As the calendar turns to November, the temperatures cool down, and the college football season heats up. The initial College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday and the season is now heading to the home stretch.
Many teams have a lot to play for: bowl bids, New Year’s Six bids, CFP bids, rivalry trophies, and a slew of other on-field accolades. The Central Michigan Chippewas will play for pride and self-respect in their last three games of the season. Sitting at 1-8, 0-5 Mid-American Conference, the hope for a bowl bid is long gone. While the majority of their season is over, the Chippewas can still gain some confidence going into next season.
Big in-state rivalry for pride
The Chippewas travel to Rynearson Stadium this Saturday to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a MAC match-up. This is a big game for Central Michigan, giving the Chippewas an opportunity to give their young guys some meaningful game experience against an in-state rival.
The Michigan MAC Trophy went to the way of the Western Michigan Broncos when they defeated the Chippewas on Oct. 20, as well as the Victory Cannon, which the Chippewas and Broncos play for each year. There is in-state pride for the Chippewas on the line when they kick off at noon in Ypsilanti, MI.
Take what the opponent gives
There is a simple aspect of college football that is missed quite often, teams cannot manufacture meaningful game experience. This is a lot of the experience that head coach John Bonamego should give his young players. That experience should be under the umbrella of “take what the opponent gives you,” or simplifying the game.
Central Michigan runs a lot of run-pass options and read option plays where the quarterback has to make a split decision on whether to keep the ball then run or pass or hand the ball to the running back. A way to simplify the offense is to eliminate the passing option. Defenses have been able to sniff out that concept this season. Play action passes, while they look similar to an RPO, would prove to be beneficial as it would draw in the defense and allow the quarterback to go over the top for a big gain.
The Chippewas have the talent, they just need to put together a full 60-minute game. In they could, they certainly would be in a good place to knock off the rival Eagles on the road this Saturday.
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