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November 10, 2012

Staff predictions: Eastern Michigan

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

The Chippewas head to Ypsilanti Saturday with hopes of keeping their bowl eligibility alive. After a home defeat at the hands of arch-rival Western Michigan last week, CMU needs to win this one. Eastern Michigan is currently 1-8 this season and their lone win came against Army, who is 2-7. EMU is winless at home this season, with their closest game being a 52-47 loss to Toledo. CMU had over 500 yards of offense last week, as Titus Davis had a career day with 208 yards receiving and a touchdown. Zurlon Tipton eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the third straight game with 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Last year, EMU won 35-28 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on a game-winning 30-yard run by quarterback Alex Gillett. EMU still a good rush offense, but their defense has given up 38.2 ppg this season. I believe CMU pulls this out in the end, with some big runs by Tipton.

Prediction: Central Michigan 37, Eastern Michigan 28

Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Chippewas head to Ypsilanti this weekend to take on Eastern Michigan. This is the first time that the Chippewas have played away from Kelly-Shorts since October 6, when they went to Toledo. CMU hasn't won a MAC road game in over a year, but Eastern Michigan is still looking for their first conference win this season. The Eagles offense has been relying on young players of late in sophomore running back Bronson Hill and sophomore quarterback Tyler Benz. In three of the last four games, Hill has had over 20 carries. Benz has done well since getting the starting nod; against Toledo and Army he threw over 300 yards and threw five touchdowns against Army. I expect this to be a high scoring game, as both teams defenses rank among the worst in college football in scoring defense. I believe that senior leadership and offensive firepower will win the game for CMU. I expect the CMU offense, led by Ryan Radcliff and Zurlon Tipton, to have big days.

Prediction: Central Michigan 42, Eastern Michigan 35

Steve Livingston, Publisher

After the brutality of last week's loss, this game should test the resiliency of this Chippewa bunch. There are still things left on the table to play for: bowl eligibility, a revenge win over rival Eastern Michigan and a chance at reaching .500 for the season. Here's the thing: Central Michigan is a better team than Eastern Michigan. Period. They are better on offense. Tipton runs the ball as good or better than anybody on EMU's roster and the Eagles don't have the receiver or the quarterback that the Chippewas do. And as much as CMU as struggled on defense, EMU has been worse. They are No. 124 in the FBS (that's last place) in average yards per rush, giving up 6.8 ypc. There is a plethora of adjectives to describe that kind of ineptitude. Needless to say, it's not good. They are No. 113 in scoring defense. But frankly, I just don't know what to expect from the Chippewas at this point in the season. It's a road game and the Eagles are just as desperate for a win as CMU is. I guess that I'll pick a CMU victory on Saturday. At some point, I'll be right.

Prediction: Central Michigan 31, Eastern Michigan 20

Tyler Parsons, Publisher

Onward to Ypsilanti are the Chippewas, and both quarterbacks will probably have rested arms after this one. Why you may ask? Because it features two of the worst run defenses in the country, including EMU's aforementioned worst in the NCAA. On the other side, CMU has seen their run defense improve, but only at the expense of their pass defense. In other words, if you are a fan of the SEC, tackling, press coverage or putting pressure on the quarterback...you better watch something else. What this game will feature is a ton of points, and the only questions is whether the two teams score will outnumber the amount of people in the stands at Rynearson Stadium.

I have given CMU the benefit of the doubt the past few weeks, hoping that the must-win motivation would be enough to propel their play. Unfortunately that has not been the case, and the Chippewas now have become predictable as they keep games close into the fourth quarter, then implode. The effort has been there, the offense has been clicking, and there have been moments where CMU has looked like a good football team. But by now everyone realizes this is a flawed football team, and outside of the seniors it sure looks like the Chippewas have lost their fire. I see the Eagles (not a typo) pulling this one out and guaranteeing CMU a losing record in 2012.

Prediction: Eastern Michigan 41, Central Michigan 35

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