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November 17, 2012

Staff Predictions: CMU-Miami

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

The Miami RedHawks are set to visit Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Saturday afternoon, while Central Michigan is looking to build off their comeback victory over Eastern Michigan. Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns in last week's contest. Both touchdowns went to freshman Andrew Flory. Flory had nine catches for 118 yards with the two scores. Running back Zurlon Tipton eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and had a touchdown as well. The Chippewa defense played a "bend but don't break" style in the second half and the offense had a huge third quarter, scoring 21 points, on the way to a victory.

I think the game comes down to who wants the bowl bid more. Both teams are 4-6 and need to win their remaining two games to become bowl eligible. Both teams are among the worst in the nation in points allowed this season, so expect a shootout. I just don't think the Chippewas will lose on Senior Day and they stay in the bowl hunt.

Prediction: Central Michigan 41, Miami (OH) 34

Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Chippewas play their final home game of the season on Saturday as they host Miami. Miami is led by senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who is one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. He nearly has 3,000 passing yards and has thrown 22 touchdowns this season. Last week, he threw 455 yards and four touchdowns against a very good Kent State team. The CMU defense will somehow need to create turnovers. Dysert has only thrown two interceptions in the four games that Miami has won this season, with nine interceptions in their six losses. Miami will score, but the defense will need to come up with big turnovers to win, just like last week. On offense, CMU must score touchdowns, not field goals. I have to imagine that the performance of the CMU defense against good quarterbacks in this league has to be in the back of the minds of the CMU offensive players. Hopefully that spurs a good day from that unit. This is a must win game for both teams. They both need a win so that they can have a shot to clinch bowl eligibility next week. This is Senior Day for CMU and they will need to have to have their best performance to win this game. I think they come out inspired.

Prediction: Central Michigan 43, Miami (OH) 41

Steve Livingston, Publisher

Before each of the last two Chippewa victories, somebody on this staff picked them to lose. So maybe I'm hoping that by playing devil's advocate, it can my turn to bring a little bit of fortune to Central Michigan. Or maybe I just remember that almost every time over the last few years where CMU went into a game with every reason to win a game and a bunch of advantages, they have found a way to lose. The only exception that I can think of: at EMU in 2010 and at Akron last year. And that Akron was considerably closer than many expected. CMU has the better offense and shockingly, also has the better defense. They are better on special teams. It is Senior Day for a few guys who have meant the world to this program over the last few years: Radcliff, Wilson, Addae, Fisher, Olson, Keyton, Kinville and several others. The coaching staffs are equals. Central Michigan should win this game. But the game just reeks of letdown and upset. Please Chippewas, prove me wrong. Make me your good fortunate, not your bearer of bad news. Win on Saturday and take care of business in Boston next Friday to get to .500 this season so that you can take this program forward to where it belongs.

Prediction: Miami (OH) 31, Central Michigan 27

Tyler Parsons, Publisher

Oh boy...I have been going back and fourth about this game all day now. Every time I think of Miami, I immediately replay the 71 yard pass Dysert threw to win the game in 2010 with seconds left. It was memorable because the game was tied at 20, and because a coverage breakdown allowed the pass to be completed with nobody within 30 yards of the receiver.

Regardless, I suppose this is a new year and there is a ton on the line. Both teams are remarkably similar, and even their seasons have followed familiar paths. The winner of this game will probably come down to the team who doesn't turn the ball over, as neither CMU or Miami have the defense to consistently make stops.

If there was one thing I gathered from the win over EMU last weekend, it was that there is still fight in CMU and they are still playing with a ton of effort. On the flip side, Miami has looked awful the past few games, and I can't help but wonder if they cashed out after their big win over rival Ohio. I'm going to pick CMU, but it definitely is not without some hesitation.

Prediction: Central Michigan 38, Miami (OH) 35

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