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Chippewa Football Hosts Ohio: Game Notes
CMU kicks off three-game homestand this weekend.
Oct. 12, 2005
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Central Michigan University plays the first of three-in-a-row at Kelly/Shorts Stadium this weekend, hosting Ohio on Homecoming Weekend in Mount Pleasant. The Chippewas have rallied to win two straight games on the road and even their record at 3-3. Ohio is 2-3 after last weekend's 38-14 loss at Bowling Green. The Bobcats have alternated wins and losses each week this season.
The CMU-Ohio Series
CMU leads the all-time series, 17-4-2, but Ohio has won each of the past two match-ups. The Chippewas posted a record of 13-0-1 against Ohio from 1981-94, including 10 straight wins from 1981-90. The teams last met in 2001, with the Bobcats claiming a 34-3 win in Mount Pleasant on Homecoming.
Brian Kelly is in his second season as the head coach at Central Michigan University. He guided the Chippewas to a 4-7 record in 2004. Kelly arrived in Mount Pleasant after a successful 13-year stint at Grand Valley State University which saw him lead the Lakers to back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships in 2002 and 2003. (For a more extensive Kelly bio, see page 12.) Frank Solich is in his first season as the head coach at Ohio. In six seasons at Nebraska, Solich was twice named Big XII Coach of the Year (1999 and 2001) and led his teams to six consecutive bowl games. He is 60-22 as a collegiate head coach.
CMU is 49-27-1 all-time in Homecoming games, but has lost six straight. The Chippewas' last Homecoming win was a 46-7 decision over Kent State in 1998. CMU has played Ohio twice on Homecoming, winning 42-18 in 1982 and falling 35-3 in 2001. From 1966-82, CMU won 17 straight Homecoming contests.
Homecoming Weekend Special Events
A pair of special events are taking place this weekend at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in conjunction with Homecoming festivities. Prior to kickoff on Saturday, the CMU athletics department will recognize nearly 100 former players from the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. Saturday is also Take a Kid to the Game Day at Kelly/Shorts. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted to the game free with a paid adult. Games and inflatables will also be set up on The Island before the game for kids to enjoy.
Long Stay at Kelly/Shorts
The Chippewas kick off a three-game homestand this weekend, hosting Ohio, Toledo and Northern Illinois on Oct. 15, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, respectively. The stretch marks the longest homestand for CMU since a three-gamer in 1996. That season, CMU defeated Akron (42-0) and Eastern Michigan (41-36) before falling to Ball State (24-17).
Smith Saves the Day
The CMU offense struggled to find a rhythm in last weekend's downpour, but senior quarterback Kent Smith led the Chippewas to the end zone when they needed it most. After the defense forced an Army turnover on downs, Smith guided the offense 76 yards in 14 plays for the winning score. On the drive, Smith ran four times for 38 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run, and completed all six of his pass attempts for 35 yards. He also had a hand in three, third-down conversions on the march: running for seven yards on third-and-six, finding Jacob Brown for five yards on third-and-four, and throwing to Ontario Sneed for five yards on third-and-one.
Grinding It Out
CMU was able to muster just 92 yards passing in last Saturday's deluge at Army. It marked the lowest passing yardage total in a win since 2002, when the Chippewas threw for just 69 yards in a 47-21 win at Eastern Michigan. CMU ran the ball 72 times for 488 yards in that game.
Enjoyable Flight Home
Prior to Saturday's win at Army, CMU had not won a game to which it had flown since a 42-21 win at Boise State in the 1996 season opener. That win at Boise was also CMU's last non-conference win on the road prior to last weekend.
Pitching a Shutout
The CMU defense has allowed just one touchdown in the past six quarters (94:10 of game action) and has not allowed a touchdown in the second half of the past two games. CMU held Akron scoreless in the second half on Oct. 1. It marked the first time the Chippewas held a team scoreless for a half since a 38-10 win over Eastern Michigan in 2003. EMU did not score after halftime in that contest.
