CMU has won their last two games against Big Ten teams, MSU last year, Indiana the year before, but on Saturday they travel to Northwestern and face a 3-0 Wildcat team that has already gone on the road twice, at Vandy and at Rice, which is very uncommon so early in the year for a BCS team. This will be CMU’s last road game of a three game road trip as the Chippewa’s finally return home October 2nd to host Ball State in their conference home opener. Northwestern has been very good on defense this year, especially winning the turnover battle, they are +6 on the year. This is a problem since CMU has had some problems with holding on to the ball with Paris Cotton having some fumble problems and Ryan Radcliff throwing some picks.
In this game I do not expect CMU to win, nor do I really care if they do. I believe this team should focus on winning the MAC West and getting to the title game for a rematch against Temple, assuming they win the East, which I think they will. A win would be nice on Saturday, but I would much rather lose this game and win the conference then win this game, and lose the conference.
Northwestern will be a very tough team to beat lead by duel threat QB Dan Persa, who had over 350 yards of total offense in his last game vs Rice. CMU’s defense has been very good this year, but they have yet to face a QB who is a threat to run or pass. However, a lot of the defense has lots of practice going against a QB like that, since they had to go against Dan Lefeavor every day in practice the last few years. CMU has given up 0, 13, and 14 points this year in their three games, but Northwestern offense has been scoring around 30 a game. So something has to give. Northwesterns’ defense has also been very good this year as well. The Wildcat D is lead by Quentin Davis, the raining Big Ten defensive player of the week, after he had 10 tackles and a pick returned for a touchdown against Rice.
Some good news for Chippewa fans is Nick Bellore, John Williams and Cody Wilson, who all are fighting off minor injuries did practice yesterday and will be playing. Having those guys available will help the Chippewa’s as they try to get a big non conference road win.
I believe the CMU is at a point in their program where they can not sneak up on anyone. I think the CMU players will come in to this game believing they can win, and they can, but Northwestern will be ready for them. This is Northwesterns’ last non conference tune up before Big Ten play starts, so they will want to play this game at a high level. I think this game will be close for awhile, but Northwestern will end up winning 28-17.
About the Author
Written by Steve Schwanda
Proud 2006 grad of CMU. Chippewacountry.com basketball analyst, I love and follow most sports, but I follow basketball the most. Coached and worked camps for 8 years. Favorite pro teams are: NY Giants, Detroit Pistons, Tigers, and Wings