Mt.Pleasant restaurants and hotels must be downright gleeful as their football team, the Central Michigan University (C.M.U.) Chippewa’s host the Michigan State Spartans Saturday afternoon. Along with their huge alumni base, the Spartans will also bring the nation’s 11th ranked team to Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Spartans have a history of being upset by their northern neighbor from the Mid-American Conference (M.A.C.) in the past. As recently as 2009, C.M.U. defeated the Spartans 29-27 at Spartan Stadium on a last second 42- yard field goal. That Chips team was led by today’s top wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown and QB Dan Lefevour, who went on to set what was then the record for most TD’s throw by a QB in NCAA history.
The Chips must feel like that was eons ago. Coming off that magical 12-2 season
in which they beat Michigan State and won the M.A.C. Championship and
GMAC Bowl, hard times have followed. The last two years C.M.U. has posted
consecutive 3-9 seasons. New coach and former Michigan State Spartan starting QB
(1989-90) and assistant coach Dan Enos looks to turn things around this
year and quite frankly his job may depend on it. Unfortunately for Enos and the
Chips, this Saturday will not offer much reprieve from their losing ways.
The Dr.’s Analysis:
C.M.U. Offense vs. M.S.U. Defense:
The best aspects about C.M.U.’s team are their offensive line, anchored by left tackle Eric Fisher and receiving corps led by Cody Wilson. In addition, starting QB Ryan Radcliff returns with exceptional talent and statistics other than his high interception count (16 last year). Regrettably for C.M.U., Michigan State has the best defense in the Big Ten. As noted in last week’s Saved by the Bell blog, M.S.U. gave up only six points to a very good Boise State offense. As long as the starters are in, I can’t see M.S.U. giving up more than ten points this Saturday.
M.S.U. Offense vs. C.M.U. Defense:
This is where it could get ugly. M.S.U.’s offensive line dominated Boise
State last week. Expect much of the same against the worst defense the Spartans
will face all year. Le’Veon Bell will continue to build his case to be a Heisman
finalist, even as Coach Dantonio takes care to limit his carriers; as the
Spartans should have this came in hand by the 3rd quarter. Look for
Andrew Maxwell to establish some rhythm with his talented yet unproven receivers. If Maxwell can’t have a relatively successful and mistake free game against a poor Chippewa’s secondary, save free safety Jahleel Addae, then alarm bells will be going off in E. Lansing, as the Spartans face much tougher opponents; starting with Notre Dame next week.
The Dr’s prediction:
The Spartans are favored by 20 points in this one. If the Spartans don’t turn the ball over and keep the intensity for at least a full three quarters, they
should win this game by at least that. A late C.M.U. score will keep everyone
friends as Maroon and Green alike take in the Mt. Pleasant night life.
Final Score: Sparty: 34 Chippewa’s: 13
About the Author
Written by Andre' Wiegand
A life long Michigan State University Spartan fan! My grandfather played on the Spartan O-Line back in 1951 and my family has been Spartan fans since. 1999 M.S.U. graduate (JMC). Currently live in Grand Rapids, MI with my wife and two sons.