Central Michigan Chippewas Season Preview
If I had a fever, Illinois product Dan LeFevour would have been the prescription.
However, Year 1 post the all-time total TD career leader (150) went awful, with a 3-9 record.
The main reason there was so much of a struggle a season ago was the loss of their coaching staff.
Butch Jones left for Cincinnati and the overhaul was tough on the team.
The defense was abysmal, allowing 171 yards per game just against the run (81st).
The front seven only returns four players which means the struggles may continue in the tenure of Dan Enos.
Enos went 3-9 in his first season at Mount Pleasant, but he has never been in this position before.
He was a former QB/RB coach at Michigan State (’06-‘09) and has never had the experience coaching an entire team by his lonesome.
His Chippewas need to beef up a bit as their interior line is less than 280 pounds which is often a sign of weakness against big, beefy OL from the MAC.
The secondary was 39th, allowing just 205 yards per game.
The Chips have two back in the secondary and if the front seven does not get much worse, strides should be made. Jahleel Addae is the one premier player on defense for CM.
One-Man Wrecking Crew
The QB play should only improve under one of the MAC’s finest, Ryan Radcliff. Radcliff was 25th in the nation, averaging 271 yards per game in total offense. Radcliff is not much of a runner and the Chips were not either as they ranked 108th, averaging only 105 yards per game.
Paris Cotton better step up his game and improve his game-breaking ability for just a 5’9", 179 back.
Having only a 4.6 average is not awful, but in MAC play, it could be a tad better. It better with twice the amount of carries he will be expected to receive in 2011.
The receiving core is solid thanks to Cody Wilson who led the team in receptions by a wide margin (83 compared to next best at 44).
Wilson's five TDs were tied for the most and his 1,137 yards were by far the most yards on the team as well. He was a one-man wrecking crew and he better get some help around him or else the double coverage’s will only increase in MAC play.
The schedule is not impossible, but both sides of the ball will continue to struggle against the upper-echelon teams in the MAC.
Also, games against NC State, Kentucky and Michigan State will put this team’s confidence in the dumps! After Sparty, they have to host a solid NIU Huskies squad before traveling to Raleigh against the Wolfpack.
Throw in consecutive home games against Ohio and Toledo to close out the season and it may be difficult to avoid a second losing season in a row.
Predicted Finish: 5-7, 4-4
Predicted Bowl: None
Predicted order of finish in MAC: Ninth Overall, fourth in West Division