Preview and Prediction: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Michigan Broncos
The Central Michigan Chippewas will be looking to snap a two game losing streak this weekend when the team takes to the road to face the Western Michigan Broncos. Sitting at 3-6, the Chippewas were hoping to go bowling, however, the inconsistency on both sides of the ball have led to head coach Dan Enos being on the “hot seat”. On the other hand, Western Michigan (1-9) started the 2013 season with eight straight losses. However, the team has responded over the last couple of weeks and has the Broncos focused on picking up their second conference win of the year.
Central Michigan is averaging 19.2 points per game and has struggled to consistently rush the football. The Chippewas are averaging 123.7 rushing yards per game and have missed star running back Zurlon Tipton who was hurt in Week 1 of the season. The lack of the rushing attack has forced quarterback Cooper Rush to make plays in the vertical passing game. Rush, a freshman, has shown growing pains in learning coach Enos’ sophisticated system. Rush has completed 55.2 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Central Michigan will look to challenge a Broncos defense that has been vulnerable in stopping the run. On the year, Western Michigan has surrendered 246.7 rushing yards per game and is yielding 36.5 points per game (108th in the nation).
Defensively, the Chippewas are giving up 34.6 points per game and are ranked 104th in the nation in scoring defense. Western Michigan has struggled with ball security issues all season long and is a minus-10 in turnover margin. Central Michigan is giving up 214.4 rushing yards per game and is allowing 233.8 passing yards per game. The Chippewas must force the Broncos into third down and long situations. On the year, the Broncos offense has converted on 38 percent of their third down attempts.
In order to get the victory, Western Michigan will look to throw the football against the Chippewas’ secondary. A bright spot on the Broncos’ offense has been the emergence of quarterback Zach Terrell. Over his last two games the freshman has thrown five touchdowns and one interception. On the year Terrell has completed 55.8 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Prediction: Western Michigan may be 1-9, but they have been consistent over the last couple of games and are gaining momentum at the end of the season. Led by Terrell, the Broncos are able to throw over the top of the Chippewas secondary in pulling off the upset.
Western Michigan 35, Central Michigan 28