There is just something about the confines of Kelly/Shorts Stadium that brings out the best in the Central Michigan football team. Toledo and CMU would play neck and neck through one quarter and begin the second deadlocked in a 7-7 tie before Toledo took a 14-7 lead. Then, the floodgates would open. Behind senior quarterback Dan LeFevour, the Chippewas would reel off 49 unanswered points in a 56-28 victory over the Rockets Wednesday night. The Chippewas have scored 48 plus points in every one of their home games this season, and CMU would need the offense to score early as the defense surrendered 14 quick points to Toledo.
"That's part of being a team, if one side doesn't start off well, or something happens, the other side has to pick them up" said CMU head coach Butch Jones.
LeFevour would finish with 341 yards passing and two touchdowns on 29-36 attempts, and at one time completed sixteen straight passes. He would also use his legs in the redzone, adding four touchdowns on the ground despite rushing for just 19 total yards. Helping ease LeFevour's load would be running back Bryan Schroeder, who returned from injury to add 105 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. The 105 yards was Schroeder's second 100 yard rushing game of his career (Western Michigan, 2008).Carl Volny would start the game at running back, but only gained 23 yards on 8 carries.
Junior Antonio Brown highlighted the receiving corps, snagging 13 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown as he rebounded from a turf toe injury against Boston College last week. Senior wideout Bryan Anderson would start the scoring off for CMU as he caught a LeFevour pass early in the first quarter and took it 33 yards for a touchdown. He would finish with four receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively the Chippewas would start slow, allowing the Rockets to score on two of their first three possessions before buckling down and causing one of an eventual five forced turnovers.
"Our defense really stepped up, and they were opportunistic. They made some big turnovers for us, and then on offense we were able to capitalize on those turnovers and turn them into points. I thought it was big that we weren't kicking field goals in the redzone, we were scoring touchdowns" added Coach Jones.
Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt would start the game Toledo and fade after a strong start. He would finish 14-22 for 128 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions before giving way to true freshman Austin Dantin when the game was out of reach. As expected, the Rockets used freshman wide receiver/playmaker Eric Page in a variety of formations from the backfield. He took direct snaps and received the ball on reverses and proved to be Toledo's most dangerous weapon on offense.
CMU would hold a 507-353 edge in total yards in the win and the Chippewas did not turn the ball over once. CMU improves to 8-2 (6-0) while the Rockets fall to 4-6 overall and are out of the MAC West championship race and will once again be sitting home during bowl season.