Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the in-state MAC battle between the Broncos and Chippewas.
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant.
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck has plenty of reasons to be happy. The Broncos are 4-0 and have yet to turn the ball over while Zach Terrell has completed 69.4 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns. Two of those victories have come against Big Ten foes, both before beating Georgia Southern 49-31 last week.
Central Michigan has a quality victory of its own on its resume – the controversial 30-27 win at then-No. 22 Oklahoma State that ended with a Hail Mary hook-and-ladder. Granted, that play shouldn’t have been allowed, but it goes down as a win nevertheless. The Chippewas are no longer unbeaten, though, after falling 49-35 at previously winless Virginia last week.
What to Know About Western Michigan
The Broncos can move the ball seemingly at will, and that’s without their best player putting up great numbers. Defenses have been centering their scheme around receiver Corey Davis, who has only a single 100-yard game but did catch a touchdown pass last week.
Running back Jamauri Bogan has been explosive, running for at least 104 yards in each contest and adding five touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Terrell has done his share on the ground as well, running for a pair of TDs.
What to Know About Central Michigan
What happened to the defense? After allowing fewer than 340 total yards in each of their first three, the Chippewas were burned for 569 against a Virginia team that hadn’t gained more than 388 while losing each of its first three games. Central fought back from down 28-0 early in the second quarter to tie it in the fourth, but the defense then allowed touchdowns of 82 and 53 yards.
Cooper Rush is one of the top quarterbacks in the MAC and had another solid day with 402 yards and two touchdowns. He has 13 TDs on the season.
Offense: Western Michigan – Terrell, Bogan and Davis form a dynamic trio.
Defense: Western Michigan – Forced four turnovers against Georgia Southern.
Special Teams: Western Michigan – Darius Phillips has returned both a punt and a kick for a touchdown.
Coaching: Western Michigan – Fleck is proving why he’s one of the hottest coaching names in the business.
Intangibles: Even – The Broncos won last year’s meeting, 41-39, but both teams are better this season and are playing under the lights on Central’s field.
Matchup To Watch
Cooper Rush vs. Western Michigan’s defense
Rush is going to get his yards since Central’s offense relies so heavily on his arm. What Western has to do is make sure those completions don’t go for big plays and force him into make tough decisions.
Spread: Western Michigan -3.5
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Prediction
Terrell will outplay Rush and Bogan will run for 125 yards and two touchdowns to give Western Michigan a big victory in #MACtion.
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan final score prediction: Western Michigan 48, Central Michigan 41