As the Central Michigan Chippewas prepare for their matchup with the 17th ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, running back Zurlon Tipton holds the key to an upset victory. The Chippewas will be facing a Wolverine defense that gave up 150.54 yards rushing per game last season. At home, Michigan surrendered 165.83 rushing yards per game. The Wolverines return only six starters on defense entering Saturday’s game. If Central Michigan is to steal the victory, they will need Tipton to pound the ball straight at the heart of the Wolverine defense.
In 2012, Tipton led the Chippewas in rushing with 1,492 rushing yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. His 19 touchdowns tied Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch for the most rushing touchdowns in the MAC Conference. Even though Central Michigan lost their best player, top NFL Draft pick offensive tackle Eric Fisher, Tipton will be running behind a massive offensive line. The Chippewas list every starter over 300 pounds and will look to soften up the Wolverine defense in Ann Arbor. If Tipton is able to find running lanes early in the game, the Chippewas will be able to execute a ball-control game plan that will force the Wolverines to crowd the line of scrimmage. Tipton’ s success will open up the play action passing game and give the Chippewas the opportunity to get the ball over the top of the Wolverine secondary. In the Chippewas seven victories in 2012, the team averaged 200.57 yards rushing per game. Tipton and company will look to add to that statistic Saturday at the Big House.