Making the Most of It
The Chippewas' 14 points on Saturday are the fewest in a winning effort since a 10-3 win against Ball State in 1991.
Turning it Around on the Road
CMU's 31-17 win at Akron on Oct. 1 was the Chippewas' second straight conference win on the road. CMU last won two straight MAC road games in 1994, when it beat Ohio (22-10; Oct. 29) and Bowling Green (36-33; Nov. 12). The win at Army on Saturday marked the first time since 1993 that the Chippewas won road games in consecutive outings. The 1993 team claimed a victory at Kent State (33-28) then, following a bye week, won at Toledo (38-7). The Chippewas' three road wins this season are the most since the 1994 team won four games away from home.
Home Away From Home
CMU enters the upcoming three-game homestand still seeking its first win at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in 2005. Meanwhile, the Chippewas sport a 3-1 record on the road this season. The 1994 MAC champion Chippewas are the last CMU team to finish at least .500 away from home; that squad was 4-3 away from Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Going for Three
The Chippewas are riding a two-game winning streak entering the Ohio game. CMU last won three consecutive games in 2002, when it opened the season 3-0.
Heading in the Right Direction
The Chippewas are 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play following their win at Akron two weeks ago. CMU has not been 2-1 in the MAC since 1998. CMU opened MAC play 4-1 that season before dropping two of its last three.
CMU Evens Record Against the Academies
Last weekend's 14-10 win at Army evened CMU's all-time record against the service academies. The Chippewas closed the 2003 season with a 63-34 loss at Navy.
Sneed Leads the Way
Freshman running back Ontario Sneed has rushed for at least 100 yards three times this season. He ranks first among his teammates in rushing (652 yards; 5.6 ypc.), receptions (25), and scoring (seven touchdowns). He is 16th in the nation, and third in the MAC, in rushing, averaging 108.7 ypg. His yards per game average is also third among all freshmen in Division I-A.
Att. Yds. TD Avg. Rec. Yds. TD
IU 14 148 1 10.6 4 9 0
MU 19 85 1 4.5 2 6 0
PSU 12 32 0 2.7 3 28 0
EMU 29 122 1 4.2 5 56 0
Akron 21 183 1 8.7 6 77 2
Army 21 82 1 3.9 5 27 0
Total 116 652 5 5.6 25 203 2
Sneed MAC West Offensive Player of the Week (10/3)
Freshman running back Ontario Sneed was named the MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Akron on Saturday. Sneed ran 21 times for 183 yards and a score and caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on a 45-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter, then found the end zone on a 50-yard run and 10-yard catch to break a 17-17 tie in the fourth quarter. Sneed is the third Chippewa to collect a weekly conference honor this season. Daniel Bazuin earned defensive honors for his play against Indiana on Sept. 2, while Kent Smith garnered offensive honors following his performance at Miami on Sept. 10.
The CMU defense held Akron to just 47 yards of offense, including one yard rushing, in the second half on Oct. 1. It is the lowest yardage total in a half for a CMU opponent since Northern Illinois was held to 38 yards in the first half of the 1997 season opener.
Twelve of the Chippewas' 21 scoring drives this season have lasted less than two minutes, and all but four have lasted less than three minutes. At Akron on Oct. 1, CMU had three scoring drives that lasted less than 60 seconds. (For a complete list of CMU's scoring drives in 2005, see page 15.)
Hello, My Name Is ...
CMU has relied on a number of freshmen and sophomores to contribute during the first half of the season. Last weekend at Army, 22 of the 44 players who were on the field for at least one play were either freshmen or sophomores by eligibility. Two weeks ago at Akron, 25 of the 50 who participated were freshmen or sophomores.
