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September 21, 2013

Staff Predictions: CMU-Toledo

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

The Chippewas return to Kelly/Shorts coming off of a heartbreaking 31-21 loss to UNLV. The Chips led 21-0 before allowing 31 unanswered points to the Rebels. As much of a "business trip" as head coach Dan Enos said it was, the Chips did not perform very well. Cooper Rush was 9-of-22 in the second half with two interceptions, two sacks and zero touchdowns. Saylor Lavallii will need to have a big game for CMU in order to stay balanced on offense.

The CMU defense may have to contain a very versatile and explosive quarterback in senior, Terrance Owens. At the time of this prediction Owens is questionable, but it's the MAC opener, so I see him toughing it out and playing. Here are Owen's career stats against the Chippewas.

793 passing yards, 5 TD, 1 INT; 135 rushing yards, 3 TD. Record: 3-0

Owens clearly has CMU's number and if he plays, he will be the difference maker. If CMU can contain him, they will have a chance.

I feel as if the game will be a shootout, because that's how "MACtion" tends to be. CMU's new jerseys should provide a positive buzz in Kelly/Shorts, I just don't think it will be the same with the final result on the field.


Prediction: Toledo 35, Central Michigan 27



Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Chippewas open up MAC play this week against the Toledo Rockets. CMU returns home after a tough loss out west to UNLV in which they allowed 31 unanswered points in the second half. Toledo comes into this one with a 1-2 record, including a win over a solid Eastern Washington squad that beat Oregon state in week 1. The Rockets have also had injury issues with skill position players. Senior quarterback Terrance Owens is questionable with a knee injury that he suffered last week. Starting running back David Fluellen also had an injury last week, but is probable for the game. I expect both players to be able to play, as it's the first game in MAC play for both teams. Look for the Toledo defense to blitz and pressure the young Cooper Rush into some turnovers. CMU head coach Dan Enos is 0-3 against Toledo and I see that trend continuing as Toledo has more playmakers, which is big reason why they are favorites in the West along with NIU.


Prediction: Toledo 35, Central Michigan 21



Steve Livingston, Publisher

So much in this game depends on if Toledo senior quarterback Terrance Owens can play. If he goes, CMU is likely in trouble. With him, the Rockets played two SEC teams, Florida and Missouri, tough on the road. They are a legitimate conference championship contender with him on the field. If he can't play, then true freshman Logan Woodside would get the start. Last week in a win over Eastern Washington, Woodside was 14-of-24 for 185 passing yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. That EWU team beat Oregon State in week one and has one of the top FCS offenses in the country, so it's not like that is a win over a lower-tier FCS team. Here's the other thing: if the CMU offense from the second half of the New Hampshire game and the first half at UNLV shows up, Toledo could be in some trouble. If it's the CMU offense from the first half of the UNH game and the second half at UNLV, it doesn't matter who plays quarterback for the Rockets because that CMU offense couldn't move the ball with any kind of consistency. There is such a wide range of legitimate possible outcomes here. I wouldn't be shocked to see CMU come out with a two-touchdown victory on Saturday or to see Toledo win by 20 points.


Prediction: Toledo 35, Central Michigan 24



Tyler Parsons, Publisher


Well, CMU is at a crossroads early in their season, and this is a game they really cannot afford to lose.

When you get division rivals at home, you have to take care of business. Unfortunately for the Chippewas, Toledo has won three straight against them and their spread offense has given them fits over that time with 40+ point efforts in each game. If CMU is going to win this game, they are going to have to win it in a shootout, and that is a difficult task with a young quarterback.

Dan Enos said Cooper Rush was still letting the UNLV game bother him this week, and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back off his first real struggles of the season.

Either way, I don't think CMU will have the offense to keep pace, and unless they get some timely turnovers and play mistake free football, this is a tough matchup. Toledo QB Terrance Owens is expected to play, and if he is anywhere near 100% he is the type of dual-threat QB that gives CMU fits. I think the Chippewas can hang in this one until the end, but Toledo is just too talented and has the experience of winning these tough games.



Prediction: Toledo 38, Central Michigan 28




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