds and Ends
Odds: There are no betting odds on this game.
Players to Watch:
CMU: Cooper Rush looks to have a field day vs. an FCS opponent after 276 total yards vs. Oklahoma State. Blake Serpa returns form a hamstring injury to face a small Monmoth offensive line.
MON: Cody William has a lot of potential at the quarterback position, but has also showed a lot of inconsistency. Luke Ford had six tackles (1 for a loss), a pass breakup, and a pass interception vs. Holy Cross.
Fun facts: Former Monmouth defensive back Jameson Zacharias (43 tackles in 35 games) is a graduate assistant on the Central Michigan sideline.