Everyone give a warm welcome to TheChipReport.com, a Central Michigan Chippewas website that I did a Q&A with. They’re answering questions on this blog, and I answered some questions on theirs. Here is my Q&A on The Chip Report.
Let’s get started with the Q&A:
1.) CMU had trouble with Southeastern Missouri. Is that a bad sign or just opening game jitters?
The performance is definitely worrisome. This was supposed to be the year that CMU finally put everything together to make a run at the MAC title but they struggled mightily in the first half. That being said, the second half was more of the domination we were expecting. The verdict is still out on this football team.
2.) Zurlon Tipton had a monster game against Southeast Missouri. Is that a trend that will continue all season or is that just a fluke game?
CMU’s offensive line is big, and not just by MAC standards. The running back group is as talented as we’ve seen in Mt. Pleasant in a long time. They are focused on running the ball frequently and keeping their defense fresh. I’m not sure this strategy will work against a physical defense like MSU but expect them to try.
3.) Even with MSU’s impeccable defense, how do you expect QB Ryan Radcliff to perform? He’s coming off a great season, will it be even better?
Ryan Radcliff is going to have a very solid year and his final grade will come down to his TD/INT rate. If he can limit his turnovers and get on the same page with his talented receiving group, the sky is the limit statistically for Radcliff. MSU fans expecting another game like last year out of Radcliff may be disappointed.
4.) What player that has been flying under the radar do you expect to break out in the game on Saturday?
The easy answer might be a guys like Cody Wilson, Anthony Garland or Courtney Williams but I’m going to pick a lesser known leader for the Chippewas, Jerry Harris. Harris is a Senior and always seems to find himself behind the up and coming super star like Titus Davis and Antonio Brown before him. Jerry has always had the speed and hands to be an elite WR but has always needed a break out game to send him over the top–could it be a big catch or kick return against MSU? If you want to watch a classic case of BCS talent slipping through the cracks, keep an eye on Titus Davis. There is no doubt that he could be playing at a very high level in a conference like the Big Ten. This kid is the real deal and when it’s all over, he might hold all Chippewa receiving records. On the defensive side I really like linebacker Justin Cherocci. He recorded 15 tackles last week and at times, I had to rub my eyes as I thought I was watching Chippewa great, Nick Bellore. Look for more of the same from Justin against the Spartans.
5.) What’s your score prediction?
If you know the history of this series you know that all 8 contests have been played in East Lansing and the Spartans hold only a narrow 5-3 record over the Chippewas. Spartan fans can think whatever they want about the Chippewas but at the end of the day, this is a legit rivalry game.
That being said, I just can’t pick the upset. Based on last week’s games, this one could be much closer than Sparty faithfuls would like to admit. To say Andrew Maxwell looked shaky last weekend is an understatement. If MSU becomes as one dimensional as they did against Boise State, CMU can force Maxwell to throw and turn overs could really help them stay in the game. CMU will also be looking for redemption after last season’s nightmare performance in East Lansing. All of this leads me to my closer than the spread prediction: the Spartans prevail 38-27 but their “impeccable” defense looks quite ordinary.