5 weeks ago CMU was 2-1 coming off a big 52-14 victory on the road at EMU. NIU was 1-2 after losing a tough game to Illinois. Both MAC teams had road games at Big Ten teams that next week, NIU winning at Minnesota and CMU losing a close game at Northwestern. Fans didn’t think much of it at the time but that week has defined the season so far for the two MAC West rivals. CMU has been taking a nose dive, losing 4 games in a row, including two home games to MAC teams they were favored by double digits against, while NIU has won four games in a row, including a 31-17 manhandling of MAC East favorite Temple. In those last 4 games NIU has scored 34. 50, 31 and 45 ponts.
This week CMU travels to NIU, a place where they have not had a lot of success in their history. This game is a must win if CMU wants to have a 500 season, and have any chance at a 5th straight bowl game. NIU is lead by a balanced attack as they have shown they can beat teams on the ground and through the air. On the ground they are led by SR running back Chad Spann, who has 753 yards and 8 touchdowns so far this year. NIU’s QB Chand Harnish has 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. Harnish does a good job spreading around the football as 5 wide outs have more than 12 catches on the year. Landon Cox leads the team in yards with 244, while Martel Moore has the most catches at 22.
CMU is adding injuries to their problems this year as well, as they will be banged up when they travel to Dekalb on Saturday. I want to see what kind of fight this team has, but sadly, I believe that NIU is too good this year. It is their time and the West championship will be decided on November 9th, when Toledo comes in to Dekalb for a game on ESPN 2.
I hope CMU shows some heart and fight and keeps this game close but in the end NIU will be too much for the young banged up Chippewa’s. Coach Dan Enos for CMU needs to have some positive things happen for this team in his first year but it will not be on Saturday as NIU wins this game 35-21 ending CMU’s run of consecutive bowl games at 4.
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