Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mt. Pleasant, MI
The Central Michigan Chippewas, fresh off a narrow and disappointing loss to rival Western Michigan last week, welcome a rested Buffalo Bulls team this Saturday.
Buffalo is coming off a bye week, but played tough in a 28-22 loss to Bowling Green back on Oct. 3. With the help of BG’s ever-quick-pace offense, UB ran 96 plays, which was the most since a four-overtime victory over Akron back in 2008. The Bulls also had a season best 500 yards of total offense.
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
> Had the Chippewas followed their win over Northern Illinois with a victory at Western Michigan, they would have been sitting MAC pretty. Nonetheless, with the wealth of talent in the West, one conference loss by itself might not be the end of anybody’s “quest.”
The question is, do the Chips have enough in the tank to deal with this rested Buffalo squad. The last four weeks have seen CMU play Syracuse (30-27 loss in overtime), No. 2 Michigan State (30-10 loss), Northern Illinois (29-19 win) and rival Western Michigan (41-39 loss). All the losses were on the road, so maybe home cooking can work for the Chippewas again.
> Central Michigan drew eight penalties for 75 yards Saturday and also had one more turnover (2-1) in a game so close that just five yards of total offense separated the two teams and both registered 24 first downs. There was a mere 31 seconds difference in time of possession.
> Quarterback Cooper Rush completed 23 of 32 for 321 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. Rush ranks third among MAC QBs, averaging 295.2 ypg through the air. He is fifth in pass efficiency.
> Mark Chapman caught four balls for 92 yards, with a long of 52 yards, and scored one TD against WMU. Jesse Kroll owned six receptions for 75 yards. The latter leads CMU with 32 receptions for 389 yards.
> Jayray Hayes, who has stepped up during the absence of Devon Spalding, led the Chippewas rushers last week with eight carries for 52 yards and a score. Martez Walker had 11 trips for 32 yards.
> Brian Eavey has converted 10 of 14 field goal attempts, with a long of 44 yards this year).
> DB Kavon Frazier leads CMU with 59 tackles (3.5 tfl).
BUFFALO BULLS (2-3, 1-1 MAC)
> Like CMU head coach John Bonamego, Buffalo HC Lance Leipold is in his first year at the helm.
> Quarterback Joe Licata registered 59 pass attempts against Bowling Green, completing 35 (59.3%) for 348 yards with one TD and one INT. The senior has been goon on 62.9 percent of pass attempts for the year, with seven scores and five picks. He has been sacked 10 times.
> This is the eighth meeting between Buffalo and CMU, with this being just the second trip to Mount Pleasant for the Bulls. Central leads the series, 6-1. The Bulls are 1-19 in road games against MAC West opponents since joining the MAC in 1999.
> The linebacking trio of Nick Gilbo, Brandon Berry and Okezie Alozie lead the way for UB’s defense. Gilbo has a team-high 44 tackles, while Berry is at 42 and Alozie owns 37. All but two of Berry’s stops have been over the last four games.
> Anthone Taylor rushed for 1,403 yards last year when he became the first running back in school history to register three 200-yard rushing games. He has totaled 474 yards on 97 carries so far this year and eclipsed 100 yards (104, 116) on two occasions. He logged 21 rushes for 93 yards last Saturday and added another 26 on three receptions.
> Ron Willoughby (30 catches, 343 yards, 2 TDs) and Matt Weiser (25 catches, 266 yards, 1 TD) are the top receivers through six games.