Staley Stands Out
Junior left tackle Joe Staley, playing his third position in as many years, is in his second season as a starter along the offensive front. He started all 11 games at right tackle in 2004 before making the move to left tackle this season. As a freshman, Staley appeared in 11 games as a tight end, catching 11 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Despite the addition of nearly 50 pounds to his 6-5 frame over the past three years, the former high school sprinter was timed at 4.72 in the 40 during spring practice. Staley has not allowed a sack this season while piling up 29 pancake blocks.
Steal the Ball
The Chippewa defense intercepted three passes at Akron to boost its season total to five. CMU intercepted just five passes total during the 2004 season.
Keeping an Eye on Bazuin
Junior defensive end Daniel Bazuin, an All-MAC first team selection in 2004, is a member of the preseason watch lists for both the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Lombardi Award. He is one of 50 players named to the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, presented to the top defensive player in college football. The Lombardi Award, which names 54 players on its preseason list, is given to the top defensive lineman in the nation ... LAST WEEK ... Bazuin collected five tackles, including one-and-a-half for a loss of three yards, at Army. He moved into a tie for ninth on the CMU career tackles for loss chart.
U-A-T TFL/Yds. Sks./Yds. Int. PBU FF FR
IU 9-1-10 2/23 2/23 0 0 2 0
MU 5-2-7 1/10 1/10 0 0 0 0
PSU 4-1-5 2/16 2/16 0 2 1 0
EMU 1-2-3 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
Akron 2-2-4 2.5/11 0-0 0 0 0 1
Army 3-2-5 1.5/3 0/0 0 0 0 0
Total 24-10-34 9.0/63 5/49 0 2 3 1
CMU vs. the MAC
The Chippewas are 211-175-17 (.545) all-time against the other 11 current members of the Mid-American Conference. CMU is 141-107-10 (.566) in MAC contests since joining the conference in 1975. CMU vs. the MAC:
Akron 10-9-1 Ball State 18-18-1 Bowling Green 16-21
Buffalo 2-1 Eastern Michigan 52-25-6 Kent State 21-9
Miami 9-11-1 Northern Illinois 21-18-1 Ohio 17-4-2
Toledo 13-17-3 Western Michigan 32-42-2
In the Front Row
The CMU offensive line has adjusted well to the loss of Eric Ghiaciuc and Adam Kieft to the NFL. The same five linemen have started up front in each of the Chippewas' six games this season, paving the way for CMU to rank third in the MAC in rushing offense (166.3 ypg.).
The Friendly Confines of Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Kelly/Shorts Stadium began hosting CMU football games in 1972. Since then, the Chippewas have posted a 124-49-4 record (.712) at home. In 2004, CMU was 4-1 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Chippewas in the National Rankings
CMU has taken care of the football as well as any team in the nation, committing just four turnovers in six games. Individually, Ontario Sneed is 16th in rushing and 22nd in all-purpose yardage. Statistical categories in which CMU is represented in the top 50 in Division I-A:
Forced Fumbles Daniel Bazuin (T-10th; 3 FF, 0.5 pg.; 3 FF third-most in I-A)
Rushing Ontario Sneed (16th; 108.7 ypg.)
All-Purpose Yards Ontario Sneed (22nd; 142.5 ypg.)
Sacks Daniel Bazuin (T-22nd; 5 sacks, 0.83 spg.)
Tackles For Loss Daniel Bazuin (T-26th; 1.5 tpg.)
Completions Kent Smith (32nd; 19.7 cpg.)
Total Receiving Yards Damien Linson (40th; 421 yds.)
Solo Tackles Thomas Keith (T-45th; 5.7 tpg.)
Total Offense Kent Smith (46th; 238.5 ypg.)
Passes Defended Jesse Dailey (T-50th; 1.17 pg.)
Passes Had Intercepted T-2nd (2 intercepted)
Turnovers Lost 5th (4 lost; third-fewest in Division I-A)
Fumbles Lost T-9th (2 lost; tied for third-fewest in Division I-A)
Third Down Defense 16th (28-of-95 conversions allowed; 29.5%)
Turnover Margin T-19th (9 gained, 4 lost, 0.83 margin)
Rushing 42nd (166.3 ypg.)
