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Miami-Ohio (4-6) at Central Michigan (4-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kelly/Shorts Stadium (35,127) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 3-1, CMU 2-4. Away Record: Miami 1-5, CMU 2-2. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, CMU 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 3-3, CMU 2-4. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 12-10-1.
GAME NOTES: One team will walk away with a chance to earn bowl eligibility and the other reserve a spot on the couch for the postseason when the Miami-Ohio Redhawks take on the Central Michigan Chippewas in a Mid-American Conference showdown at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
This will be the 24th meeting between these schools on the gridiron. Miami holds a slim 12-10-1 lead in the all-time series despite losing two of the last three encounter. The Chippewas have played Miami only three times (2005, 2007, and 2010) in the past 10 years.
Both sides enter with a 4-6 record with two games remaining, which means one team will have its hopes of bowl eligibility shattered by the outcome.
Last week, Kent State defeated Miami to send the team a 3-3 conference record and hand the Redhawks their second loss in a row. Miami will have to overcome its eight-game road losing streak which dates back to last year to salvage the season. Don Treadwell led the program to a 4-8 finish last year in his first appearance as the head coach. The Redhawks had an uplifting win earlier this season when they handed the undefeated and nationally ranked Ohio University Bobcats their first loss of the season.
Central Michigan is coming off of much needed 34-31 victory over Eastern Michigan. The victory came after a stretch of five losses over a six-game span. Dan Enos and his team are just 2-4 in their Kelly/Shorts Stadium home this season. The Chippewas have been defeated in all of their home losses by double-digit margins.
Miami's offense relies on its aerial attack, which is the second best in the MAC with 300.4 ypg. Zac Dysert has delivered some inspiring performances this season, the most notable of which was his 500-yard passing and 100-yard rushing game versus Akron. The school's new all-time leading passer completed 37-of-50 attempts for 455 yards with four TDs and two interceptions in last week's loss at Buffalo. He has tallied 11,452 yards, 70 TDs, and 50 INTs during the course of his career.
Dawan Scott has emerged as one of the elite receivers in the MAC this season. Despite missing the team's game at Bowling Green, he has tallied a team-high 700 yards with six touchdowns on 45 receptions. Andy Cruse is the top possession wideout on the team with 68 catches. Nick Harwell was the go-to-guy in the upset of Ohio as he made eight grabs for 138 yards and a score in the contest. Harwell was one of the elite wideouts in the MAC last season with 1,425 yards, 97 receptions, and nine TDs.
While the RedHawks are fortunate to have dependable pass-catchers, the running game has been less stellar with Jamire Westbrook (298 yards) leading the way and the coach's son, Spencer Treadwell (224 yards) right behind him in the least productive rushing offense in the MAC.
Miami's defense has yet to slow down an FBS opponent. The defense allowed over 500 yards of total offense for the fourth time this season last week as the Golden Flashes amassed 546, including 399 yards on the ground.
Chris Wade is the team's leader and MAC's second most frequent tackler with 107 stops on the season including 5.5 for loss. Mike Johns (6.0 TFL) and Mwanza Wamulumba (5.0 TFL) supply pressure from the line. Senior LB Pat Hinkel's great defensive awareness and anticipation has yielded 55 stops, four interceptions, and a defensive score.
CMU's offense has averages of 399.9 yards and 27.9 points per contest through 10 games. Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff is the team's field general. Although he has not attempted as many passes as when he was a junior, Radcliff's decision making has been the difference as he has improved his completion rate nearly three percentage points. He has amassed 2,621 yards and 18 touchdowns on 200-of-326 passing. Radcliff has not thrown an interception in three straight games.
Junior running back Zurlon Tipton is the main threat in the Chippewas' offensive attack. He was productive yet again last week, compiling 115 yards and scoring on one of his 21 rushing attempts. Tipton is averaging 8.4 points per game, which is tied for seventh in the MAC rankings.
Titus Davis and Cody Wilson are both consistent threats in the passing attack. Wilson has tallied a team-high of 58 receptions for 689 yards. Davis comes in with 831 yards, eight catches for scores, and 40 receptions. Wilson has made a catch in 40 consecutive games, which is the third longest active streak in the nation.
CMU is one of the weakest defensive squads in the FBS with allowed averages of 454.3 yards and 36.3 points per game. The Chippewas have allowed each of their previous four opponents to surpass the 400-yard mark in total offense. The team has no real threatening pass rushers and has a total of 10 sacks with Jahleel Addae and Avery Cunningham are tied for the lead with 1.5 a piece.
Sophomore LB Justin Cherocci leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference with 105 total tackles after registering nine versus EMU. Junior LB Shamari Benton is close behind with 84 stops.
While Miami comes in with the more impressive resume, it has yet to perform up to its potential on the road this season. In their defense, the Redhawks' tangles with Ohio State, Boise State, Cincinnati, and the improved Bowling Green Falcons account for four of their five away setbacks. CMU will need to get Tipton going to keep up with Dysert's dual-threat abilities.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Ohio 38, Central Michigan 31
11/14 10:36:22 ET
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