2008 Central Michigan Chippewas Football Preview
Central Michigan (CMU) Chippewas - Mid-American Conference (West)
CMU 2007 Record: (8-6, 6-1)
2007 Bowl: Motor City Bowl vs. Purdue (L 48-51)
CMU Head Coach: Butch Jones (8-6 at Central Michigan, 8-6 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Bajakian
Defensive Coordinator: Tim Banks
Returning Leaders for Central Michigan:
Other Key Returnees: DT Casey Droscha, S Eric Fraser, OT Andrew Hartline, RB Justin Hawkins, G Jeff Maddux, C Colin Miller, RB Ontario Sneed, S Chaz West, DE Sam Williams
Key Losses: WR Duane Brooks, LB Ike Brown, DT Steven Friend, WR Justin Gardner, LB Red Keith, P Tony Mikulec, OT Eric Tunney, TE J.J. Watt
Central Michigan had some consistency issues while adjusting to new coach Butch Jones last season, but they still won the MAC championship for the second consecutive year. Some blowout losses to Kansas and Clemson kept the Chippewas off of the national radar, but the team will be better this time around and has the potential to make a little noise during the non-conference schedule.
Central Michigan's 2008 Strengths:
The offense will once again revolve around quarterback Dan LeFevour. The junior threw for 3,652 yards and 27 touchdowns and added another 1,122 yards on 19 touchdowns on the ground. Heck, the guy even caught a 32 yard touchdown pass. With receivers Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown retrning, LeFevour is expected to have an even bigger campaign. Anderson caught 90 passes for 1,132 yards and Brown added 1,003 yards on 102 catches. Finding some depth at receiver is a concern, but you will not find many better than those two in the conference. Ontario Sneed is the most talented running back on the roster and is starting off the season healthy. At 5-6, Sneed does a great job hiding behind his linemen before spurting into the open field. Justin Hoskins proved to be an effective back last season and Marcel Archer also has experience. Adding a little more consistency from the running backs will turn this from a great offense into an amazing offense.
Central Michigan's 2008 Weaknesses:
But all the offense in the world does little good if you give up nearly 37 points per game. Last year the Chippewas only kept three teams under 30 points in a game. And they gave up 44 points or more six times. Allowing the opposition to score some touchdowns is all well and good since the offense is so dynamic, but those six games when CMU gave up 44 points or more were all loses. Eight starters are back and the run defense is decent, but can this group ever stop the pass? The front four failed to get pressure on the opposing quarterback and that made life very difficult for the secondary. Ends Larry Knight, Sam Williams and Frank Zombo have to get into the backfield consistently.
The Bottom Line for the CMU Chippewas:
There is no reason for Central Michigan to not win the MAC for a third straight year. The bigger question might be how this team can do representing the conference against the rest of their schedule. The MAC has not been doing well against non-conference opponents and it will be up to CMU this year to try and turn the public perception of their struggling conference.
2007 Team Stats for CMU:
Rushing Offense: 180.00 (36 th in nation, 3 rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 267.00 (32, 4)
Total Offense: 447.00 (21, 2)
Scoring Offense: 34.79 (20, 1)
Rushing Defense: 156.50 (57, 1)
Pass Defense: 303.50 (118, 13)
Total Defense: 460.00 (109, 13)
Scoring Defense: 36.93 (111, 12)
Turnover Margin: .43 (30, 3)
Sacks: 1.64 (94, 11)Sacks Allowed: 1.57 (36, 3)
Check out all of the 2008 NCAA football previews online through College Sports Fans.
Copyright 2005-2009, CollegeSports-fans.com and the Dash Fans Network of Independent College Sports Fan Sites.