Rushing Defense 49th (125.7 ypg.)
Kickoff Returns 50th (21.6 ypr.)
Passes Intercepted T-50th (5 intercepted)
Tackles For Loss T-50th (6.7 tpg.)
Only in Ohio
CMU's win at Akron was its second in the state of Ohio this season. The Chippewas rallied to defeat Miami, 38-37, in Oxford on Sept. 10. Prior to this year, CMU last won two games in Ohio in the same season in 1994, when it defeated Akron, Ohio and Bowling Green on the road en route to a MAC championship and berth in the Las Vegas Bowl.
After Further Review...
CMU has been involved in four instant replay situations this season, benefiting from three. At Akron on Oct. 1, Pacino Horne dove to intercept an underthrown pass. The pass was ruled incomplete and replay confirmed that the ball hit the ground prior to Horne gaining possession. On Sept. 24, an Eastern Michigan pass in the fourth quarter was ruled incomplete. Replay upheld the ruling. On Sept. 10 at Miami, a RedHawk pass into the end zone in the second quarter was ruled incomplete when officials determined that the receiver did not have a foot in-bounds. Replay confirmed the ruling on the field. With 8:40 remaining in the third quarter against Indiana, a Hoosier completion from Blake Powers to Jahkeen Gilmore was overturned after the replay official determined the pass had hit the ground.
First Down Brown
Senior tight end Jacob Brown has caught 17 passes this season, 12 of which have resulted in first downs for CMU. He caught a career-high seven passes at Miami on Sept. 10, five of which resulted in first downs, including four catches on third down. At Penn State on Sept. 17, Brown's two catches came on fourth and second down, respectively, and both gave CMU first downs. At Army last weekend, Brown hauled in a five-yard catch on third-and-four to extend the Chippewas' game-winning touchdown drive. For the season, Brown has collected six catches on third down and one on fourth down that have resulted in CMU first downs.
All About Albreski
Freshman kicker Rick Albreski has accounted for 35 points this season, second among his teammates. He is 7-for-11 on field goals and 14-for-14 on extra points. He had converted at least one field goal in every game prior to last weekend at Army, when he did not attempt a field goal.
The CMU coaching staff will name game captains on a weekly basis this season. Captains for the upcoming week are announced on Thursday. The captains for last week's game at Army were senior safety Marlin Maxwell and junior receiver Damien Linson.
Indiana Daniel Bazuin, Joe Staley
Miami Daniel Bazuin, Jeff Jenerou, Tony Thompson
Penn State Isaac Brown, Jacob Brown, Kent Smith
Eastern Michigan Daniel Bazuin, Justin Harper, Tony Mikulec
Akron Jesse Dailey, Troy Peyerk, Chris Wohlgamuth
Army Damien Linson, Marlin Maxwell
CMU has won two straight MAC openers, and both have featured blocked field goals in the closing seconds. On Sept. 10, Jacob Brown blocked a Miami field goal attempt with 11 seconds left to preserve a 38-37 Chippewa win. In 2004, CMU defeated Kent State, 24-21, in the MAC opener at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Daniel Bazuin blocked two field goals in the fourth quarter of that win, including one with 24 seconds remaining.
