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November 16, 2013

Staff Predictions: Central Michigan-Western Michigan

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

CMU needs to win out to make a second consecutive bowl appearance. After last week's embarrassment on national television against Ball State, it can only get better. Western has only one win this season and it came last week against an Eastern Michigan team, whose head coach was fired 24 hours before kickoff.

It will also be very interesting to see both team's best wide receivers in this game: CMU's Titus Davis and Corey Davis. Yes, they're brothers and they're both big time playmakers.

The buzz in Mount Pleasant around this game is next to nothing, so I don't expect many CMU students to be inside the Waldo Stadium for this big time rivalry. This is Western's Super Bowl and they will have "all hands on deck of the boat." In my opinion, Enos needs this win to keep the doubters off his back. I don't think Western will win, but I also think this will be an extremely close game.

P.S. What does "Row the Boat" have to do with a Bronco?

Prediction: Central Michigan 28, Western Michigan 27

Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Central Michigan-Western Michigan rivalry goes back a long ways. But the first installment of the coaching rivalry between CMU's Dan Enos and WMU's P.J. Fleck takes place on Saturday at Waldo Stadium. I think redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Terrell, true freshman receiver Corey Davis and the Broncos offense will put some points on the board, keeping WMU in the game for a while. However, I'm expecting CMU redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Rush and the CMU offense to have their best game thus far.

Prediction: Central Michigan 36, Western Michigan 20

Steve Livingston, Publisher

Despite a combined record of four wins and 15 losses, there's still a lot at stake in Kalamazoo on Saturday afternoon. A win for CMU all but guarantees bowl eligibility, with their two remaining games against UMass and Eastern Michigan, who are a combined 3-16. A loss would give them a 3-7 record and would mean their third consecutive loss to the Broncos. It also means that CMU would miss a bowl game for the third time in Dan Enos' four-year tenure in Mount Pleasant. Even the most pessimistic Bronco fans couldn't have expected what Western has done this season, going 1-9 in their first 10 games, including a loss to FCS Nicholls State. A win over Central would alleviate some of the pain of this season and give the Broncos some momentum going into the offseason.

Western Michigan will have the emotion of a raucous Waldo Stadium and is going to give the Chippewas their best shot. I think the biggest key will be which offense does the best job remaining balanced. Central needs to run the ball well, and mix in play-action, while getting the ball deep to Titus Davis. Zach Terrell and Corey Davis have been very good for WMU, but the Broncos have struggled to run the ball with any kind of consistency. If they can find a way to get their running game going, they could give the Chippewas some serious trouble. I'll take the team that has shown a bit more consistency this season.

Prediction: Central Michigan 27, Western Michigan 24

Tyler Parsons, Publisher

I'll keep this short and sweet. Everybody knows the stakes in this game. Quick recap: CMU needs the win to remain bowl eligible and to end a two-game losing streak to the Broncos, while WMU needs a win to take the sting off their worst season in a long time. The Chippewas are the better team, but I think Western throws the kitchen sink at CMU. Central will need to withstand the initial emotion in Waldo Stadium and use what is now a three-headed monster in the backfield with the return of Zurlon Tipton to wear down the WMU defense. These teams almost always play each other close, no matter the records. I expect a great game. I'll take the Chippewas by one point, with a late touchdown run by Tipton to seal the CMU victory.

Prediction: Central Michigan 28, Western Michigan 27

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