Ohio vs. Central Michigan prediction and game preview. The Bobcats battle the Chippewas in Tuesday night MAC action.
Ohio vs. Central Michigan Game Preview
When: Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
Ohio hasn’t been to the MAC championship game since 2011, but that would change with a victory Tuesday. The Bobcats can clinch the East by beating Central Michigan and earning a fourth consecutive victory. They’re coming off a bye week after beating Buffalo, 34-10, on Nov. 3.
The Chippewas are getting a fourth chance to become bowl eligible. They’ve dropped to 5-5 on the season with three straight defeats, the latest being a 37-17 loss to Miami (OH) on Nov. 4. CMU finished with fewer than 300 yards, but the defense had its worst performance since late September.
What To Know About Ohio
Frank Solich is in his 12th season coaching the Bobcats and has guided them to three MAC title games during his tenure. A victory in this contest would send his team to Detroit for the first time in five years, where No. 14 Western Michigan likely will await.
Ohio is in this position mainly because of its defense, which ranks third in the conference in yards allowed per play. Tarell Basham is one of the MAC’s best defensive lineman and leads the conference with nine sacks while being tied for fourth with 11.5 tackles for loss.
What To Know About Central Michigan
The Chippewas have gone 2-5 since winning their first three games, which included an controversial upset victory at Oklahoma State. They struggled to move the ball against Miami (OH), though, and were outgained 436-292. Cooper Rush didn’t throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season and tossed an interception, his 12th of the year and seventh in the last four games.
Offense: Even – Ohio ranks sixth in the MAC and CMU seventh in total offense per game.
Defense: Even – The Bobcats are third and the Chippewas fourth in yards allowed per play.
Special Teams: Ohio – It has the best punt coverage in the conference, allowing the fewest yards per return.
Coaching: Ohio – Solich is having one of his best years since taking over the Bobcats.
Intangibles: Central Michigan – The Chippewas have won six of the last seven meetings, including two in the MAC title game.
Matchup To Watch
Quinton Maxwell vs. CMU’s secondary
Maxwell is a redshirt freshman and hasn’t been asked to do much, but he’s thrown two touchdowns in each of Ohio’s last two games. He’ll be getting his toughest test yet, though. Amari Coleman and Josh Cox have picked off three passes apiece, with Coleman returning two for touchdowns and Cox bringing back another for a score.
Spread: Ohio -1
Over/Under: No Line as of post
Ohio vs. Central Michigan Prediction
Upset alert! The Chippewas will fluster Maxwell, who throws two interceptions. Rush bounces back to throw three touchdowns, including one in the final minute. Central Michigan takes it and becomes bowl-eligible.
Ohio vs. Central Michigan final score prediction: Central Michigan 38, Ohio 35