Special Plays on Special Teams
The Chippewas had blocked at least one kick in five straight games entering the Sept. 17 game at Penn State. The streak nearly continued when Isaac Brown broke into the backfield on Penn State's first punt in the opening quarter. At Miami on Sept. 10, Jacob Brown blocked a RedHawk field goal with 11 seconds remaining to preserve a 38-37 Chippewa win. In 2004, CMU blocked kicks in five different games, including each of the final three contests. The Chippewas have blocked at least one kick in seven of the 15 games of head coach Brian Kelly's tenure. Brown's block at Miami also continued a CMU trend of blocking kicks at the end of games. Against Kent State in 2004, Daniel Bazuin blocked a field goal with 24 seconds remaining to preserve a 24-21 Chippewa win. CMU's recent five-game streak of blocked kicks:
Date Opp. Kick Blocked
9/10/05 at Miami Field goal
9/2/05 Indiana PAT
11/20/04 Ball State PAT
11/20/04 Ball State Punt
11/20/04 Ball State Field Goal
11/13/04 Buffalo PAT
11/6/04 Eastern Michigan PAT
Beating the Best
The Chippewas' 38-37 win at Miami on Sept. 10 marked the second time that CMU has defeated a defending MAC divisional champ since the conference expanded to two divisions prior to the 1997 season. The last win was a 21-17 victory over Western Michigan in 2000. Miami has represented the MAC East in each of the past two conference championship games.
And We Go To ... Overtime
Five games in CMU history have gone to overtime, with Eastern Michigan serving as the opponent in three of those. The Chippewas' first overtime contest was at EMU in 1998, a 36-23 Chippewa win. Pete Shepherd scored on a one-yard run in the first overtime possession to put CMU up 30-23. With the Eagles facing third-and-goal from the one on their possession, Shawn Williams intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for a score. CMU has gone to overtime with Eastern Michigan each of the past two seasons, with the Eagles claiming wins in both contests. The Chippewas' five overtime games:
Date Opponent Result
10/10/98 at Eastern Michigan W, 36-23
10/7/00 Kent State L, 21-24
10/30/04 Western Michigan W, 24-21
11/6/04 vs. Eastern Michigan L, 61-58 (4 OT)
9/24/05 Eastern Michigan L, 23-20
Pack 'Em In
The announced crowd of 100,276 at Penn State on Sept. 17 was the second-largest ever to watch a CMU football game. The largest crowd to take in a Chippewa football game was 110,637 at Michigan in 2003.
Smith Steals the Show
Senior quarterback Kent Smith had the best statistical game of his career in the win over Miami on Sept. 10. A sampling of Smith's notable numbers from the Chippewas' 38-37 win:
His 478 yards of total offense broke his own school record of 446 that he set at Toledo last season. It is the 10th best single-game effort in MAC history.
He is the first Chippewa to run and pass for at least 100 yards in the same game since Erik Timpf (214 passing, 147 rushing) against Michigan State in 1993, and is the first player in school history to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 100.
Smith's 122 rushing yards at Miami set a new career high.
He completed three passes of at least 50 yards and ran for at least 10 yards six times in the win.
Smith Named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week (9/12)
Senior quarterback Kent Smith was named Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week following his record-breaking performance in the win at Miami on Sept. 10. It is the second time in his career he has earned the honor; he was also named Player of the Week after throwing for 205 yards and a touchdown and running for 72 yards and a score in last season's 24-21 overtime win against Western Michigan. Smith was the second Chippewa to earn a conference award in the season's first two weeks. Junior end Daniel Bazuin was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Week after collecting 10 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles against Indiana on Sept. 2.
Bazuin Tabbed Defensive Player of the Week (9/5)
Junior defensive end Daniel Bazuin was named the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Indiana on Sept. 2. Bazuin collected 10 tackles (including nine solo), two sacks and two forced fumbles. His sacks and forced fumbles came on back-to-back plays in the third quarter and knocked IU out of field goal range. Bazuin, an All-MAC first team selection in 2004, has one other weekly MAC honor on his résume. He was named Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a pair of field goals in a 24-21 win over Kent State last season.
Winning the Close Ones
Dating back to 1996, CMU has won each of its last five games decided by one point. The Chippewas' last five one-point games:
Date Opponent Result
9/10/05 at Miami 38-37 W
11/20/04 Ball State 41-40 W
9/13/03 Eastern Kentucky 42-41 W
10/31/98 Akron 28-27 W
11/2/96 at Kent State 52-51 W
Two Rookies and a Legend
In the first two weeks of the season CMU faced head coaches in their first season at their respective schools -- Terry Hoeppner at Indiana and Shane Montgomery at Miami. The Chippewas countered that in week three by playing legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno who currently holds the NCAA Division I coaching longevity record for most years at one school -- 40.
