2009 Central Michigan Chippewas Football Preview
2008 Record: (8-5, 6-2)
2008 Bowl: Motor City Bowl vs. Florida Atlantic (L 21-24)
Coach: Butch Jones (16-11 at Central Michigan, 16-11 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Bajakian
Defensive Coordinator: Tim Banks
Other Key Returnees: S Vince Agnew, WR Bryan Anderson, LB Matt Berning, LB Tim Brazzel, CB Kirkston Edwards, CB Josh Gordy, G Jeff Maddux, C Colin Miller, DT Sean Murnane, WR Kito Poblah, S Bobby Seay, DE Sam Williams
Key Losses: WR Joe Bockheim, OT Andrew Hartline, RB Ontario Sneed, OT Greg Wojt
Once again Central Michigan was in the mix for a Mid-American Conference title in 2008 and that will not change in 2009. This group of Chippewas will pretty much look the same as last year’s and there is no reason for this group not to win the conference. And anything less would be a huge disappointment.
Central Michigan's Strengths:
It seems like he has been around for a long time, but Dan LeFevour is still around. The 6-3 senior threw for 2,784 yards and 21 touchdowns. LeFevour is more than just a player who can throw for a lot of yards. He keeps his interceptions down and is always a threat to make a play with his legs. In fact, LeFevour led the team in rushing with 592 yards. But it is in the air where CMU will do most of their damage. Antonio Brown, Bryan Anderson, Kito Poblah are all experienced receivers and Rocky Weaver could be the next big name to come out of Mount Pleasant. Three starters are back on the line as well and there is no reason for this team not to rank first in the conference in passing offense. The only issue might be on the ground. Ontario Sneed and Justin Hoskins are gone and there are not very many experienced options ready to take over.
Central Michigan's Weaknesses:
The defense returns just about everybody, but that might not be a good thing. The pass defense was atrocious in 2008, ranking 118 th out of 119 teams in the nation. Vince Agnew, Kirkston Edwards, Eric Fraser, Josh Gordy and Bobby Seay have to do a better job keeping the ball in front of them. Usually a poor pass defense can be blamed on the lack of a pass rush, but that is certainly not the case with this team. The Chippewas topped the MAC in sacks a year ago and should do again this year with the return of Frank Zombo and Sam Williams. Yet, all the sacks in the world will do no good if Central Michigan cannot stop the pass.
The Bottom Line for the Chippewas:
Coach Butch Jones should be looking at another MAC title this year. The defense was an issue last year, but the group is a year older and a year wiser. Meanwhile, the offense has some of the best passing and receiving combinations in the nation. It will take a huge effort to stop LeFevour and every defense on the schedule should be having nightmares already. With any semblance of improvement from the defense, Central Michigan will dominate the MAC.
By Joel Welser
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