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A Great, Badly Played, Game

Posted By Steve Schwanda On Sep 9 2010 @ 11:04 pm In Central Michigan | 2 Comments

“If the game comes down to field goals you have to give Temple the edge.”

Those words were written by me on Tuesday in previewing the CMU-Temple game, and even though both kickers missed field goals, it was the made field goal in overtime that was the difference in the game as Temple beats CMU 13-10 in a very good game, though it was not well played at all. Mistakes by both teams at crucial times plus two very good defenses made this a very offensively challenged game. CMU was a team that score 40 points or more  in six games last year, and they had only 7 until 1:10 to play in the 4th, and ended with 10. CMU’s defense played very well and that is a positive for sure. One major concern is Nick Bellore left the game with just over a minute to go in the first half and did not return. Hopefully he will be ok, because that would be a much bigger loss then the game for the Chippewa’s season.

Paul Mudgett missed another field goal for CMU, this time only a 27 yard field goal, which he missed wide right, just like his four other misses this year, so when CMU did have a 31 yard field goal to tie the game with a minute left it was back up David Harmon who kicked it though. Harmon is a name very well known to CMU fans, David’s older brother Robbie just finished an all-MAC career for the CMU basketball team. Harmon showed no signs of being nervous on his first career kick and he nailed it though.

In Overtime CMU’s quarterback Ryan Radcliff, making his first road and MAC start of his career threw a pick in the end zone on a second and eight setting the scene for Temple’s kicker to once again be the hero. Just like last week against Nova,  Brandon McManus didn’t disappoint.

There can be good things you learn  from most losses, and this game is no different, number one the defense did play great, and second Cody Wilson had a great game and showed CMU they have a go to player on the offensive side of the ball, which they needed loosing their top two WR from a year ago. Another positive has to be when this game was played. It is still very early in the year and both of these teams could meet again in the MAC title game at Ford Field, if they did, CMU would have a big crowd advantage, which would help, plus 10 more games under this new system.

The game wasn’t the best coached game in the world and Dan Enos made some mistakes, but he is a new head coach and I am not one to blow up after one bad game. I read lots of people who did that after Butch Jones’ first game as CMU coach too, Kansas destroyed us, and all he did was lead us to two mac titles in three years. Will Dan Enos do the same? that  is yet to be seen, but I still have all the faith in the world in him and this team that CMU will have a good year.

It is clear we didn’t get Temple’s best game either, far from it. Stud RB Bernard Pierce was hurting again and was out most of the game, and their QB  Chester Stewart made some big mistakes on holding the ball too long. They did show they have a great defense and as much as I love Nick Bellore, I was wrong about him being the best defensive player in the conference, that is Muhammad Wilkerson without a doubt. What a animal, he was all over the place.  To be that athletic and be 6’5 305 that is a player that you will be seeing playing on Sunday’s.  I think Temple will win the MAC east and go to the MAC title game, I would love to say CMU will be joining them there, but they have a lot more work to do before I can even start to think like that.

There were many questions going in to this game, and some were not answered, but I do feel CMU has found their play maker on offense and this defense has shown they are going to be a very strong unit in the MAC. I don’t think this team will win the MAC, since they still need to go on the road to Toledo and NIU to win the MAC west, but I do think they can get to another bowl game, which would be their 5th in a row, which would be a very good season from were I sit.

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