Central Michigan vs. Miami (OH) prediction and game preview. The Chippewas try to snap the RedHawks’ three-game winning streak Friday night.
Central Michigan vs. Miami (OH) Game Preview
When: Friday, Nov. 4 – 6 p.m. ET
Where: Fred C. Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio.
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
Central Michigan was looking good after its controversial win at then-No. 22 Oklahoma State on Sept. 10, but losses in four of the last six games have put the Chippewas at just 5-4 and 2-3 in MAC play. They’ve dropped the last two, most recently falling 27-24 to Kent State on Saturday via a field goal as time expired.
It’s been quite the opposite turn of events for Miami (OH). The RedHawks have won three straight following an 0-6 start and find themselves just one game back of Ohio for the MAC East lead. Quarterback Gus Ragland has inspired the turnaround, as Miami’s winning streak has coincided with him taking over under center.
What To Know About Central Michigan
Saturday’s heartbreaking loss could’ve been avoided. Central Michigan led by 14 points in the third quarter after Tony Annese returned an interception for a touchdown, and it also blocked a punt for a safety earlier in the contest. But Cooper Rush threw three interceptions and Kent State scored the final 17 points to pull out the victory. The Chippewas have committed 17 turnovers, tied for the second-most in the MAC with Miami (OH).
Rush has tossed six picks in the last three games to combed to five in the first six. He’s completing only 52.3 percent of his passes during his rough stretch. A road game might do Rush well, though, as his passer rating is five points higher away from home.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
Ragland has been solid since making his season debut following an ACL injury back in April, throwing for six touchdowns without an interception. He threw one and ran for another in Saturday’s 28-15 win at Eastern Michigan, helping Miami finish with over 400 yards of offense in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
His counterpart, Rush, might be in for another rough day. The RedHawks are allowing the fewest yards per game in the MAC at 350 and giving up the second-fewest yards per play. They’ve also forced seven turnovers during their winning streak. JT Jones is tied for the second in the conference with 11 tackles for loss and is third with 6 1/2 sacks.
Offense: Even – Central Michigan’s slump and Ragland’s return has put these units on par.
Defense: Miami (OH) – Jones is going to try and get in Rush’s face throughout the day.
Special Teams: Central Michigan – The Chippewas came up big with last week’s blocked punt.
Coaching: Even – Chuck Martin is helping Miami (OH) salvage what looked like another dismal season.
Intangibles: Central Michigan – This will be the first meeting since 2014, when Devon Spalding rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Chippewas’ third straight victory in the series.
Matchup To Watch
Rush vs. Miami’s pass defense
The RedHawks plan to pressure Rush as much as possible. However, despite having the top unit in the MAC, they rank only fifth in pass defense. If Rush can regain his form from earlier in the season, the Chippewas should be able to escape with a victory.
Spread: Central Michigan -3.5
Central Michigan vs. Miami (OH) Prediction
Rush bounces back with three touchdown passes and outduels Ragland, who also has a solid game in a losing effort as the Chippewas snap the RedHawks’ winning streak.
Central Michigan vs. Miami (OH) final score prediction: Central Michigan 28, Miami (OH) 24