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October 12, 2012

Staff Predictions: CMU-Navy

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

Central Michigan returns home for the first time in five weeks as they take on the Navy Midshipmen. The game will be in front of a national audience, as it will be airing on ESPN-2. Navy runs a traditional triple-option attack on offense, similar to what CMU played in week one against SE Missouri State. A big difference between the two offenses is that Navy averages 230.4 rushing yards per game this season. The Chippewas had a tough time defending the option in week one and may have trouble against a much better offense. CMU is coming off back-to-back road losses at Northern Illinois and Toledo. The Chippewa offense is really clicking, as they have scored over 24 points in each of the previous two contests. The key to the game will be whether senior defensive back Jahleel Addae and co. can stop this Navy offense. I think they can, but they will need to load the box with multiple defenders.

Prediction: Central Michigan 21, Navy 17

Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Chippewas return home this weekend to face Navy in their first home game in over a month. It will also be the last night game at Kelly-Shorts Stadium for the season. Navy enters this game with a 2-3 record, the same record as CMU. Navy is an option team, so expect to see a lot of running plays from the Midshipmen. Navy is ranked No. 17 in the country in rushing yards this season with an average of 230 ypg. Look for a hungry CMU defense to stack the box after giving up over 50 points in their last two games. Offensively, CMU should be able to put up some points. Look for Radcliff to pass on a Midshipmen secondary. The weather forecast calls for zero percent chance of rain on Friday night and that should be an advantage for the Chippewas. CMU will need to win the turnover battle and play a "bend, but don't break" style of defense, limiting big plays from the Navy offense. CMU will be rejuvenated with their return to Mount Pleasant and will be looking to create some momentum to carry on their stretch run.

Prediction: Central Michigan 31, Navy 21

Steve Livingston, Publisher

It seems like every game for CMU is going to be a shootout that turns on turnovers, special teams and penalties. Neither team is great with turnovers. Navy has the advantage on special teams and CMU has the advantage with penalties. If the CMU defense plays like it did in the first half against SE Missouri State, the other option-heavy offense that they have faced this season, it could be a long day. If they perform like they did in the second half of that game, they will probably come away with a win. Radcliff and co. should have a big day on offense. If the new faces on defense can revitalize the Chippewas, CMU could come away with a big victory. The Chippewas are finally out of the worst part of their schedule and now they need four wins in seven games to become bowl eligible. All seven games are winnable, but getting a win against Navy on Friday night will create some great momentum for the stretch run.

Prediction: Central Michigan 45, Navy 34

Tyler Parsons, Publisher

It seems like an eternity since CMU played at Iowa, and I said that was a must win. Well...here we are again in must win territory. The Chippewas are 2-3 overall, and a win over Navy would make them .500 heading into the meat of the schedule. With the top two MAC teams already off the docket in NIU and Toledo, if the Chippewas are going to make a run at a bowl game it starts tonight. Fortunately, I think CMU matches up pretty well against a Navy team that is weaker than usual. The key will be CMU stopping the Navy rushing attack, as they are one team I'm not worried about throwing the ball much. I see this being a lower scoring game with both teams trying to control the clock, and CMU to win because they create more explosive plays on offense.

Prediction: Central Michigan 27, Navy 20

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