Central Michigan Chippewas 2017 Preview
The Central Michigan Chippewas look for a winning record and back to back Bowl appearances in 2017.
Overview: Head coach John Bonamego has some pieces to work with on the offensive side of the football but needs a consistent effort from his defense for the Chippewas to improve on 2016.
Offense: The Central Michigan Chippewas say good bye to quarterback Cooper Rush and will likely have an unproven starter under center. Tommy Lazzaro appears to be the guy that Bonamego is going with but he did not throw a pass in 2016 and last saw the field in community college in 2015. Whoever grabs the starting job at quarterback for the Chips will have a solid receiving corps to throw to with Corey Willis leading the way with Mark Chapman and Brandon Childress giving the team solid options. Devon Spaulding was a capable runner and receiver coming out of the backfield a year ago and should benefit from the return of five offensive linemen with starting experience so competent play under center and Central Michigan should be able to move the chains.
Defense: The Central Michigan Chippewas defense was healthy for the most part last season which was a good thing because the team seldom went deep in their rotation and might not again with many starters coming back. Defensive ends Mike Danna and Joe Ostman were in the backfield often with 18 TFL and nearly eleven sacks but the Chippewas need production from some unknowns. Linebacker Malik Fountain gave the Chips another ten TFL but didn’t get to the quarterback often. The Chippewas have plenty coming back at cornerback with Amari Coleman, Sean Bunting and Josh Cox but safety could be a concern. CMU lost it’s top two safeties and will likely turn to Otis Kearney and Tyjuan Swain so the cupboard is not completely bare with several high ranked recruits coming in.
Special Teams: Central Michigan did not stand out in any phase of special teams play and were ranked near the bottom in college football so revamping this unit has to be on the mind of Bonamego.
Outlook: The Chippewas have the potential to win seven games with the talent that is returning but this is always a team where it’s wise to watch and see what happens rather then try and make predictions.
8-31 vs. Rhode Island
9-8 @ Kansas
9-16 @ Syracuse
9-23 vs. Miami (Ohio)
9-30 @ Boston College
10-7 @ Ohio
10-14 vs. Toledo
10-21 @ Ball State
11-1 @ Western Michigan
11-8 vs. Eastern Michigan
11-14 @ Kent State
11-24 vs. Northern Illinois