More Honors for Bazuin
Daniel Bazuin was named the Mid-American Conference's first male Scholar-Athlete of the Week for the 2005-06 academic year on Sept. 8. Bazuin, a marketing major with a 3.42 GPA, recorded 10 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles against Indiana and was named MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week. The MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week honor is presented to a MAC male and female student-athlete who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and performs well during that week's competition. The winners are selected by a group of the conference's faculty athletic representatives.
Hitting the Books
CMU has claimed the MAC Academic Achievement Award for highest cumulative grade point average among student-athletes by a conference school for the 2004-05 academic year. It marks the fourth straight year, and eighth time in nine years, CMU has won the award. CMU's 369 student-athletes in 16 different sports posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.066 during the 2004-05 academic year.
All in the Family
Three sets of brothers are suiting up for the Chippewas this season: senior tight end Jacob Brown and junior linebacker Isaac Brown; senior offensive lineman Jeff Jenerou and freshman offensive lineman Brian Jenerou; and junior offensive lineman Brandon Zukoff and freshman offensive lineman Brent Zukoff.
CMU was picked to finish fourth in the MAC West Division in the MAC News Media Association's preseason poll. Toledo was selected to defend its West Division and MAC Championship Game titles, while Bowling Green was tabbed to win the East in its first season back in that division.
CMU in the NFL
Four former Central Michigan University football players are currently on NFL rosters. Offensive linemen Eric Ghiaciuc (fourth round) and Adam Kieft (fifth round) were both selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2005 draft. Ghiaciuc made his first career start last Sunday night, breaking into the lineup at center. Kieft, however, suffered a knee injury during preseason camp and is currently on the injured reserve list. Center Brock Gutierrez, a letterman from 1993-95, is on the Detroit Lions' roster, while defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins has cracked the starting lineup in his second season with the Green Bay Packers.
CMU on TV
CMU will make at least five appearances on television this season, including at least three on the ESPN family of networks. The opener against Indiana was live on ESPNU. The Sept. 17 contest at Penn State was covered by ESPN Plus, with FSN Pittsburgh delivering the contest to a regional audience. The Chippewas' Oct. 8 trip to Army was televised on ESPN Classic. Comcast Sports Net Detroit carried CMU's Sept. 24 game against Eastern Michigan and will air the Nov. 19 regular season finale at Ball State.
CMU on the Radio
Chippewa football action can be followed all season on the CMU Football Radio Network. Kurt Wilson and Stan Shingles are in their first seasons handling play-by-play and color commentary, respectively. The broadcasts are being carried in 2005 by the following stations around Michigan:
WCHB 1200-AM -- Detroit WCZY 104.3-FM -- Mount Pleasant
WFUR 1570-AM -- Grand Rapids WJML 1110-AM -- Petoskey
WUPS 98.5-FM -- Houghton Lake Michigan Talk Radio Network
CMU Athletics Director Herb Deromedi has announced his retirement effective Jan. 15, 2006. Deromedi has been a part of CMU athletics for more than 38 years, taking on his current role on June 1, 1994. Prior to taking over the athletics director post, Deromedi became the winningest football coach in MAC history, posting a 110-55-10 record from 1978-93. He was the defensive coordinator on Roy Kramer's 1974 CMU squad that claimed the 1974 NCAA Division II national championship. In his current post, Deromedi has spearheaded a complete overhaul of the athletic facilities on campus and overseen a program that has won 34 MAC championships. CMU has also earned the MAC Academic Achievement Award for highest cumulative grade point average by a conference school in eight of the last nine years.
CMU has played 900 games over the course of 105 seasons and is 528-336-36 in those contests. The Chippewas' all-time winning percentage is .607.