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November 23, 2013

Staff Predictions: CMU-UMass

Corey Dull, Staff Writer

CMU is riding the momentum from last week's rivalry win at WMU. Zurlon Tipton ran extremely hard for the Chippewas. Cooper Rush played very well early on, but once again made some crucial late mistakes. It's plain and simple: win and save the season or lose and spend the offseason coming up with 'What If' scenarios. Zurlon runs for 200 yards and two touchdowns. It will be a laugher early and could be the very last home football game the students see, as next week's game is on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Prediction: Central Michigan 42, UMass 10

Jeff Horodeczny, Staff Writer

The Chippewas return home this week to host the Massachusetts Minutemen. CMU will be looking for their first MAC home win of the season and first win at home since September 7 against New Hampshire. UMass enters this one with only one win on the season and is averaging an awful 11.7 points-per-game, which is the second lowest average in the MAC. CMU's defense should be able to hold down Massachusetts's inconsistent run game and force quarterback A.J. Doyle into 3rd-and-long situations.

On the other side of the ball, the Massachusetts defense has been steady, giving up an average of 213.6 passing ypg, which ranks fourth among MAC teams. Stanley Andre and Ed Saint-Vil lead the defense and are both averaging over nine tackles-per-game

I expect for CMU to go to the run game early and often with Zurlon Tipton and Saylor Lavallii. CMU must keep the turnovers down this week so the CMU defense isn't put into bad field positions. I look for a low scoring game with the CMU running attack being the difference.

Prediction: Central Michigan 24, UMass 14

Steve Livingston, Publisher

Zurlon Tipton had an All-MAC day against UMass last year, rushing for 185 yards and four (!) touchdowns on 25 carries at Gillette Stadium. That win locked up bowl eligibility for the Chippewas. For CMU to get to bowl eligibility this season, they'll need to win their last two games. Last week at Western Michigan, Tipton returned from what was thought to be a season-ending injury to rush for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. CMU managed to win despite committing five turnovers to just one WMU turnover.

Here's the thing: I just don't see how the Chippewas lose this game. I think the worst case scenario is that UMass keeps this close and covers the 13-point spread. If Cooper Rush plays well, CMU will blow the Minutemen's doors off. UMass has a really bad offense, but if Rush commits turnovers, they'll hang around. What this comes down to is that I just don't know what to expect of Rush. I'll just go with what Vegas is telling us to expect. CMU gets one step closer to a bowl game.

Prediction: Central Michigan 30, UMass 17

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